Cathedral Church of the AdventEquipping historic cathedral for the next century
Audio · Control
Our Solution Story
Cathedral Church of the Advent is an historic church near downtown Birmingham that is home to the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. The church’s Nave (sanctuary) dates to 1893, and its extensive campus spans numerous buildings and spaces. The Advent hired dB Integrations to design an improved audio system for the Nave and install a distributed audio system that would share the Nave’s upgraded sound all over the campus.
Audio + Control
The Advent’s old PA system in the Nave produced lots of high-pitched, whining feedback while also being low on intelligibility. Additionally, the choir was lacking an adequate monitor. Of primary concern was hiring a designer who would provide the technology they needed while also respecting the aesthetics of the historic sanctuary. Acoustic panels, while functional, would detract from the Nave’s beauty and were therefore not an option.
dB conducted acoustic modeling to determine the best way to control sound reflections without resorting to acoustic panels. It was vitally important to focus the sound completely on the congregation and not at all on the walls. After analyzing the room, dB selected a Danley Genesis Horn speaker as the main speaker, with coverage perfectly matched to the Nave’s dimensions. Two small fill speakers effectively cover the remaining seating areas, and an 18-inch subwoofer provides low-frequency coverage to the entire room. A single Danley speaker serves as a monitor for the choir and provides wide enough coverage to serve the whole Chancel area. To preserve the aesthetics of the space, dB took paint samples so the speaker cabinet colors could be matched exactly to the walls and ceiling.
The Advent needed a new PA system that could handle a large number of inputs while still being easy for volunteers to operate. dB selected the Allen & Heath dLive system, which can accommodate up to 64 inputs ranging from wireless microphones to instrument microphones. “Snapshot” settings empower volunteers to call up specific settings for the various services without extensive audio tech expertise. Because the church did not wish to have a permanent control booth in the Nave, the control surface is installed on a rolling rack to be brought out only when necessary, but wirelessly accessible at any time.
With the Distributed Audio System that dB designed, Cathedral Church of the Advent can relay the audio from Nave services to every corner of the church campus. A variety of spaces, from the Chapel to the Kitchen to the Garden, have new speakers and volume controls for piping in sound from the Nave. Additionally, the Clingman Commons and the Refectory have microphone and auxiliary inputs, as well as new speakers from QSC, allowing those spaces to act as their own PA systems.
The backbone of this audio system is a Q-SYS platform from QSC. The entire system, including all rooms and zones, is controlled with a 7-inch touch screen on the master equipment rack. A small equipment rack in the Refectory houses a remote interface that allows additional input/output options and connects to the Q-SYS platform with a single CAT6 cable.
The end result is a beautiful, historic sanctuary that is fully equipped for the technology needs of a 21st-century church. And the messages emanating from that sanctuary are now fully integrated into the entire church campus, reaching every person who enters its doors.
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2196 Hilton Dr, Ste A
Gainesville, Georgia 30501
770 534 7620