St. James' Episcopal Church, in Skaneateles, New York has been upgraded with a new Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Gen5 loudspeaker system, designed and installed by DCI Sound.
Over the years, the church has been expanded and renovated several times, but the previous sound system had a number of issues and struggled to deliver sound to the back of the nave.
"The sanctuary seats approximately 400, and they have three services nearly back-to-back," said DCI president and manager David May. "The 9am service is traditional, with a choir and a 1927 Ernest M. Skinner pipe organ. But the 10:30 service has a full contemporary band. So they needed a sound system that could handle everything, from speech intelligibility to contemporary Christian music, and they needed to be able to quickly adjust the system in the 10 minutes between services."
It was important to keep the sound directed at the congregation and away from walls and reflective surfaces, which the Iconyx arrays are well equipped to deliver with its steered beams. "In addition, Iconyx are very musical and have high output, so they can easily handle the praise band. Iconyx Gen5 is even better because you get a more flexible selection of configurations, with even more precision. That means we can customise Gen5 systems even better for the venue, and we can deliver for less money," explained May.
May placed an Iconyx Gen5 IC16-RN digitally steerable line array on house left. Thanks to its multiple steerable beams, this one column covers the left front corner and the entire width of the room from approximately the fourth row all the way to the rear of the sanctuary. To cover the remaining right front corner, May selected a Gen5 IC8-RN digitally steerable array. He added a dummy IC8 column on top of the real IC8-RN to visually match the IC16-RN on the opposite side. Renkus-Heinz' custom paint job enabled the Iconyx columns to blend in with the adjacent woodwork.
In the summer the 10:30 service is held outdoors, along the waterfront. "Outside, we use a network cable to an I/O box in a small portable rack where they can plug in local inputs," explained May. "The rack includes a four channel amp to drive four portable Renkus-Heinz speakers which cover the outdoor services and other events. To provide the flexibility the church needed, we used wireless wherever practical, and the system is configured with a touchscreen controller to choose between the inside and outside systems and also to switch instantly from a service with choir and organ to a contemporary service with a praise band."