All-Harman solution solves acoustic problems at Dharmaram chapel
INDIA: Acoustic Control was recently approached to re-design and provide sound systems for the Dharmaram college chapel in Bangalore, choosing an all-Harman solution for the premises, including equipment from Crown, BSS Audio, Soundcraft and AKG.
In its 35 years, the chapel has had more than three different sound systems in an attempt to provide clear speech and tame the tough acoustics that its domed roof provides. The team at Acoustic Control conducted a study of the combination of the existing PA system and the acoustics, and submitted a report encompassing multiple suggestions on how these shortcomings could be resolved to the client. With an RT 60 reverb time of almost three seconds and a poorly designed existing audio system in place, Acoustic Control had a number of sonic problems to overcome.
Although the chapel suffered from excessive reverberation, treating the room acoustically was not an option since this would detract from the chapel’s aesthetics. Acoustic Control was required to provide a system that would work around the chapel’s poor acoustics and was also easy to use, since the Dharmaram College does not have a sound engineer to run the system.
‘We had to install a brand new audio system from the ground up,’ explained Sanjay Mudartha, director of Acoustic Control. ‘The previous speakers were placed at the sides of the chapel, which was not a good location and made it impossible for the system to deliver adequate coverage and directivity.’
Mr Mudartha and his team conducted an acoustical analysis of the chapel using EASE software. In order to ensure that the system would be easy to use, BSS Blu 100 was outfitted to provide processing and the automatic mixing and management features. It was decided to automate the main AKG D5 microphones used for speech to ensure a consistent sound, while separate Soundcraft MFXi 20 mixer was provided to mix the choir music.
‘We have vast experience with the JBL VerTec range of speakers and we were confident we could achieve a good-sounding solution in the Dharmaram College chapel,’ noted Mr Mudartha, ‘but we had to validate their performance in EASE and also fit within a budget before we could present our recommendations to the client.’ The VerTec VT4886 subcompact line array element fit the performance parameters required by EASE, and is powered by Crown I-Tech HD Series amplifiers.
‘We achieved an STI of around 0.7 with the system being able to deliver an SPL of no less than 100dB across the chapel in a smooth, consistent manner,’ he explained. ‘Considering the acoustical, architectural and budgetary challenges we had to deal with, the measured and audible results are especially impressive.’
‘The project’s limitation and challenge was systematically and expertly handled by Acoustic Control, while ensuring that the chapel’s aesthetics were not disturbed,’ commented Prashant Govindan, director, India Operations, Harman Professional. ‘The solution had to work around the poor acoustics, and the selection of the Harman equipment deployed has perfectly complemented the solution design with higher levels of satisfaction for the users of the system. Visitors are now able to hear clear speech and music.’