St. Leander Catholic Church in San Leandro, California, recently reconfigured their sanctuary to bring the worship experience closer to their members. The redesign included the installation of a new sound reinforcement system featuring Tannoy Qflex array loudspeakers.
Leo’s Professional Audio, based in Oakland, California, was asked to assist in designing and installing the new sound system.
“The redesign involved moving the alter from the back of the rectangular sanctuary to the center of one of the longer walls,” explains Graham Cooper, vice president of the contracting division at Leo’s Professional Audio. “The pews were moved to create semi-circular seating around the new alter area. As a result, the new system was designed to cover an area that was much wider than deep.”
The sanctuary, approximately 60’ x 120’, was a “vast cavernous space” with all of the hard, reflective surfaces one would expect in an older, traditional sanctuary. It was imperative to steer the sound to the seating areas and minimize any bounce back from the hard surfaces.
Cooper placed two Qflex 24 array powered loudspeakers to the left and right of the alter. The structure of the alter platform and the location of the choir area stage right dictated the placement of the loudspeakers at 15-feet above the floor.
The Qflex 24s, just under 5-feet tall with less than a 7-inch width and depth, were painted to match the décor of the church making their presence barely noticeable. With a horizontal dispersion of up to 120 degrees, Cooper was able to focus the output to cover the majority of the seating area and maximize the vocal intelligibility of the system.
“Because the room was very wide, there were a few seats in the sanctuary that were not covered by the Qflex system ,” adds Cooper. “To ensure every seat was a “good” seat we installed four Tannoy Di5DCs spread out along the front wall so that they would hit the areas at the far ends of the room as well as right under the Qflex lousdpeakers. The end result was very impressive.”
The original alter area, set off from the main sanctuary, was converted to additional seating which required extra audio support. A single Tannoy i7 line array column bracket-mounted to an adjacent column, provides ample coverage.
A nearby confessional turned rack room is home to a Lab.gruppen 5.4x amplifier to power the Di5DCs and i7 boxes. The rack includes a Rane digital signal processor for delay and EQ supplemental and two Rane auto mixers control the microphones and CD player. To provide easy on/off of the system and minimal interference to system set-up, Cooper used a Lyntek PD510-4 sequenced power system with the on/off panel located outside of the locked rack room.
“The system is literally push and play,” he explains. “They don’t even have to open the rack room to get everything up and running. The coverage is outstanding and the vocal intelligibility better than ever before. The parishioners are absolutely delighted with the new system.”