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November/December 2017



Crowning achievement One of Scotland’s most historic cathedrals has been equipped with a comprehensive new AV system that, among other things, has significantly improved sound reinforcement. Tom Bradbury reports


egarded as the Mother Church of Presbyterianism, St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh is an important place of worship for the Church of Scotland, its crown-shaped spire a distinctive part of the city skyline. The present building dates from the late 1300s and features a number of chapels, including the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s chivalric company of knights appointed by Her Majesty The Queen. As audience expectations rise in parallel with developments in audio technology, installing sound reinforcement systems that satisfy modern demands in historic buildings is always fraught with potential difficulties. The St Giles’ installation has demonstrated how these issues can be overcome, delivering a solution that is effective and also includes a large degree of future-proofing. Michael Hyland of AV systems consultants Michael Hyland & Associates was approached to design the new sound reinforcement system, along with the CCTV, video distribution and AV related data cabling infrastructure. “Cathedral and church related projects tend to take time, because there are statutory bodies involved whose permissions must be obtained and invariably there is a need for funding to be put in place,” says Hyland. “Although initial discussions took place back in 2007, it was

known that the project would be dormant for some time. The project resurfaced in 2015 and began with discussions to establish the cathedral’s audio, CCTV and video distribution requirements, which formed the basis of the client brief.” While the timescale between submitting proposals and getting a sign-off can be protracted, in this instance, Hyland says that “it was more or less by return”, highlighting the importance that the cathedral placed on getting the project under way as quickly as possible. Once the go-ahead was given, two specifications were produced for tender purposes – one for the supply and installation of the cabling by an electrical contractor and the other for the equipment. The contract to supply, install and commission the equipment was awarded to Whitwam AVI, part of the Winchester-based Whitwam Group, in January 2017. Compared to many such projects, the installation timescale was very compressed – just three months. Sourcing, setting up and configuring the system elements in the company’s workshop and then transporting them over 400 miles to Edinburgh inevitably added to the pressure on Whitwam, but the company’s long experience with such projects meant that everything was completed on schedule.

Installed Audio „ Yamaha MRX7-D matrix processor „ Yamaha XMV4280 and XMV8140-D power amplifiers „ Yamaha EXi8 input expanders „ Yamaha EXo8 output expanders „ Tannoy VLS 15 column loudspeakers „ Ampetronic ILD1000G induction loop amplifiers „ Sennheiser e865 hand-held mic „ Sennheiser ew300 lapel mics with ME104 capsules „ Sennheiser SK300 belt-pack transmitters „ Sennheiser SKP300 plug-on transmitter „ Sennheiser A2003 aerials „ Audio-Technica ES935/ML mic „ Audio-Technica U851R boundary mic

Control „ Crestron CP3N processor „ Crestron TSW1052 touchscreens „ Enclosure Technology racks „ Apple iPad Air 2 tablets

Video „ Fostex RM3 AV monitor „ Genie HYHDVR multi-channel logging recorder „ Panasonic AW-UE70 HD PTZ cameras „ Sierra Video Aspen video matrix „ Tascam SS-CDR200 media player/recorder

Installation November/December 2017 Digital Edition  
Installation November/December 2017 Digital Edition  

AV integration in a networked world