The new APB-SpectraSonics Spectra-C 40-channel console at Grace Cathedral. San Francisco, CA (August 30, 2007)--Grace Cathedral may be a historic church, having been built in 1849, but it's certainly up to date. The HOW provides podcasts, streams services over the internet and more, and recently it undertook an audio upgrade as well. Part of that effort centered around the installation of an APB-DynaSonics Spectra-C 40-channel console.
This upgrade was under time constraints from the start because the first phase had to be completed in a few short weeks for the installation of the new Bishop of California, a major event attended by close to 3,000 dignitaries, political and religious leaders. According to A/V consultant Arthur Yeap of Novo Group, the project "was part of phased installation that also involved replacing an old wireless system with a new system of headworn and handheld mics and an assisted listening system.
Continuing, Yeap explains, "The original console was also obsolete, so we had to move quickly with a replacement. The church hadn't heard of APB, but they were familiar with the quality products that the principals had designed for other leading console manufacturers. So we made the recommendation and assured them that if it didn't work, we would recommend something else."
The Spectra was rushed from APB in New Jersey after being measured in detail for a raised wooden enclosure for the console located in the Cathedral nave in front of a column. As Yeap puts it, "Even using the existing column speakers, which are delayed, you could hear an immediate difference with the APB console. We heard it, their technical staff heard it and we were all astounded.
David Allen Jr., the chief audio engineer for Grace, noted that the sound is "much cleaner, warmer and requires much less EQ." Yeap acknowledges the other main challenge with the console: "Because of the short prep time, the operators were concerned that they might be overwhelmed by the Spectra, but that turned out fine because the board is logically designed and well laid out. And the best part of course is that the Cathedral really loves it. In fact, they were tempted to put off the speaker installation because the sound quality was so much improved."