For nearly a century, St. Lucy Parish has been a cornerstone of religious life in Campbell, CA. Its congregation grew steadily throughout the 1900s, prompting moves to ever-larger facilities, and culminating in the construction of a 1,200-seat sanctuary in 1967.
Today, St. Lucy Parish holds daily mass in that sanctuary, and on the weekend it is filled repeatedly for multiple masses, many of which use different musicians and groups that tailor their messages to different groups. Recently, the church hired local AV integrator Zamar Media Solutions of San Jose to replace its decades-old sound reinforcement system. The new system is centered on a pair of cost-effective Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 DSP, which network together seamlessly using the Dante protocol and provide customized, open-architecture programming.
“St. Lucy Parish had been limping along with an insufficient sound system that was twenty- or thirty-years old,” explained Michael Dow, president of Zamar Media Solutions. “It was characterized by rack mixers with big knobs and inadequate ceiling speakers. I drew up a proposal for them a few years ago, but they decided to wait. However, the old system recently failed completely, and they called me up. I dusted off my earlier proposal and made a few edits to bring it up to date.”
For example, Dow had originally specified Symetrix SymNet Express DSP, but with the new Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 now available, he recognized that it would provide more processing power, a better I/O count, and near-zero latency Dante networked audio.
In addition to the new DSP, Dow and Zamar Media Solutions customer, system programmer Tim Fairbairn equipped St. Lucy Parish with an entirely new front end and an entirely new loudspeaker system. Four new Shure ULXD digital wireless microphones replaced their old wireless mics. In addition, new Audix MG15 podium microphones and a pair of Audix M1255 condensers for the choir provide full-frequency capture worthy of the system’s back end. Music playback devices, an on-stage PreSonus band mixer, and multiple input jacks complete the input list. Powersoft’s M-series amplifiers power Martin Audio OmniLine loudspeakers and subwoofers, arrayed as left-right main, left-right side fill, and center subs. Distributed sound provides coverage throughout the building. Additional outputs include a Listen Technologies assisted listening system and a Denon PMD580 MP3/Wave recorder.
“There are a lot of differences from service to service, both in terms of the musicians present and in terms of the audio media required, and St. Lucy Parish is benefitting from the SymNet Radius 12x8’s ability to customize the processing on each of the many input channels,” said Dow. “Between the two boxes, we have twenty-four inputs and sixteen outputs, and any input can be sent to any output because they are networked together using Dante. We’re happy to see that Dante is being embraced by the industry because it’s easy to use and has almost no latency.”
Fairbairn and Dow programmed the SymNet Radius 12x8s using Symetrix’ SymNet Composer software, which proved to be a transparent upgrade in feature set from the previous design software, SymNet Designer. “Users control the system using an Extron TLP 1000MV ten-inch touchscreen, which communicates with the SymNet Radius 12x8 system, the Furman power sequencing, the Denon PMD850 recorder, the music playback devices, and the entire dual screen projection system.
Fairbairn was present at the choir’s first experience with the new system. “The choir members were absolutely floored by the quality of the new sound system,” he said. “Indeed, this marks the first time ever that the choir can be heard by the rest of the congregation. During practice, the choir members took turns touring the seating area while the rest kept singing so that everyone could hear how well the choir can be heard now. Also, while the organist was playing for the choir, the choir could be clearly heard over the organ, a new experience! I overheard a lot of happy responses to the system at the following mass, such as ‘night and day!’ and ‘remarkable!’”