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St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church Sings Praises for Iconyx Digitally Steerable Loudspeakers

Poway, CA – February 2012…. More than a decade has passed since Fr. Michael Froidurot and the planning committee at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church set in motion their vision for a new worship space. Recently, the church unveiled their long-awaited new sanctuary to thundering applause from the congregation and accolades from the surrounding south Poway community.

Designed in traditional cruciform style bydesign-build contractor T. B. Penick & Sons, Inc. and architects Hyndman & Hyndman, the church’s patience and meticulous planning are clearly evident in its stunning architecture. Toward the front of the church, the pulpit and altar reside beneath a massive domed wood and aluminum barreled ceiling that has been blow-torched and sanded to give it a rustic appearance. Hundreds of unfinished wood pews sit atop an expansive polished concrete floor, surrounded by a drywall interior.

Although visually stunning, the many reverberant surfaces throughout the new building posed a challenge for AMT Systems Inc., the Santa Clarita, CA-based audio visual contractor responsible for designing and installing the church’s new audio system. Like many contemporary churches, St. Gabriel’s incorporates music into most worship services, with live musicians and vocalists frequently featured in religious services. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, AMT Systems had to provide a steerable system with high intelligibility and musical output.

“It’s a gorgeous looking facility, but acoustically it presented some difficult musicality and intelligibility issues,” explains AMT Systems’ Mike Shelton. “Cruciform architecture presents its own special challenges. Typically you have sound bouncing all over the place, muddying the intelligibility with echoes and timing problems. It’s very hard to get even coverage in cruciform transept spaces.”

Together with St. Gabriel’s, AMT selected Iconyx digitally steerable line array loudspeaker technology from Renkus-Heinz. Two IC32/16-R systems are column-mounted on either s side of the domed ceiling. The pastoral mics route back to a DSP processor controlled by a Crestron touch screen and iPad. All musical instrument inputs route to a Yamaha LS9 mixer. Both inputs remain live throughout the program or service.

Utilizing Beamware modeling software, Shelton configured shape and throw distance to direct sound to the nave and other areas that have previously been dead spaces. Shelton reports that Beamware helped them eliminate much of the need for acoustical treatment, now only necessary on the domed ceiling to ensure maximum sound absorption from its highly reflective corrugated aluminum panels.

“The church has really perfected their use of the Iconyx technology with this audio system,” Shelton says. “They’re extremely pleased with the musical quality and the voice intelligibility is outstanding. Everybody loves the system.”

 

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

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