St. Mary's Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, located in Tarzana, Calif., recently christened its new sanctuary featuring an EAW sound reinforcement system.
- The new building replaced a church destroyed during a fire more than three years ago. A church committee tapped Bob Ludwig, owner of Audio Techniques Pro, located in nearby North Hollywood, to design new sound systems for the sanctuary, the choir loft/balcony, and a small chapel located off the altar.
"When the committee approached me about a new sound system, it was clear that intelligibility was a top priority," said Bob Ludwig of Audio Techniques. "It needed to be relatively simple to operate and provide some control of the system from the altar. I have installed a lot of EAW systems in churches and felt confident they had the products that would fit their needs and stay in budget."
The rectangular-shaped sanctuary, which seats up to 500, features a cathedral ceiling, a tiered altar, a dome above the altar, and a choir loft/balcony in the back of the room. From the flaxen-color Jerusalem stone floors to the stained glass windows depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments, the space's hard surfaces made vocal intelligibility a challenge.
Ludwig specified two KF394s mounted to the left and right of the altar for the main system. The KF394 is a passive three-way, full-range loudspeaker loaded with dual 10-inch LF cones, and a mid/high-frequency coaxial component made up of a 1.4-inch MF cone, and a 1.4-inch exit HF compression driver."We were looking for stand-alone loudspeakers that would reproduce loud, high-quality sound," said Ludwig. "The KF394 works perfectly and provides excellent intelligibility."
Delay is provided by two more JF10s installed on the side walls, half way down the church. An additional pair of JF29s are mounted high in the ceiling to cover the balcony area. As a bonus, the balcony delay speakers can be turned off when the balcony is empty to improve the overall acoustics in the sanctuary.
In order to reinforce the choir, which performs in the rear balcony of the sanctuary, Ludwig installed another pair of JF29 loudspeakers to the left and right of the balcony. This system is separate from the main P.A. and allows the sound from the choir to come from the source of the audio (ie. speech or choir/music). The choir-only system is turned on/off from the AV booth, which is also located in the balcony.
Ludwig explains that during regular services there is normally someone in the control room who switches reinforcement from the main P.A. to the choir P.A. as needed, so church members get the best of both worlds. When only a small system is required the priest can turn on the system, select a microphone and adjust the levels from the altar with no other assistance required.