Northern Ireland (November 21, 2005)–Two mid-sized churches–Dromore Cathedral and Portglenone Presbyterian Church–recently installed discreetly placed and precision-tuned Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeaker systems to augment their contemporary praise services.
The Cathedral Church at Dromore, serving a parish of the Anglican-connected Church of Ireland, was built in stages over several centuries. Major portions of the existing structure date back to 1661. “It was a nightmare, really,” explained Robert Andrews of Andrews Audio (Portglenone), who designed and installed both systems. “They rebuilt and added on to (the building) to the point where there is absolutely nothing symmetrical about the church. The seating goes off all different ways, so there was no way to use a main cluster with delays in such a reverberant space. However, by using the MAPP Online (acoustical prediction) software, I was able to design for uniform coverage throughout with a minimum number of small, self-powered cabinets.”
Andrews’ solution for Dromore’s architectural mélange employs five UPM-1P ultra-compact wide coverage loudspeakers, each tucked up alongside a roof beam for minimal visual intrusion. Bass reinforcement for the praise band is provided through a pair of UMS-1P ultra-compact subwoofers. Other key components at the system front end include a Soundcraft LX7 24-channel console, a BSS FDS 960 equalizer, eight Sennheiser hard-wired microphones, and three Sennheiser Evolution Series wireless microphones.
“The sound quality in the church has improved appreciably,” noted Stephen Lowry, Dean of the Cathedral. “We hear a broader range of frequencies amplified throughout, with musical accompaniment from choir, singers, keyboards and guitars now accommodated in one system. Additionally, the size, location and color of the Meyer Sound system make it virtually invisible.”
Compared to the Dromore Cathedral, the 1st Portglenone Presbyterian Church is both relatively recent (1872) and architecturally homogenous, although parishioners here were equally adamant about minimizing impact on the aesthetics of their meticulously preserved neo-Gothic building. For coverage of the wide auditorium and overhanging rear balcony, Andrews specified a central flown point-source array consisting of four M1D ultra-compact curvilinear array loudspeakers and one M1D-Sub ultra-compact subwoofer, with under-balcony coverage from two UPM-2P compact narrow coverage loudspeakers. A single UPM-1P cabinet supplies downfill for seating underneath the main array.
Other key elements in the Portglenone church’s complete audio overhaul include a 32 channel Soundcraft LX7II, TC Electronics M1 reverb, and a Sennheiser pulpit microphone with ME 35 capsule.