Vancouver, BC - In 2013 it was decided that St. Ann's Catholic Church in Penticton, BC (Canada) was in need of a sound system upgrade. The older church, that houses traditional style services, was very suitable for choir and organ performances with the natural echo and reverb of the space complimentary to the sound. The trouble came as that same effect made understanding spoken word incredibly difficult. It was completely unsuitable for sermons and prayer.
Naturally the idea to improve the sound system came to mind so the church contacted AV contractor Points West AV. Texas Peck from Points West AV made went on a site visit and recommended taking the project in another direction to solve the essential sound issues. His plan meant that when the time came that the church did invest in a new sound system, the church would be sonically ready so that it all worked together for the best sound. Peck explains: "The acoustic environment was the highest priority. I recommended they address the acoustics by treating the space with acoustic panels which would immediately improve the sound and intelligibility and would also allow any improvements made to the audio system in the future to function properly. We had just provided a treatment plan and Primacoustic panels to the forest fire center in BC so we got in touch with our contact at Primacoustic."
James Wright, Business Development for Primacoustic, came to Penticton to assess the room and make recommendations. Wright explains: "To maintain the balance between intelligibility requirements and the sonic needs of the church I recommended 20% coverage of the walls. In fact Points West ended up installing 22% of the wall surface in the sanctuary and special attention was paid to the dispersion pattern of the speakers in order to trap first reflections." The panels were chosen in a simple white finish with beveled edges and were spread evenly down the sides of the sanctuary with a cluster of panels on the front of the balcony. "The results are exactly as expected, improved intelligibility in the spoken word while maintaining the natural reverberation that is part of the traditional worship sound. The added bonus is the panels will never need a service call or be obsolete."
This simple solution has received terrific feedback starting with Father Rex of the St. Ann's Parish:"Having Points West do the Primacoustic treatment in the Church really made a big difference! I've heard great feedback from my parishioners...how they can hear much better! The treatment indeed made a difference when it comes to the clearness of the sound."
For more information on Broadway Acoustic Panels