From The Desk

The Parish of St. Michael Catholic Church in St. Michael, MN is one of the largest new Catholic churches in the state. Audio Video Electronics (AVE) of Brooklyn Park, MN, was contracted to design and install the acoustics and a versatile sound system for its 1,200-seat sanctuary, to accommodate spoken word, congregational singing, live music, organ music and choir performances with consistent intelligibility and coverage.

The sanctuary features many acoustical challenges, including a 56-foot-diameter domed roof, adorned with an impressive mural. Another challenge was posed by the fact that St. Michael's also required the music and choir to be positioned at the side of the sanctuary, with spoken-word front and center.

After analyzing the sanctuary space with EASE acoustical modeling software, AVE recommended acoustically absorptive wall and ceiling material in key areas, and specified equipment in keeping with the church's request for a top-shelf sound system. The mixing console selected was a Midas Verona.

AVE's Kevin Crow explained, "We chose the Verona because the church had already demonstrated the console and was very impressed. After comparing the Verona to other consoles, it became obvious that Midas offered the most transparent sound and the warmest preamps, and the Verona was the right size, price and offered the best feature set. The church puts on a blend of traditional and contemporary music, including a wide range of instruments like flutes and acoustic guitars that have a very natural sound. The Verona helps maintain the sonic integrity of these instruments all through the signal chain. There are really two sound systems in the space that are matrixed together with the DSP and controlled via the Verona. The left and right channels run the digitally steerable line arrays flown from the columns in the sanctuary for vocals. The music comes from a large-format cluster off to the side of the sanctuary, and is run from its own fader."