Doha church’s audio solution is worth the wait
QATAR: Churches the world over present acoustical challenges in the forms of high ceilings and highly reverberant surfaces. This is no different in Doha, where St Peter & St Paul Coptic Orthodox Church features a mostly marble interior, a mezzanine and a 15m high domed ceiling at the entrance.
To solve the audio problems faced by the church, Doha-based Techno Q was called in, with its head of design, Maged Amin, leading the project. The sound system’s design was first put forward in 2013 when the systems integrator was initially contracted. That design specified Renkus-Heinz’ Iconyx range of steerable arrays to control the acoustics. However, the church was not ready to make such an investment so quickly, Mr Amin remained patient and of the opinion that his design would provide the best possible audio solution for the church.
‘From the church's point of view, they were investing in technology that was new to them,’ explains Mr Amin. ‘We ran a lot of simulations, working closely with Renkus-Heinz, and we had to convince the clients that we had the right plan. During services and events the church becomes very crowded and there is a lot of noise in the back, so it becomes very difficult to cover the entire area evenly. The interior is marble with high ceilings and a very high dome. It's a very challenging environment.’
Techno Q collaborated with the line array manufacturer during the project’s lengthy commissioning phase to ensure that the church received a solution that would provide even coverage throughout the sanctuary. That solution, now installed, comprises a pair of Iconyx IC24-R-II arrays that cover the main worship area on the ground floor, while two IC8-R-II arrays cater for the upper balcony area.
‘We deployed beam steering in such a way that the coverage avoids the dome and still successfully reaches the rear seating,’ recalls Renkus-Heinz’ sales manager for the Middle East, Norbert Bau. ‘After we'd finished, a representative of the church came to listen to the results. He walked from the rear of the church to the front, and as he did so he started smiling. Then he asked what kind of magic we had done!’
‘I was very happy with the results,’ adds Mr Amin. ‘Renkus-Heinz gives you the flexibility to adjust performance and coverage. It's a very high-end solution.’