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Cambridge college chapel upgrades with JBL, BSS

David Davies 21 February 2011
Cambridge college chapel upgrades with JBL, BSS

RG Jones Sound Engineering has equipped the chapel at Cambridge’s Trinity College with its first sound reinforcement system, featuring 127 JBL Control 52 satellite speakers and multiple BSS Soundweb DSPs.

Having responded successfully to a tender document drawn up by acoustic consultants Peter Mapp + Associates, RG Jones were tasked with implementing a design in a listed building that called for the loudspeakers to be set discreetly on the shelving under the pews and the transformer distribution boxes to be similarly concealed.

The project saw installation manager Jon Berry measuring sequential delay times from each of the mic positions to each of the chapel’s 14 speaker zones (based on seven mic positions feeding eachj of the North and South sides). Advanced programming ensures that the voice of the speaker is hard first at the local position. In addition, a further four zones cover the organ loft (where the equipment rack is situated), the ante-chapel, control screen position and altar.

Berry employed London Architect’s Logic programming of the two Soundweb BLU-100 devices (configured 12-in/8-out) to enable them to sense when audio is being passed into the system. “At the point that it reaches a certain level it will trigger a preset, which sets the delay time appropriate to the particular speaker, ensuring that the listener can detect exactly where the sound source is,” he said. “When two people are speaking from different positions, it will use custom-designed Logic automatically to recall a different preset which will deliver a compromise between the two positions. The system simply auto configures and triggers the delay time, via the Logic preset recalls.”

RG Jones created its own front-end GUI to allow clergy to make easy use of the Soundweb system. A BSS BLU-BOB2 was also incorporated into the design to help accommodate the additional number of zones and the 127 100V line Control 52s, which were specified by Peter Mapp to provide high quality and visually discreet sound. Further boosting the visually sensitive nature of the installation, new speaker cabling and mic Starquad infrastructure has been concealed under the pews and colour-matched to its surroundings.

“This was the first time the chapel had used sound reinforcement, and given the restrictions and number of mic positions, it proved to be a particularly challenging project,” said Berry. “But thanks to the discreet and versatile nature of the Control 52s, and programming flexibility of Soundweb’s London Architect, we have been able to deliver an optimum localised sound to every seat in the room via a simple interface.”

The JBL and BSS equipment was supplied by Sound Technology, Harman Pro’s distributor in the UK/RoI.

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