Dublin church bolstered by Electro-Voice installation

An Electro-Voice (EV) sound system was installed at the church of St. John the Evangelist in Dublin recently, to improve the level of intelligibility and acoustic coverage.

The greatest challenge for the system designers was posed by the room’s acoustics and 2.9-second reverberation time, while one of the main requirements was that the loudspeakers should blend unobtrusively into the background and complement the architecture of the building. Sound Engineering by Design (SED) of Dublin was brought on board to confront these challenges.

To provide powerful and even coverage of the 15 x 20-metre congregation area, SED opted for a horizontal cluster of three loudspeakers flown centrally above the altar – a choice based on simulations of different locations and dispersion angles – and picked EVH loudspeakers from Electro-Voice’s EV Innovation series for the job.

The horn-loaded, two-way coaxial speaker systems are available with six different dispersion patterns, and are especially suitable for highly reverberant rooms. “The EVH horns we installed are operated in full-range mode and have a tight 40 x 30 degree radiation pattern,” said James Walsh of SED. “The directionality of EVH horns is impressively precise – especially so at frequencies well below 1 kHz – and the performance of the system corresponds exactly to the requirements of the building. In fact, despite the problematic acoustics, we have succeeded in achieving a high level of intelligibility.”

Another advantage of the loudspeakers’ tightly controlled dispersion is the reduced risk of feedback from the microphones.

The installation is rounded off by an Electro-Voice ZX1i loudspeaker beside the altar, which provides sidefill for the choir. The system is driven by two EV Q1212 power amplifiers and controlled by a DC-One system processor – also from Electro-Voice.

“In view of the length of the reverberation time, we decided to introduce additional equalisation to optimise intelligibility,” added Walsh. “The response from the parish team and members of the congregation has been uniformly enthusiastic. In the past, everybody agreed that the church had one of the worst sound systems in the entire diocese; now it has one of the best.”

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