LONDON, ENGLAND-Built by Sir Christopher Wren in the 1680s following the Great Fire of London, St. Bride's parish church in Fleet Street is one of the capital's best-known monuments and a house of worship that dates back to the 6th century. Long associated with the printing and newspaper industries, St. Bride's today stages a wide variety of events-from Sunday worship services to lunchtime concerts, weddings, conferences, editors' forums, lectures, and memorial services.
At historic St. Bride's church in London, 16 Martin Audio AQ6 loudspeakers were installed as part of an overall upgrade.
The expanding nature of the church's program exposed serious limitations in the existing public address system, so broadcast/multimedia specialists Interactive View specified the replacement of the old sound rig with 16 discrete Martin Audio AQ6 loudspeakers as part of an overall package. These are powered by three Martin Audio MA900 amplifiers and optimized using Allen & Heath DSP. The AQ6 is a two-way passive trapezoidal speaker with a 6.5-inch long-throw LF driver and a 1-inch horn-loaded dome HF driver, with the vented enclosure ensuring extended bass response.
Refusing the temptation to try and get the new system in before Christmas, the system integrators, working alongside an IT and sound specialist who was on the church's board of trustees, put together a more elaborate solution.
This included a Sharp 20-inch video monitor, Panasonic DVD recording and broadcast facilities for media streaming to the web, with a single fixed camera point-all under AMX master control. To facilitate this, a new Cat-5 cabling infrastructure was required.
"We wanted to take this opportunity to look to the future," said church administrator, James Irving, "and to be able to relay what we're doing beyond the church. We have also provided a bit of headroom for the choir in the shape of some boundary mics."
In particular, Irving is delighted with the sensitivity with which Interactive View have treated the mounting of the AQ6's in the Grade I-listed building.
"There is a lot of oak paneling and they have been able to work within the dovetails to ensure that nothing is protruding and the speakers are angled correctly. Aesthetically they are superb-we have used grey AQ6s where they abut the stonework and black everywhere else."
He confirmed that the work had been funded by a private donation from a member of the congregation. "It had become top priority and I must say it's a dramatic improvement. The first time we used the Martin system at a Sunday service everyone said how much they noticed the difference. Now guest speakers can be heard by everyone-whether they are professional or not."