Dating from 1623, the First Bangor Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland is an example of a traditional, early-Victorian Presbyterian meetinghouse. More contemporary, however, is the church’s high level of organisation, how specific its requirement for a new sound system, and how realistic it was over the size of the budget required.

Bangor Presbyterian Church ‘In addition to a new sound system they wanted full A/V and lighting as well,’ says Roger McMullan, Project Manager at nearby contractor Rea Sound, who were contacted by church manager George Monaghan regarding the planned project. ‘The client wanted absolute clarity at every seat. Previously, they had speakers everywhere, but they simply didn’t work.’

In view of the dimensions of the 700-seat facility – with a balcony, and pulpit set in a semi-circle – a Martin Audio CDD system was specified using their unique Coaxial Differential Dispersion design. This met the requirement for a distributed sound system.

One of five companies approached, Rea Sound responded successfully to a high-budget tender that included HD cameras, projection screens, 40-inch x 60-inch LCD Sony panels and all control equipment for picture-in-picture and live streaming.

With regard to the sound, McMullan says, ‘No-one else could show what the equipment would achieve. I explained that the Martin Audio CDD we were proposing would guarantee speech clarity, cater for a live band and provide full intelligibility in every seat. In the end we never needed to conduct a demo – they simply went with us.’

With the former installation ripped out, a new main system was installed – comprising a cluster of three Martin Audio CDD10 (10-inch) speakers, four CDD6 facing out to the wings (two per side) and eight further CDD6 fixed to the balcony underside using purpose-designed ceiling brackets, and delayed from the main system.

Bangor Presbyterian Church Directly beneath the CDD10 cluster is a pair of Martin Audio Blackline X210 subwoofers, recessed under the platform. The passive speakers are powered and managed by a Martin Audio iKon iK8 8-channel amplifier.

‘It’s a very live-orientated worship, with the band playing all the time – and hence we needed the subs,’ says McMullan, explaining the decision.

At the same time, Rea Sound doubled the size of the mixing position by removing two rows of seating, and provided the church with a new Allen & Heath SQ-6 digital mixer.

‘This was a perfect project,’ McMullan reflects. ‘The new installation has also allowed the church to be used as a conference facility which wasn’t possible before. So it’s given them a further option.’

‘The whole project went really well with Roger and his team, and ended up fantastically successful,’ George Monaghan adds. ‘The audio quality throughout the entire church is great.’

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