Completed in November 2004, The Parish of St. Michael Catholic Church in St. Michael, Minn., is one of the largest new Catholic churches in the state. Audio Video Electronics (AVE; Brooklyn Park, Minn.) were 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 that is adorned with an impressive mural. Another challenge was that St. Michael required the music and choir to be positioned at the side of the sanctuary, with spoken word at 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.
“We recommend Midas consoles because of the sound quality first and foremost, both for more traditional churches like this and in Evangelical churches where higher SPLs are required,” he continued. “For the latter, the Verona really stands out as an intuitive board with responsive controls and a very musical sound: It’s a real pleasure to mix on. And, for the money, you really can’t beat it.”
For more information, please go to www.audiovideoelectronics.com.