Old Barn Audio (OBA) recently called on to Martin Audio’s CDD loudspeaker series when faced with a challenging installation at the refurbished St Joseph’s College Chapel in Ipswich. Forced to close for three years when it fell into disrepair, the chapel has been brought back to life after a major revamp costing £750,000. Written into the upgrade programme was the provision for a new sound system.

St Joseph’s College ChapelThe chapel itself belongs to the independent school, St. Joseph’s College, who approached OBA as the result of a recommendation. OBA Project Manager Phil Clark visited the site and discovered a pyramid shaped building without internal walls – and thus no fixing points – and a 60m-high pitch. His solution was to install three clusters of three CDD8 loudspeakers, pointing in each direction and carefully angled to suit the dispersion requirement. Two further CDD8 are positioned either side of the nave, while a slimline SX210 was of perfect dimension to be recessed under the stage, which bears the marble altar.

‘The space is 50m across and 50m deep, with arches separating three sides of the pyramid,’ Clark explains. ‘A standard wall or column mounting scenario was not available, so the only option was to mount the clusters on the underside of the arches to serve the venue.’

The OBA director first used Ease to model the room. ‘We designed the space into eight zones in order to time align the speakers with Smaart and to ensure each zone had linearity of sound. We could then control them individually and run these clusters at a lower level to avoid as little echo as possible in the venue.’

The CDD solution serves a number of purposes. As St Joseph’s is a musical college, a variety of musical ensembles will play through it – from string quartets to full classical set-ups. ‘As we all know about CDD it is a beautiful, smooth box with a nice analogue feel to it all wrapped up with a twist of modern technology and crispness,’ Clark says. ‘ We specify it all the time because it just works.’

To complete the installation, OBA programmed tablets to control the system via an internal network with access points, while ensuring all cabling has been carefully concealed.

‘The Old Barn Audio team designed and supplied a fantastic system for us,’ reports St Joseph’s College, IT Network Manager, Keiron Orri. ‘ They listened to our needs and, even though it is a challenging building, they were able to deliver exactly the end result we desired. The advice to use the Martin Audio CDD range was perfect; it supplies a warm and professional sound throughout the whole chapel. We will definitely be working with Old Barn on future projects as they arise.’

More: www.martin-audio.com

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