Completed in 1955, Loyola Marymount University's Sacred Heart Chapel has been a part of the Los Angeles coastline for more than a half century. Sacred Heart Chapel is a basilica-style church spanning some 26,000-square feet and accommodating more than 1,000. Its tall stained glass windows, long hanging chandeliers, terrazzo tile and concrete and marble pillars make for an architectural gem, but create something of an acoustical nightmare.
Given the building's historic status, integrating new high-tech audio and lighting systems proved to be a challenge for Winnetka, CA-based Simon Productions. Principal designer and engineer Terry Stewart explains the decision to replace the Chapel's existing distributed system with an Iconyx digitally steerable array from Renkus-Heinz.
"We knew we wanted to go with a steerable line-source system, to enable us to aim the source beam directly into the seating area and minimize the sound hitting any reflective surfaces," Stewart says. "We chose the Renkus-Heinz Iconyx systems for their ability to produce highly articulate sound while maintaining good musical punchiness, even at high SPL in rooms with high reverb times."
The system utilizes several Iconyx IC24-R units mounted on the Chapel's marble columns. Low-frequency reinforcement is covered by PNX212-SUB subwoofers, providing musical versatility for the church's praise and worship band. The balcony areas are served with Sygma Series SGX61 and SGX81 cabinets, with compact TRX81 units providing monitoring for the choir and band.
Another goal, according to Stewart, was to allow for minimal visual and aesthetic impact.
"The Iconyx cabinets' clean white lines blend exceptionally well with the Chapel's architecture, and don't detract from the worship experience," he said.
"With the installation of this new system, I've realized how much a sound system can make or break a music ministry," said Antonio Alonso, the church's musical director. "The Iconyx IC24-R has made the music come alive in vibrant ways we never thought were possible. Most impressive is the way it can make such a diversity of music sound natural and warm. From chant and traditional pieces to contemporary folk and praise pieces, the Iconyx delivers musically."