Reverberant Chapel Gets Audio Makeover

Sacramento, CA (January 9, 2008)-- Foothills Chapel at Beale Air Force Base north of Sacramento, had a bit of a problem with standing waves and intelligibility, which made a recent audio upgrade a bit more difficult than might normally be expected.
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Sacramento, CA (January 9, 2008)-- Foothills Chapel at Beale Air Force Base north of Sacramento, had a bit of a problem with standing waves and intelligibility, which made a recent audio upgrade a bit more difficult than might normally be expected.

"The building is designed like an old A-Frame, with a high peaked roof," said Chris Miller of Skip's Music in Sacramento. "The ceiling is covered with hardwood panels, the side walls are sheet rock, and the floor is covered with rows of hardwood pews. Oh, and the rear wall is concrete to about halfway, and above that are two large stained glass windows."

When it came time to install new loudspeakers, Miller's main concern was keeping the sound away from the abundant reflective surfaces. "We did an EASE drawing of the place, and decided to hang two small arrays left and right, to keep reflections to a minimum," says Miller. "But then the Chaplin nixed that idea. He was adamant that the speakers not be visible."

Miller chose a single Community iHP1594 two-way cabinet with 90 x 40-degree rotatable horn pattern, augmented by a single i115S 15-inch subwoofer. "We needed a speaker with a really tight coverage pattern, to keep sidewall reflections to a minimum," he says. Adding to the challenge was the location of the mix position, right up against the very live back wall. "We needed the right horn angle that would get the sound to the mixing desk but drop off before it hit that back wall. "

With the aid of a cherry-picker, the two cabinets were flown inside the ceiling's 55-foot peak. "It really sounds quite amazing," says Miller. "I'd never have believed a single speaker cabinet could do such a good job of covering such a big massive space. Our original design had called for a fair amount of acoustic treatment on the back wall, but it turned out we didn't need it after all."

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