As part of its sound system upgrade at the 7,000-seat Sacramento, Calif., church, system integrator Art of Sound installed a Symetrix SymNet 8x8 DSP processor to achieve front-end sound system control.
"The unit's automatic mixing feature, combined with additional signal processing for mics and line arrays, gave the church the ability to easily manage and control the sound system. This was an important consideration given the varied demands placed on it," says Art of Sound integrator, Alonso Camacho, the system designer on this project.
Through the use of a SymNet Adaptive Remote Control (ARC), presets for Monday-through-Friday masses, as well as Saturday and Sunday masses, live radio transmission masses and volume control of the narthex and transept areas were made available. The remote selects preset configurations for these and other system applications.
In addition to installing SymNet, Art of Sound installed AXYS Intellivox, a digitally controlled loudspeaker array, which offers highly accurate directivity and delivers the needed speech intelligibility and even sound pressure level from the front of the nave to the rear of the church, a distance of some 100 feet. Intelligibility was a major concern, given the fact that the facility was designed largely to complement organ pipes and choral singing. Consequently, the spoken word has not been treated equally well by the facility's acoustics.
"Unfortunately, when selecting their original sound system, little or no design was used to select the proper configuration to adequately work and provide speech intelligibility," Camacho says. "Many years went by with constant complaints and frustrations by the parish, congregation and sound technicians."
Another bonus of the speaker selection was its low profile. The units' 4-inch drivers and small physical width allowed the speakers to be concealed against the column from which they were suspended. A single line array was integrated to cover about 95 percent of the main sanctuary. The remaining five percent, as well a gallery area, was covered via two additional boxes.
Also part of the design were Audio-Technica 5000 Series wireless microphones and Countryman E-6 discrete head-worn microphones, which are used to interface with the wireless systems. A Tascam CDA-500 provided CD and cassette playback. The SymNet 8x8 processes the signal feed for six Community CPL-23WT loudspeakers that serve the transept and lobby areas.
For more information about SymNet, visit www.symetrixaudio.com/SymNet_Web/index.htm.