June 28th, 2006–SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA–When designing sound reinforcement systems for churches, there are two priorities that are of equal importance. The system needs to provide high intelligibility but it must be aesthetically unobtrusive. The latter is especially true in historic church buildings, where the architecture is often extremely valuable.
Sydney-based church specialist Clare Communications has enormous experience at designing such installations and so takes full advantage of Turbosound’s TCS and Impact series. These combine ultra-high quality acoustics with a small, discreet enclosure and are specifically designed to fulfil the twin requirements.
Clare has recently worked with Matt Donovan from Audio Telex, Turbosound’s Australian distributor, to design and install new systems into two very different Catholic churches in Australia – the Mosman church in Sydney and St Aloysius Catholic church in Cronulla.
The Mosman church system is a traditionally styled building with a vaulted roof and uses three TCS-30s, hung as three single-speaker ‘rows’ above the church’s main seating area. Other areas, including the foyer and sanctuary, are covered by a total of 12 Turbosound Impact 50 and 100v line Impact 50T speakers. The system is powered by three Australian Monitor SY800 power amplifiers, with an AMIS120P for the Impact 50Ts.
Loudspeaker control is by a Peavey Digitool MX, which provides speaker processing, delays and user selectable presets. The Digitool is provided with external controls to facilitate level changes and to switch various speakers on and off, thus ensuring the system always ideally suits the type of service and congregation size.
Complementing the Turbosound system is an Ampetronic ILD252 induction loop amplifier and loop, ensuring the hard of hearing also benefit from the vastly improved sound quality.
The church is extremely pleased with the sound quality of the system. “It is a huge improvement,” says Matt Donovan of Audio Telex. “Further proof can be found in the fact that Clare Communications has since used Turbosound products in a number of other churches, all with great results.”
Clare Communications took a different approach at St Aloysius church. This building is considerably more modern than the Mosman church, featuring a much higher, shallow pitched ceiling. But the TCS and Impact series were still perfect for the job.
The difference in architecture meant that a central cluster of three TCS-56s was flown from the ceiling, providing excellent horizontal coverage, with TCS-30 hung beneath for downfill.
The height of the ceiling and the subtle flying wires for the cluster meant that this was the best way to minimise the visual impact of the installation, at the same time as allowing the excellent coverage pattern to provide unsurpassed audio quality for the congregation. In addition, the upper gallery is covered by four Impact 50s, with a further five covering the Sanctuary, outer foyer and cry room.
The central cluster is powered by two Lab Gruppen IP2100 amplifiers and the Impact 50’s powered by an Australian Monitor SY6125 with system processing is by a Rane RPM26z. Another Peavey Digitool MX is used for microphone mixing and zone control.
Matt Donovan notes: “What was once a very problematic site for acoustics, with a large quantity of omni directional microphones, has now been tamed at an extraordinarily reasonable cost”.
“The parishioners consistently comment on the system’s clarity and almost transparent quality. I get comments like ‘It’s so pleasing on the ear, that I forgot it was on,’” adds Clare Communications’ Donal O’Sullivan. “And the performance of Turbosound loudspeakers in our church installations consistently draws this type of praise.”