Foothill Ranch, CA (May 26, 2009)–The Catholic Church of St. Ann in Marietta, Georgia recently completed a $5 million architecture, audio and video renovation that included the installation of a Renkus-Heinz Iconyx IC32 system.
A marble sanctuary, tile floors and new radius-designed wooden pews, while visually stunning, presented a challenge to intelligibility and the quality of music. Reverberation times (RT) of 1.4 to 1.5 seconds mid-band rose to 2.4 to 2.5 seconds after the refurbishment, says D. Wayne Lee, P. E. of A/V consultants Lee Sound Design, as the firm had predicted following its modeling of the renovated sanctuary in EASE 4.1 and 4.2 with AURA. He adds: “We spent considerable time educating the client about the subjective impact of the planned acoustical changes on both sound system performance and the environmental noise levels that would accompany normal activity.”
The Church of St. Ann has embraced contemporary Christian music, with a full band as the core of its music ministry. The existing sound system, with Renkus-Heinz TRAP 40 loudspeakers in a tight array and with TRX61 under balcony loudspeakers and dual-18-inch subwoofers, had served it well; but the new space demanded a smaller visual loudspeaker footprint.
Lee Sound Design’s first step was to install 1,000 square feet of fabric acoustical wall systems, reducing RT to two seconds. For a sound system capable of delivering both contemporary worship music and intelligible speech in the still-reverberant space, he opted for Iconyx Digitally Steerable Arrays. “We have wide experience with steerable-beam line arrays in acoustically difficult spaces, which has helped us build a reputation in these types of rooms.”
Using Renkus-Heinz BeamWare and Ease Aura, Lee modeled two IC32 arrays in the new sanctuary. “We can cover the main floor and the balcony with the same array, by using an upper beam,” he says. “I was impressed by the ability of the system to cover the wraparound balcony with minimal level variation, and by the music quality of the Iconyx array. We’re using it down to 100 Hz, with subwoofers coming in below that frequency.” The subs are Renkus-Heinz PNX212s, driven by Crown CT amplifiers. He also specified a Hear Technologies HearBack system for the band, to control stage volume and minimize reflections off the marble altar.
The system’s ‘brains’ are a Roland V-Mix console and Biamp Nexia processors, with Creston control panels for both audio and a video system that includes a Vaddio pan/tilt camera with Extron switching distributing signals to Eiki projectors and Sharp flat screen monitors.
In the Nave, where more acoustic treatment reduced RT to around two seconds, speech is the focus, and the consultant specified four Iconyx ICX7 fixed-beam arrays for high speech intelligibility in this social gathering area, along with two dummy enclosures for visual symmetry.
Messenger Media Systems of Covington, GA, an InfoComm International Gold Certified AudioVisual Solutions Provider, was awarded the installation contract, totaling around $235,000. Technical Supervisor Christopher Bragg says their biggest challenge was simply “pulling the wire, because the conduit had to snake through the much older existing structure. On the plus side, the Iconyx enclosures were very easy to install, aim, and program.”
The man most responsible for making sure that the Church of St. Ann realized the goals of this ambitious capital project was Parish Administrator Jim Herrel. “The new system has helped us reach our goals completely”, he said. “The music is as powerful as it ever was, and the spoken word is crystal clear anywhere in the church. We have clearly seen an improvement in participation in our liturgies with the use of this completely coordinated system. This was a partnership where everyone came together to make it happen.”