St Mary’s Church in Leigh

Old Barn Audio are extremely experienced at installing audio and video systems into churches. So when St Mary’s Church in Leigh got in touch we were only too happy to help. Their needs were fully assessed and our proposal was accepted.

The existing system had clearly served their needs for some time. The demands placed on it, however, were beyond what it was initially designed for.

The speakers in particular were inadequate. Their current position needed to be changed for sonic reasons. It is always understood that aesthetics are a major consideration in protected buildings. However there is little point in installing a new system for sonic reasons that would be hampered unduly and perform poorly if aesthetics became the major overriding factor.

For instance, placing speakers at the front of a church near to the position of powerful lectern, pulpit and radio microphones is never wise due to the increased potential for feedback. Additionally, speakers in an elevated position at the front that are turned up loud enough to radiate sound to the rear will also radiate sound upwards and sideways, where no one sits. Accordingly, much of the sound doesn’t go where intended. It bounces around the hard reflective stone surfaces which creates echoes that in turn decrease intelligibility.

The System

The ideal audio solution for this Kent church is a number of speakers directed downwards. Specifically to serve “zones” within the church. Thus promoting intelligibility, clarity and linearity of sound which is what Old Barn Audio always seeks to achieve.

Martin Audio speakers now serve the nave centre and ensures all centre nave seats receive clear and uninterrupted audio. Speakers have then been sited on the other side of the columns on the right hand side to serve the side aisle. A pair of speakers then also serve the chancel. The centre nave speakers have been mounted higher and directed downwards.

Digital mixers are far superior and well suited for use in churches. These wireless mixers have no surface controls so cannot be tampered with, so any adjustments (when required) are always via a tablet or Smartphone, which is always password protected. The options available are way beyond those found on any analogue mixer, which allows every microphone or instrument signal to be tuned accurately to the room.

The 16-channel model has 2 on board USB ports. One port  is for wireless music playback, so any music stored as MP3 on a memory stick can be selected and controlled wirelessly from anywhere in the church. The second USB port is for recording. Any or all signals passing through the mixer can be sent to a memory stick for storing, editing or playback as desired.

Two twin channel digital power amplifiers were specified. Creating 4 zones – nave front, nave rear, side aisles and chancel. All zones will now be individually controllable for volume and tonality.

Products Used

6 x Martin Audio CDD6 in black
2 x Martin Audio CDD5 in white
1 x Channel digital audio mixer
2 x Crown XLS102 digital amplifiers
6 x microphones for different uses
1 x lockable equipment cabinet
1 x 24″ touchscreen monitor

Next steps

Please get in touch if you want to enquire about an effective sound system for a church, hall or other venue, such as St Mary’s Church in Leigh. Either on +44(0) 1892 752246, by email or our contact form and someone will get back to you.

Photo creds to Leigh Journal for the photo.