Bath City ChurchOpened as one of the last cinemas to be built for the era of silent movies, Bath City Church occupies the beautiful art deco Forum. The latest chapter in its history is an extensive refurbishment of its audio infrastructure by Autograph Sales & Installations.

In addition to the very diverse religious activities of the church, this also had to attract potential hire clients for other meetings and events.

Bath City Church

With a capacity of 1,600, the building is a contemporary worship location that also provides conference and concert facilities. The project’s goal was to update the installed audio systems such that they would not only handle the very diverse religious activities of the church, but also make the location more attractive to potential hire clients for other meetings and events.

Autograph won the contract to design and supply a new loudspeaker system, amplifiers, mixing console, cabling and ancillary items, as well as to supervise the engineering services required. The existing front of house mixing position needed to be moved, which required the construction of a new riser and surround enclosure to accommodate it. Autograph appointed a preferred sub-contractor for this part of the works, a specialist construction company whose expertise lies in listed buildings and worship sites.

Dante’s Paradiso

The entire install hinges on digital networking – from the desk outputs onwards everything is Dante.

The new loudspeaker system also required new flying points to locate it correctly, and holes were cut in the plaster ceiling to allow the chains to pass through from their secure points in the roof space. The system can be removed when necessary by accessing the chain hoists in the roof space from a walkway.

EM Acoustics Halo-C Autograph specified the new EM Acoustics Halo-C compact line-array loudspeaker system. ‘Like most rooms originally designed to deliver sound to a large audience without amplification, The Forum presented real challenges when designing and installing a sound reinforcement system,’ says Project Manager, Chris Austin. ‘Fortunately we’ve worked in numerous locations of this kind previously, and we found Halo-C to be the perfect choice for the project, and not just because of its outstanding acoustic performance - its small size allows a powerful system to be very unobtrusive, and its accuracy allowed us to achieve a very tightly-defined coverage right across the stalls. It is also remarkably cost-effective, as up to 16 cabinets can be powered from a single amplifier.

‘We specified Lab Gruppen PLM-series amplifiers not only because of their reliability and audio performance, but also because of their onboard processing and Dante compatibility, which made a huge difference to the cabling infrastructure,’ he continues. ‘A single PLM10000 is located in the roof space and this powers all the Halo-C mid/high enclosures, while another lives in a side-stage rack (with a Lake LM-44 and the DiGiCo D-Rack), powering all the EMS-51 front fills, which are attached to the stage lip using brackets custom-made by Autograph. Using Dante allowed us to locate the amps closer to the loudspeakers, thus reducing the cost of the project even further as there was less requirement for copper cabling.’

The preferred mixing console was a DiGiCo SD9 with a D-Rack, which also helped contain project costs: ‘Using the DiGiCo D-Rack gave us the option of moving all the audio signals around the room via inexpensive Cat5 cable rather than expensive copper multicore,’ Austin explains. ‘In fact, the entire install hinges on digital networking, since from the desk outputs onwards everything is Dante with the processing being in either a Lake LM44 (for the under-balcony speakers and outer zone PA systems) or a Lab Gruppen PLM 10000Q amplifier’.

Tender mercies

‘After a tender process to narrow it down to two possible suppliers, we went in to demo the full system during a weekend. We later went back to try out some alternative subwoofer locations because the room is extremely absorptive of low frequencies. We eventually settled on a centrally-located end-fired set-up which will be further refined in due course, as we believe we can further improve the low-frequency coverage. The new system provides seamless coverage of the stalls as specified, but we also designed-in a future fit option for the balcony. During commissioning we brought in additional EM Halo-Compact loudspeakers to create pre-sets for an expanded system, so extra modules can be easily integrated with the installed system if necessary, without the need for re-tuning.’

‘In common with many projects of this kind, we spent a lot of design and engineering time in reconfiguring and re-using as much of the existing equipment as we could,’ Austin concludes. ‘For example, we relocated the existing mains power supply and analogue multicore to the new mix position and kept the existing under-balcony speakers, just updating their power to new Lab Gruppen E-Series units. This helps to keep the overall project costs down of course, and by carefully combining new and existing items we managed to produce a fully integrated system that suits the venue and the intended applications perfectly’.


TwitterGoogle BookmarksRedditLinkedIn Pin It An independent news site and blog for professional audio and related businesses, provides a platform for discussion and information exchange in one of the world's fastest-moving technology-based industries.
Fast Touch:
Author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fast Thinking:Marketing:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: Latitude Hosting