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Community Pro ENTASYS line arrays installed at Naval Academy Chapel

To improve intelligibility at the chapel, a technical upgrade comprising Community Pro line arrays were installed with Crestron control and an Avid Venue Digital Mixing Console.

Despite undergoing extensive restoration work in 2009, it wasn’t until recently that the Naval Academy Chapel – a historic focal point for the US Naval Academy and the city of Annapolis, Maryland – found a solution to its reverberant interior with a Community ENTASYS column line array system.

The building’s classic cruciform design centres on a 121ft-high dome, seats 2500 worshipers and includes a 268-rank pipe organ. It’s large volume, hard surfaces and large, high dome meant the space suffered from poor intelligibility and uneven coverage.

New Jersey-based DFX Sound Vision was tasked with fitting a new system based on Community ENTASYS column line arrays.

“We knew we had to keep sound out of the dome as much as possible,” said Drew Juliano, design engineer for DFX, who designed the new Chapel system. “So we installed an ENTASYS triple-stack on each side in the front and added an ENTASYS double-stack on each side towards the rear to cover the mezzanine and choir loft. ENTASYS’ narrow vertical coverage helped us keep sound away from the ceiling and the dome and its wide horizontal coverage helped provide even coverage throughout the seating areas.”

DFX aimed the ENTASYS stacks with a laser to avoid slap echoes from the back wall. The team also added delay to the rear stacks to match the sound arrivals from the front, as well as carefully adjusting levels of the individual loudspeakers to get even coverage throughout the Chapel.

The Chapel hosts religious services for several faiths as well as weddings, funerals and other services. DFX added a Crestron touch-panel control to reconfigure the system to match the needs of these varied events. An Avid Venue Digital Mixing Console is available for special events that need extra microphones and a professional operator. The system was completed with a BSS DSP system and Lab.gruppen power amplifiers.

“The Chapel is very pleased with the system’s intelligibility and coverage,” said Juliano, “and we provided a service contract so we can continue to train new users and adjust the Crestron settings as their needs change.”