New York (June 7, 2010)–St. David’s Episcopal Church in Radnor, PA may be 295 years old, but its most recent building is a chapel added to its 40-acre campus in 2006.
The chapel’s original audio system, intended to amplify sermons and choral voices in a large, reverberant space dominated by an impressive 3-manual, 47-rank custom Dobson Organ, consisted of 32 speakers mounted around the upper tier of the long rectangular worship area.
Unfortunately, what seemed a creative idea never resulted in coherent intelligible audio for the voices. As John Schofield, Parish Administrator, noted, “When the chapel opened, the announcing system was impossible. You couldn’t hear a word anyone was saying or understand it, for that matter.”
The church sought the services of Spinnaker Multimedia Solutions, a design/installation firm that specializes in houses of worship. After test-runs with various PAs, a Martin Audio OmniLine array system was chosen.
“We replaced 32 speakers,” said Fenicia Redman, VP Project Development, “whose intelligibility was very poor from front to back and across the listening area. Vocal clarity was key here because there’s a lot of reverberation in the room to enhance the 50-member choir and organ sound, so we worked with Rob Hofkamp and Martin Audio’s engineers to develop a solution consisting of two of the new OmniLine micro-line arrays with six modules each hung left and right in the front of the space facing backwards at an angle.”
Before and after data proved we made the correct choice for St. David’s. SPL deviations before were 8 dB and after 3.2 dB. Speech intelligibility improved dramatically from 17% Alcons to 2.5% Alcons.
The rest of the system, designed for easy operation, consists of Crown amplification, along with Allen & Heath iDR8 rack-mount digital signal processing system and two PL10 control panels. Bottom line, “OmniLine delivered the best sound distribution for the least investment. People can finally clearly hear the leaders no matter where we sit,” Redman concludes.