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Avoiding reverb in Cathedral of Saint Paul

Avoiding reverb in Cathedral of Saint Paul

Avoiding reverb in Cathedral of Saint Paul


Minnesota's Cathedral of Saint Paul is the USA’s largest church located outside of New York and Washington DC. It has the capacity to accommodate up to 3,000 worshippers with an interior formed largely from American Travertine marble that runs 53m high before reaching a dome that’s more than 30m in diameter. It’s a big, reverberant space, and it has recently been equipped with Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Gen5 IC32-RN digitally steerable line arrays, installed by Metro Sound & Lighting.

‘If you took the Statue of Liberty off its pedestal and set it in [the catherdral], it would fit under the dome,’ said Metro Sound’s Randy Keele. ‘And everything within this space is very reflective: Travertine marble all over the walls and floors, hardwood pews, different angles, glass – you've got sound literally going everywhere. In the more than 40 years since Metro Sound's founding, we have performed installations in numerous churches and spaces with tough acoustics, so we understood the nature of the challenge.’

Keele and his team deployed two IC32-RN arrays in a left–right configuration. Their steerable nature allows the sound to be kept away from the walls and directs it towards the congregation. The speakers were custom painted to match the colour of the marble, meaning they blend in.

‘We can steer beams vertically to keep them in the listener areas and try to prevent energising any more of the space than we need to,’ confirms Keele.

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