To help facilitate its new stature as a basilica, a new sound reinforcement system was recently implemented in the sanctuary of Sainte Anne de Detroit church in Detroit that’s headed up by a custom design from ISP Technologies and installed by veteran integration firm BC Sound & Stage of Battle Creek, MI.
Founded in 1701 and operating continuously since that year, the (now) Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit, the second oldest continuously operating Catholic parish in the U.S., was named a minor basilica by Pope Francis in the spring of 2020. Monsignor Charles Kosanke, rector of the basilica, states “In celebrating this honor, we embrace our added responsibility as a basilica to increase our efforts to serve as a welcoming place of prayer and spiritual renewal for all who visit.”
Chief goals of the sonic upgrade included high intelligibility and usability joined by meeting aesthetic requirements. Adam Kane, lead integrator for BC Sound, says, “The historic Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit presented many complex demands that were fairly typical of this style of architecture. High-fidelity and intelligibility at all seats was a top concern. The system also had to combine the ability to be versatile enough to accommodate the wide array of service types while being easy enough for operators of various skill levels to use.”
To meet the needs of the project, ISP Technologies designed a custom loudspeaker cabinet joined by matching brackets that would blend in with the sanctuary’s historic features while meeting the stated sonic objectives. The company also implemented its proprietary High Definition Distributed System that runs both audio and power on one line of Cat-6 cable,
In total, ISP fashioned 28 loudspeakers in a custom size and color, including the grilles and brackets, to match the support columns custom size and color loudspeakers, including the grills and brackets, to match the columns throughout the sanctuary. BC Sound the installed the newly designed HDDS 2108 loudspeakers designed with an emphasis on midrange clarity so both the spoken word and song are clear. The entire system is controlled with two ISP HDDS MC1000 zone controllers.
BC Sound time-aligned the loudspeakers with each row tuned and delayed to match the sound from the loudspeakers in front of them. They were also carefully aimed to maximize coverage to the seating area and minimize the amount of acoustic energy hitting the walls. Overall control of the system is via a custom-designed user interface based on the QSC Q-SYS ecosystem with 8-inch touchscreens providing access for user control and adjustment. In addition, an iPad working with a dedicated WiFi network allows for control anywhere within the room.
“The Q-SYS processing and control system offered the versatility and intuitive user-interface required by the staff,” says Kane. “The ease of use is further reinforced with the exceptional output quality of the ISP HDDS speaker system in that the inputs typically need very little ‘massaging’ to get great results, even in an acoustically challenging space.
“We believe the ISP speakers took a lot of the work out of what could have been a very difficult room,” he continues. “Their willingness to tailor mounting options, coverage patterns, and finishes to fit the specific needs of the client allowed us to provide a true custom solution for our clients instead of being forced into accepting a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach for this one-of-a-kind facility.”
Upon using the system for the first time, music director Joseph Moss states, “The audio quality of the new speakers is night and day compared to our previous equipment. It is much easier to hear what people are saying both in speech and music, and everything is crystal clear. Many parishioners and staff have commented on the clarity of the sound both in the room and on our livestream, which has been critical in reaching our community due to the pandemic.”
BS Sound & Stage
Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit