The audio infrastructure at the UK's historic Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, has been given an upgrade that includes the installation of a QSC Q-Sys audio network – courtesy of integrator RG Jones with product and technical support from Shure UK System Group.
RG Jones project engineer Jake Miller, supported by Shure Systems Group’s Q-Sys experts, developed the bespoke Q-Sys infrastructure. Combining a Core 250i, I/O frame and QSC ISA300Ti amplifiers, the Cathedral’s Q-Sys system is separated into 10 zones to address the requirements of the various and diverse worship services, ceremonial events and meetings held daily throughout the 167m long cathedral. Q-LAN – the audio-over-IP audio networking component of Q-Sys – is used to combine the elements that handle the audio and control the system separately over a straightforward Layer 3 network, utilising standard network switches.
As well as providing the Cathedral with flexible audio networking, the Q-Sys upgrades have significantly enhanced the performance of the audio infrastructure and eliminated excess noise to such an extent that the client has described it as extremely clean. Q-Sys is now providing full control of the original audio system, which was installed by RG Jones over 25 years ago.
RG Jones designed a custom-built user control interface to control Q-Sys; a touchscreen, featuring a graphical representation of the Cathedral, provides simple fingertip control and audio presets for each zone. The Cathedral’s staff can turn zones on and off and activate presets quickly and intuitively without any technical knowledge of the system.
Jake Miller worked with Shure applications engineer Tom Colman to address the finer details of the installation. He commented: “I have worked with Tom and Shure several times in the past and they have always provided great support. I can ring them anytime with a complicated request and they are always more than happy to help.”
Ely Cathedral technical manager Richard Clover commented: “To the non-technical person, Q-Sys is both informative and very easy to use. It provides us with complete control of all microphones and speaker zones in the Cathedral and we are already planning the next phase of the installation, which will allow us to record directly within the system and play pre-recorded visitor messages over the PA system at set times throughout the day. We highly recommend the Q-Sys system.”
“I love the design element of Q-Sys because it allowed me to upload an image of the Cathedral and program Q-Sys so that the members of the church can simply touch and augment the audio in any area,” said Miller. “It is always impressive to provide the customer with a bespoke system that does exactly what they want.”