An audio system overhaul at historic St Mark’s Church in the Dundela district of Belfast, Northern Ireland is headed by Martin Audio O-Line compact line arrays deployed by Rea Sound (also based in Northern Ireland) under the project management of Roger McMullan.
Designed by noted Gothic architect William Butterfield in 1876, the church has strong links with the author CS Lewis, whose grandfather was the first rector of the parish. Rea Sound had introduced O-Line to the Irish church market when it was introduced back in 2007 and continues to specify it. “Nine out of ten people don’t believe it will deliver such clarity of voice reproduction until we demonstrate it,” McMullan states.
In this instance the facility wanted an effective sound system that would provide clarity from front to back of the long rectangular space. “At the same time they didn’t want to have visible loudspeakers everywhere, and so O-Line was the obvious choice,” McMullan adds.
The previous PA was an aging 100-volt line system that attendees in the center and rear of the sanctuay were unable to clearly hear. McMullan notes that the church had spoken with other sound companies that wanted to mount loudspeakers on pillars, a direction that was rejected.
Rea Sound arranged a visit to the facility before setting up a demo of an eight-element O-Line hang on site. “We wanted to let the choir master, minister and organist hear the quality over the area they wanted to cover, and they were all blown away,” he reports, with the result being Rea Sound awarded with contract.
With a distance of 28 meters (more than 90 feet) from the front to the back of the sanctury (along with Heritage restrictions placed on them). Rea Sound dividing the space into five sound zones (including three O-Line zones). Coverage is delivered by two hangs of eight O-Line elements left and right and two hangs of 12 in the center to help provide even coverage along the length of the rectangle, with a 6-meter (19-plus-foot) trim height.
In addition, a pair of Martin Audio CDD5’s provides choir stall coverage behind the pulpit via an Allen & Heath Qu-16 digital mixer. A third CDD5 takes the feed into a newly built creche.
“We’ve delivered exactly what was requested, including a digital wireless system,” he summarizes. “In fact they can now hire it out so that bands can play through O-Line as a full range system without the need for additional subwoofers.”
Dr. Sarah Bass from the church vestry committee adds, “We’re very pleased with the end result and the delivered audio package from Rea Sound. The audio quality in every seat is exactly what we wanted.”