Sanctuary Sound System

The Client


St. James Church
Kingston, NY

Brief Description of the Location:

800 Person Church, Dedicated in 1845, First Methodist Church is located in historic uptown Kingston.

The Challenge

Provide a sound system that will better serve the parishioners as well as accommodate live musical accompaniment. Increase the sound quality and intelligibility of both spoken word and song (with music). The current system can’t be understood because of room acoustics and speaker placement.

The Solution

First, we visited the site and performed a room analysis which included room purpose discussion, and analysis of physical dimensions including length, width and ceiling height. Physical characteristics of walls, ceiling and floors, and overhead room acoustics, were also taken into account, which included slapback echo, reverberation, room ringing, and bass buildup.

It was determined we needed more exact measurements. So, we scheduled a survey with a microphone and test meter to determine exactly where the problem area was, and what was causing vocal intelligibility. We found that while reverb was present, it was at a very manageable level. The predominance of soft surfaces and upholstery absorbed most offending reflections. The issue was directivity.

Based on that, we installed a Renkus-Heinz mechanically steerable line array mounted to the ceiling. Since the church has so much historic value to the community, it was important the the speaker virtually disappear into the architecture. The speaker column includes three tweeters and four woofers with a 30 vertical degree and 150 degree horizontal dispersion – perfect for this application. This allowed us to raise the main speaker above the pulpit (reducing feedback from this position) and direct the audio at the listeners.

Next we installed a Renkus-Heinz 15″ Subwoofer to enhance the lower frequencies and provide better sound for the live band. We carefully employed equalization and crossover to provide a natural sound.

Manufacturers Utilized

  • - Crown
  • - Renkus Heinz