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Historic LA Queen of Angels battles reverberations

Historic LA Queen of Angels battles reverberations

Historic LA Queen of Angels battles reverberations

USA: Queen of Angels is one of the oldest Catholic churches in Riverside, California, yet remains one of the most popular in the area with the completion of the new 1,600-seater facility viewed by the church leadership as a ‘dream come true’. However, the new sanctuary came hand-in-hand with new acoustical challenges for A/V systems integrator, Sunset Electrical, which had been tasked with providing the church’s new sound solution.

The first challenge was overcoming the sound problems being generated from the church’s decision to use tiled flooring instead of a carpet which Stan Kojder, president of Sunset, who oversaw the project at Queen of Angels, says bounces the sound ‘all over the place’. To keep the reverberations to a minimum, Sunset turned to a Bose RoomMatch DeltaQ array loudspeaker system.

Mr Kojder and his team turned to Bose engineers who in turn developed a custom five-array design from the sanctuary’s dimensions to direct the energy at the pews and minimise floor and wall reflections using Bose Modeler software. 

Although the sanctuary is essentially square it echoes traditional church design with a vaulted nave and a crosswise transept. An early system design called for the arrays to be flown within the nave, but Kojder recommended that the two left and two right arrays be hung from the lower ceiling to either side. ‘We were able to put them in a place that is aesthetically pleasing and still achieve the same result, which was ample coverage of the entire church.’

Eleven RoomMatch modules compose the system, selected from the line’s 42 different combinations of horizontal and vertical dispersion patterns (which include asymmetrical configurations). The central RoomMatch cluster, above the chancel, comprises three modules that cover a central seating area and two rear, fan-shaped sections. Transept seating is covered by two arrays firing 90° to left and right. A forward pair of arrays is aimed toward the rear corners of the sanctuary and covers the largest swath of main seating. The entire system, driven by three Bose PowerMatch PM8500N networked amplifiers, generates a full-range SPL of over 109dB averaged across the floor area.

‘I was told that a sound system would never work in our church as designed without carpet or the use of other sound baffles,’ says Mark Jaramillo, head of the parish's building committee. ‘But with the use of Bose speakers, custom-tuned to our building, our sound is amazing, and we made no modifications to accommodate it – it accommodated us.’

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