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The two-minute guide to audio for places of worship

Chapels frequently draw large attendances and require a dynamic audio system to provide complete room coverage for spoken word services, AV presentations and worship group musical performances.

Liverpool, UK, based Adlib’s specialist installation division has completed the design, supply and commissioning of an L-Acoustics’ XTi sound system at the brand new Chapel of the Smithton-Culloden & Nairn Free Church, located just east of Inverness in the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

The weekly main Chapel worship services frequently draw capacity attendances of up to 400 people, and they required a dynamic audio system to provide complete room coverage for spoken word services, AV presentations and worship group musical performances. 

Keen on utilising the latest and highest quality communications technology to reach out to its congregation, Smithton technical manager David Eglinton and other church committee members had also heard the fantastic audio results of L-Acoustics in other venues, and wanted to cost up an L-Acoustics solution for Smithton.

Eglinton contacted L-Acoustics’ UK, whose technical manager Stuart Down discussed some initial loudspeaker options, also advising Eglinton to contact – amongst others – Adlib to undertake and realise the project.

Adlib’s installations team, led by Roger Kirby and John Hughes, has a vast fund of experience and knowledge of using the L-Acoustics brand. They offered additional sonic advice and a detailed audio design for the church. They were not the only company approached, but presented a winning scheme that fitted the church’s budget.

Soundvision modelling software was used to map the church’s acoustic spaces and optimise the audio coverage – a task completed without a site visit due to the rapid construction schedule. Instead Adlib’s design team relied on photographic images of the room, their expertise and AutoCAD plans provided by the architect.

The room’s system design features four flown L-Acoustics 12XTi’s speakers supported by two ground level SB15P subs, positioned towards either side of the elevated performance space. For the arrayed seating, two additional 8XTi s are flown to cover the wider stall seating either side of the room.

To blend in with the brilliant white internal architecture, all the flown speakers and associated hardware have a matching white painted finish.

Adlib specified a single LA4 power amplifier to drive the system. This offers four channels of high efficiency amplification with onboard DSP that can be operated, controlled and monitored over the network using the LA Network Manager PC software.

The software allows the generation of custom programs, so different cabinet ranges can be driven by adjacent channels of a single amplifier.

The actual installation of the sound system was completed by HCVF Television, who was also commissioned by the church to install a projection screen presentation system for the main chapel, plus a multi-room AV network running throughout the building complex.

The loudspeakers deliver a clear, accurate, naturally defined response for spoken word services, and a well balanced tone at the higher sound pressure levels required for the worship and youth group performances.