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Renkus-Heinz steerable arrays solve reverb issues at Basilica cathedral

Duncan Proctor 3 August 2015
Renkus-Heinz steerable arrays solve reverb issues at Basilica cathedral

Sao Paolo’s Basilica Nosa Senhora do Rosario has opted for a Renkus-Heinz Iconyx steerable loudspeaker system to control the complex acoustics of the cathedral.

The Basilica was built less than 10 years ago and is visited by more than 1,200 pilgrims each month. However, the Gothic-style architecture makes it a reverberant space, which means designing and installing a suitable modern sound system is challenging. The brief for the installation stated the system had to be visually unobtrusive and deliver clear, intelligible sound. Diego Nascimento Brito and the team at systems integrator AMI Music of Sao Paulo utilised Renkus-Heinz Iconyx technology for the project.

“Masses at the basilica are very traditional, with no instrumental music but a lot of Gregorian chant, along with spoken word,” explained Brito. “To handle the main part of the room, we mounted a pair of Renkus-Heinz IC16-R-II digitally steerable line arrays to the columns that flank the base of the steps to the stage. From there, we could steer multiple beams to cover the room while minimising the effects of the many reflective surfaces.”

With a building such as the Basilica, it was imperative that the sound system was well concealed. To accomplish this, Brito had Renkus-Heinz customise the paint so that the slim, low-profile IC16-RII columns were the same shade of crimson as the walls.

The altar is behind the IC16s and therefore outside their coverage area. The chorus is up in the mezzanine, and there’s an arched corridor. To serve these areas, Brito chose Renkus-Heinz IC7-II mechanically steered array loudspeakers. While they employ the same triple-tweeter technology and natural sound reproduction as the IC16-R-II, the IC7-II’s fixed acoustical beam is particularly well suited for side fill, front fill, and short throw applications that don’t require programmable control. That enabled Brito to precisely cover the smaller areas.

A pair of Renkus-Heinz IC7-II columns serves the altar, painted a custom shade of brown so they blend in with the decor. Another pair of IC7-IIs serves the mezzanine.

For the corridor area, the AMI team installed a pair of stacked IC7-II columns on either side of the front of the corridor, beneath the arches (four IC7-II units total). A delayed pair of IC7-IIs was mounted further down the corridor.

“The combination of the IC16-R-II main pair and the 10 IC7-IIs has worked perfectly,” said Brito. “The client says everything is fantastic, they love the system, and they want us to put a Renkus-Heinz system in the sacristy as well. People from other local churches have come to the basilica to check out the new sound system. Everyone has been very impressed.”

For more information on Renkus-Heinz steerable loudspeakers

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