QSC AcousticDesign Loudspeakers Installed as Part St. Malachy’s £3.5m Restoration
February 15, 2010 - Belfast, Northern Ireland - Built in 1844, and the third oldest Roman Catholic church in Belfast, the architecturally-superb St. Malachy’s has been dramatically redeveloped, with between £3.5m- £4m committed to the loving restoration of the brickwork and plasterwork, complete with marble altar, mosaic floor and magnificent ‘wedding cake’ fan-vaulted ceiling.
Closed for 15 months while the renovation was carried out, when parishioners returned they also found a new QSC sound system, which they discovered not only blended in with the white aesthetic, but delivered an intelligibility which they had not imagined possible.
A pair of sleek white polystyrene QSC AcousticDesign AD-S282H 2-way loudspeakers, yoke-mounted vertically onto the sanctuary walls on either side of the altar, provide the dispersion for both the gallery and ground floor seating tiers, while a pair of outfacing high-output AD-S82H 2-way loudspeakers (using the IntelliDock intelligent mounting system) extend coverage to the wrap-around side pews.
Installation contractor Gary McElveen, who runs local PA specialists Communication Systems Ltd, had been introduced to the project by electrical consultants Williams & Shaw. Although a seasoned audio professional, the unusual shape of the building persuaded Gary to seek further advice, and he in turn contacted Jim Hooks at local dealers DJ Kilpatrick.
“The church is extremely wide and narrow, with a gallery that virtually overlooks the altar,” said Gary. “In the 23 years I have been in the business, I have never fitted out a church shaped like this — it was far from being the usual rectangle.”
Since their launch, the discreet QSC AD-S282H 2-way loudspeakers have proven popular for reinforcing historic buildings. The enclosure incorporates two 8-inch weather-resistant, LF transducers with heavy-duty double roll cloth surrounds. These high output loudspeakers also employ a 1-inch exit compression HF driver while the QSC AD-82H 2-way loudspeakers also boast the same contemporary styling, and operate full range.
The usual reverberation associated with Houses of Worship barely manifested itself — fortunately for the installers, since the lack of available time prevented them from commissioning an EASE model of the building. They went purely on experience and McElveen was delighted that he could install the system with a fairly flat EQ and detect no hotspots wherever they positioned themselves among the 1,200 seats.
The low impedance system is backed up by a 100V line recessed ceiling speaker system which also ensures even coverage at the back and out in the entrance foyer.
The QSC equipment was provided by Shure Distribution (UK) Ltd., who also supplied a Shure SLX wireless system (lapel and handheld for the officiating clergy and soloist in the gallery) as well as boundary mic and gooseneck for the lectern.
All presets are stored in a rack-mount mixer in the vestry so that all the officiating clergy need to do is adjust the levels.
Gary McElveen’s first experience with a QSC system could scarcely have been more positive. “I have never heard a PA sound as well as when we turned this on — it was crystal clear.”
Such are the times we live in that that the signal he passed through the system at test stage was liturgical music supplied by the incumbent priest, Rev. Fr. Martin Graham CC… on his iPod! A line input has been provided into the system for this.Fr. Graham also professed to being very happy with the sound — and marveled at the lack of slapback, despite sacrificing the absorption of the previous linoleum covered floor for a stone floor.
QSC Audio Products, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of power amplifiers, loudspeakers, signal processing, digital signal transport, and computer control systems for professional audio markets worldwide. For more information, contact QSC Audio Products, Inc., 1675 MacArthur Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626 USA. Phone: 800-854-4079 (USA only) or 714-754-6175. Fax: 714-754-6174. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.qscaudio.com.
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