This thirty year old gymnatorium is used for everything from school assemblies, talent shows, and plays to daily Masses. Most programs occur on the stage, but Masses are celebrated at an altar set up at the geometric center of the playing floor. We designed two sound systems, one for programs presented at the stage and another for the Masses. A total of six custom Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers are used. Two are split left and right just in front of the stage, and cover the front half of the audience. Four more are at the geometric center of the ceiling (over the altar location). The two facing away from the stage work on delay to complete the stage system. The resulting system keeps sound from hitting the rear wall and bouncing forward to cause echoes, but provides smooth coverage throughout the audience. (In the photo, a non-functional loudspeaker left over from the old system can still be seen at the center of the stage).
For Masses, the stage loudspeakers are turned off, all four loudspeakers over the altar are turned on, and the delay is switched off. This system provides good coverage of the worshippers, who surround the altar on all sides. The custom loudspeakers include a bass array, which is designed to minimize spill to the altar below. This minimizes feedback and helps make coverage more uniform.
A third configuration of the system allows portable loudspeakers plugged into a spare power amplifier to cover programs on the outdoor patio.
This is a very low cost system for what it does. It works very well with the "gymnasium" acoustics, and is very simple to operate. All signal processing is accomplished using the new Shure P4800 Soundplex DSP system. The school's maintenance personnel select between the different setups with a simple three position switch.
Sound Planning of Wheaton, IL was the contractor.