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Martin Audio OmniLine Solves Acoustical Problems For Third Presbyterian Church

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Rochester, NY––Located near the prestigious Eastman School of Music, Rochester’s Third Presbyterian is a traditional church in the Gothic style which recently underwent a 10-month, $5.4 million renovation.

The AV Solutions team of Mickey Ames and Lead Tech Bryan Dowd, along with Consultant Tom Kostusiak who designed the sound system and acoustician Robert F. Mahoney, did the installation that included a completely upgraded sanctuary and new sound systems.

Challenges for the project included a modest budget, plus the existing acoustics that were very dry and lacked audible delay because of the square shape of the room and thickly carpeted floors. Plus the church doesn’t have a full time AV staff member, so the system had to run in unattended mix mode most of the time.

In addition, Rochester’s Director of Music Peter duBois, who was involved in the install, wanted the option of running attended services with a sound engineer at front of house mix position and the possibility of staging large -scale, Broadway style productions such as Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar. The audio system cost close to $180,000 with the principal design priorities being clarity and the ability to provide controllable coverage that kept sound energy away from the roof. Significant acoustical and structural changes were also made to create a more reflective space for unamplified organ and choir, largely made up of Eastman students and faculty. Project installers had to replace the original speaker system, a large central loudspeaker flown at the ceiling level, at the top of arch above the platform, which also lacked any loudspeaker horns in the balcony. The challenge was placing loudspeakers closer to ear level without creating an eyesore in the traditional sanctuary. AV Solutions chose two hangs of Martin OmniLine micro line arrays that were used to create vertically narrow coverage patterns with 52 speakers, along with two sidefills and a delay array for three balconies. Martin AQ8 speakers were used for choir fills. All OmniLine speakers were painted to match the color of the arch and blend in with the church aesthetics. Modeling software was used to help determine speaker placement, and consultant Kostusiak credits Martin Audio North American Sales Director Robert Hofkamp with playing a crucial role in modeling the speakers for the space. The system also included a Crestron control system and BSS SoundWeb London to provide expandable control and auto-mixing capabilities for everyday services, along with Middle Atlantic enclosures, Shure mics and Whirlwind cabling.

Asked about client reaction to the system, Kotusiak said, “When people walk into the church now and hear the spoken word and music, we want them to be ‘Wowed’?. “We want them to say, ‘Yes, that donation I made is worth it because I can hear so much better, and the choir is beautiful!?

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

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