Behind the tomb of Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo, the second-most visited Catholic shrine in the world, stands the new Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church. Designed by Genoan architect Renzo Piano, it is able to seat 6,500 pilgrims, with room for 30,000 more in the olive tree-lined outdoor precinct. However, despite excellent natural acoustics, problems arose with the sound reinforcement system originally installed for the 2004 opening.
The contractor partner of Adeo Group, Renkus-Heinz’s Italian distributor, specified a new system comprising just three Iconyx digitally controlled line arrays for a main hall requiring a 65m throw. Fill speakers, needed when the perimeter doors are opened, use parts recovered from the original installation.
The audio set-up currently has 40 inputs, including gooseneck mics at the pulpit, altar and celebrant’s chair, wireless models for the officiants, and a ‘tree’ of 10 shotgun mics for the organ, the choir and solo instruments such as flute or violin, plus feeds from multimedia rooms in another area of the church. There are also recording facilities for use by Tele Radio Padre Pio, with an option for remote-controlled operation. Audio automation is via touch-panels with a GUI developed by Adeo.
A similar system is now planned for the shrine itself.