C for clarity as the xC-Series from d&b provides St Eugene’s Cathedral with clear and vivid sound.
The mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Derry, St. Eugene’s Cathedral opened in 1873 - and through all the years since, generations of congregations will no doubt have struggled with the acoustics inside the soaring stone interior.
Absolute Technologies, with their experience of similar reverberant spaces, from Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin to numerous smaller churches, had an immediate understanding of the challenges. What’s more, they were by this time familiar with the exceptional pattern control and cardioid performance offered by the xC-Series column loudspeakers from d&b audiotechnik.
Ian McKeown of Absolute Technologies says, “Our initial experience of these cabinets was in the demo room at d&b GB. We then used them successfully on a small church installation. This gave us the confidence to specify them.”
McKeown, supported by Oran Burns from d&b’s Application Support team, made an initial design using d&b ArrayCalc software to predict coverage and decide suitable loudspeaker positions. Following this, an in-situ system demonstration was arranged, which confirmed the ArrayCalc predictions and delivered the significant improvement the client was looking for.
The design uses an inner pair of d&b 24C-E cabinets at the front and an outer pair of 24C serving the aisles; further down the room are two more pairs of 24Cs as delays, again arranged as inner and outer pairs. The system is powered by two d&b 10D amplifiers.
Absolute Technologies’ installation manager, Colin McKendry explains, “In a big, highly reverberant room like this, one of the challenges is to stop reflection off the high ceiling, which can be heard as an annoying echo from above. The standard d&b 24C cabinet has six 4” LF drivers and an HF line array, giving us pattern control down below 400Hz. The ‘E’ is an extension to the LF drivers, which sits at the top of the 24C, giving another octave of pattern control, which helps to combat that problem.” The other significant feature of the xC-Series columns is the fact that they’re cardioid in the horizontal. McKendry explains,
While a lot of column loudspeakers lose pattern control at around 2.5kHz, forcing the engineer to EQ out much of the lower frequency information to achieve intelligibility, the cardioid characteristic of the xC-Series extends that horizontal pattern control all the way down to the low frequencies.”Absolute Technologies’ Installation Manager, Colin McKendry
The overall effect, of course, is to minimise reflections from the walls and prevent spill to the rear reaching microphones, reducing the risk of feedback and greatly increasing overall intelligibility throughout the space.
The system’s main use is for speech, but also occasionally acoustic music. The d&b system handles it all perfectly: the tonal quality is excellent and the dispersion is very well controlled.” Ian McKeown, Absolute Technologies
Having d&b’s support gives us access to skills we may not have in-house, plus a high level of knowledge and experience from all types of projects.”Ian McKeown, Absolute Technologies
It gives the customer a great deal of confidence knowing we have the support of the manufacturer behind us.”Ian McKeown, Absolute Technologies
A combination of xS and xC-Series resulted in an unobtrusive, yet powerful system with crystal clear sound that’s transparent in its operation, setting the church up to broaden its offering and serve the community in new ways.
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