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PROJECTS

The 20m-high sanctuary posed a challenge

The rebuilt St Patrick’s Cathedral

The bigger they come Following a destructive typhoon, the rebuilt St Patrick’s Cathedral in Bunbury has resolved its poor intelligibility, reports Richard Lawn SAT ALOFT THE CITY’S TALLEST HILL, St Patrick’s Cathedral has dominated the Bunbury skyline since the first stone was laid in 1919. However, that lofty height contributed to its downfall as an Indian Ocean typhoon swept into Western Australia in May 2005. Badly destroyed, the cathedral was demolished before being replaced by an impressive brick structure that was dedicated in March 2011. As part of the refit, a beam-steered audio solution was favoured to mitigate reverberation created from the abundant glazing and concrete within the 20m-high sanctuary. However, what appears optimal in a simulation, does not necessarily work in the real world over time. “It would not be right to highlight the loudspeakers as the sole source of poor intelligibility,” comments parish manager at Bunbury Catholic Diocese, Ian Lewis. “Spoken word is paramount, but we are also blessed with a choir, keyboard player and organist. In addition, we also play gentle choral and other background music during the day and during confession. There is a natural reverberation time of 3s in the room and it’s hard to control. In addition, the analogue playback controls were often adjusted by various personnel and these were never reset correctly.” Perth-based Pro AV Solutions was called upon to design and install

The CDD cabinets are flexibly orientated and rotated a digital audio system that would enhance both the spoken word intelligibility and the BGM audio functionality of the main sanctuary. “Having successfully completed the AV works at Geraldton’s St Francis Xavier Cathedral, we were confident that we could deliver the solution required for the St Patrick’s Cathedral project,” commented Pro AV Solutions’ WA MD, Steve Travia. “For this project, we planned to replace the existing column arrays with Martin Audio point source loudspeakers. To better cater for the cathedral’s ease-of-use requirements, we added a Crestron control system.” An audio patching system was installed to connect the various microphone points dispersed on various levels throughout the cathedral. In the digital domain, a

Q-Sys Core 110f is connected to a Cisco SG250-20 network switch. With its eight inputs and eight outputs, the Q-Sys Core was configured by Pro AV, with all the DSP functionality and settings stored within the processor’s

software. The card-based DSP solution integrates eight Flex I/O channels, offering greater functionality with Layer 3 routing and SNMP monitoring. “An EASE model of the cathedral was created during the design phase of the project and consultation undertaken with an acoustician,” furthers Travia. Both the acoustically reflective nature of the space and the requirement to deliver audio to the lower and upper levels made the configuration of the audio system a challenge. Eventually, we determined that a Martin Audio point source audio design would be most appropriate and would provide better benefits than a line array configuration.” Serving the upper gallery and downstairs nave, a distributed

Serving as monitors, two QSC self-powered K10 cabinets are located under the pews on the front platform

24 WORSHIP AVL November–December 2020

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Worship AVL November-December 2020  

With a unique offering of breaking news, technical insights and advice, Worship AVL is the leading online resource for worship technicians s...

Worship AVL November-December 2020  

With a unique offering of breaking news, technical insights and advice, Worship AVL is the leading online resource for worship technicians s...