Sé Catedral de Nossa Senhora de Fátima

The Cathedral of Benguela in Angola – Sé Catedral de Nossa Senhora de Fátima – is an imposing piece of modernist architecture – outside and in. Like its counterparts in Europe, the Benguela Cathedral has a highly reverberant interior, prsenting real problems for its sound system.

‘When I first made a detailed Ease model of the cathedral the calculated reverb’ time was 5s at 100Hz,’ says Burton Reid from Event Technology. ‘The reality was no different’.

Reid’s company had been charged with finding an appropriate sound reinforcement solution to a the speech intelligibility problem. Presented by the cathedral’s hard, pyramidal sanctuary ‘This is an almost 20,000m3 space confined by flat concrete walls,’ he says. ‘ I simulated several loudspeaker configurations before deciding upon an appropriate system.’

Based in Namibia, Event Technology is a sales partner to Stage Audio Works (SAW) in South Africa; it was the range of d&b audiotechnik loudspeaker systems, which SAW distributes in the territory that offered Reid his solution.

‘I eventually decided upon d&b Qi7 for mains and delays, with E8s for the balcony and to provide a slight lift in the fill position at the altar. The church conducts simple services daily during the week, but at the weekend there is a small band, usually keyboard and guitars with up to six vocal inputs. For the congregation good uniform coverage was essential, but at relatively low SPLs, not something many modern systems are so good at delivering, but the Qi7 like all the d&b systems works just the same even when driven very lightly. Vocal presence and clarity is essential, the neutral balance of the d&b system unparalleled.’

The cathedral’s management committee pronounced the system perfect: ‘They were really pleased that the priests could now be heard by the congregation,’ said Reid. ‘It has never sounded like this before,’ says Father Franklin, from the church. ‘After the services we were getting thumbs-ups and smiles as the congregation left the church.’

More: www.stageaudioworks.com
More: www.dbaudio.com

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