DCI Sound gets musical at Hendricks Chapel
USA: Hendricks Chapel has been the spiritual heart of Syracuse University for more than eight decades, connecting its diverse community through weddings, services, lectures and choir performances. Housed within the Greco-Roman-style building is a reverberant sanctuary with domed ceilings, curved and deep balconies. These attributes combine to complicate the acoustics and make music intelligibility during services difficult for the 1,000 congregants the sanctuary can host. With the goal of delivering ‘quality of music and speech appropriate for such a prestigious venue’, the university enlisted DCI Sound to upgrade the chapel sound system with Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Gen5 loudspeakers.
‘The space was underutilised until about 15 years ago,’ recalls David May, owner of DCI Sound. ‘At that time, we installed a sound system that was primarily Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers and first generation steerable arrays. Finally, people could hear, and usage of the space increased. But that system was designed for speech intelligibility, and Hendricks Chapel now hosts many musical events. So in the summer of 2015, the university asked us to design and install a new system that would address the chapel's expanded requirements.
‘In addition to the advantages of steered beams, Iconyx are much more musical and have higher output capability than the systems we used before,’ he explains. ‘Iconyx Gen5 is better because you get a more flexible selection of configurations, with even greater precision. That means we can customise Gen5 systems better for each venue, and we can deliver a high-quality system for less money.’
To cover the main auditorium seating, Mr May deployed a left-right pair of Iconyx Gen5 IC24-RN digitally steerable line arrays, mounted on each side of the proscenium.
‘Because we can choose the location of multiple beams, we were able to mount the arrays up high, getting them above the lectern mics. That improved gain before feedback,’ Mr May furthers. ‘The balcony areas are almost acoustically isolated from the main nave. ‘Fortunately, Iconyx Gen5 arrays deliver plenty of power, and their multiple precision-steered beams enabled us to address the acoustical issues.’ For bass, Mr May opted for Renkus-Heinz CFX12S 12-inch subwoofers.
The chapel's old sound system used Renkus-Heinz TRC81 floor wedges and TRC121 sidefills as stage monitors. It was determined that these were still doing a good job, and so were integrated into the new system. A BSS SoundWeb DSP provides processing, while the overall audio and lighting system is managed by a Crestron control solution. This reportedly enables anything from a simple, fully automated system for events without an operator to manual control with a Dante-enabled, Soundcraft SI Performer-series digital console. The operator can choose between three monitoring configurations for the TRC-series floor wedges and sidefills.
‘The staff at the Hendricks Chapel and Syracuse University are extremely happy with the Iconyx Gen5 system,’ Mr May confirms. ‘Now they have uniform, high-quality sound throughout the space that is great for music and speech – whether there are 100 people or 1,000. It's a huge improvement.’