Christ’s Church, in the German town of Velbert, North Rhine Westphalia, recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the laying of its foundation stone, and to celebrate the historic occasion, the church decided to invest in a modern sound system based on Martin Audio OmniLine line arrays driven by Crest Audio amplification with processing via an Architectural Acoustics Digitool MX programmable digital processor.
Christ’s Church, Velbert is reputed to be one of the most significant ‘Jugendstil’ or art nouveau churches in western Germany. Designed by architect Carl Krieger with interior design by Franz Brantzsky, the 900-seat sanctuary affords worshippers a completely unimpeded view of the altar, font, pulpit and organ, thanks to the fact that Krieger avoided using any columns as internal supports.
The hall itself offers excellent acoustics, while the organ, built in 1909, was refurbished in 2005. However, for the main services as well as the diverse cultural activities hosted by the church such as classical and choral concerts, readings etc., it was felt that church would benefit from the installation of a professional audio system in order to fully optimize the acoustic qualities of the building.
Technical Project Manager Thomas Meckel explained that he strongly advised against a ‘typical’ loudspeaker installation as its traditional cables and loudspeakers would compromise the architecture of such an exceptional historic building.
As a result, he specified four Martin Audio OmniLine line arrays, each with six modules, with two arrays serving the nave of the church and the other two serving the gallery so the sound energy could be directed precisely to the area required.
“The fact that there are no columns in the nave of Christ’s Church worked to our advantage, as it offered an ideal backdrop for the OmniLine system, which covers long distances very easily,” Meckel stated. “Further, the natural sound impression is enhanced by the use of just a single column of loudspeakers as the sound comes directly from the speaker and not from a source beside the pew, which is extremely distracting for the congregation.”
“The OmniLine speakers work very well from an aesthetic point of view,” he continued. “The arrays are elegant and unobtrusive, which is ideal for this sort of environment.”
When live bands appear, a pair of Martin Audio S12 subs can be activated to provide LF extension, while monitoring is supplied via a pair of Martin Audio AQ5s stationed at the organ and chorus tribune.