Cairo, Egypt (February 24, 2014)—Many houses of worship, new and old, can be found in Cairo, such as the Basilica of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, a Byzantine-style structure adorned with Arabic-Egyptian ornamentation, built in 1939. Mackie's HDA loudspeakers were recently installed in the reverberant facility.
Soaring walls, marble floors, wooden pews, and a massive 80-foot (25 meter) high dome ringed with windows are just the beginning of a highly reflective environment that makes intelligibility difficult. The walls of the church are decorated with an ornate mosaic which, while beautiful to behold, only adds to the reflectivity of the space.
Egyptian audio distributor Al Fanny Trading was called in to help solve the Basilica's sonic challenges, and installed a system based around four of Mackie's HDA two-way arrayable powered loudspeakers. As Al Fanny's Rami Saad explains, the church's previous system was simply not up to the task.
"They had a system of 10 speakers installed on the columns, but the sound quality was unacceptable," Saad says. "People could not understand the sermon, and the balance between the choir and the spoken word was very poor. The challenge was to find speakers that could direct the sound toward the people, not toward the walls. The HDA speakers did exactly that, and very well. And the HDA's high-definition processing delivers a very high degree of intelligibility, which is essential for a challenging environment like this one."
The choir area has been equipped with several SRM450v2 loudspeakers for monitoring and Al Fanny installed a Mackie Onyx 24.4-Bus console. "The Onyx console sounds wonderful - very clean and clear," says Saad. "The system has made a big difference for them already, and everyone is very pleased."