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Church of the Presentation on power and monitoring

Church of the Presentation on power and monitoring

Church of the Presentation on power and monitoring


The largest parish in the Archdiocese of Newark, Church of the Presentation in Upper Saddle River, raised more than $6 million in recent years to renovate its original building to accommodate its growing congregation. The new design has opened up room for more seating, but also caused new acoustic challenges that were overcome with the installation of a new sound system, driven by Powersoft amplifiers that were installed by Monte Bros and include the integrator’s Ubiquiti cloud monitoring system.

The sanctuary was originally L-shaped, formed from two separate, rectangular spaces. Architects and contractors removed a wall and architectural trusses that separated the main sanctuary from a side auditorium. They constructed a new 12m-high glass and steel narthex that extends out from the right angle formed where the original sanctuary and auditorium met, moving the altar to a pivot point in the corner facing the two largest seating areas and creating a 90° contiguous worship space with the original nave to the left of the altar, the newly built narthex in the centre and the open auditorium space on the right, expanding back past the pews in the transept and giving all available seating areas a clear sightline to the altar. In addition, a moveable soundproof wall gives the option to separate the auditorium from the nave when needed.

‘The church, having a rectangular shape, has different acoustics when the moveable wall is there than it has when the wall is not there,’ said Steve Minozzi, co-owner of Monte Bros. ‘When the church and the auditorium are together, the sound system requires a whole different configuration of time alignment and EQ, because the two discreet spaces have different acoustical properties.’

Monte Bros was involved in the project during the early stages of the renovation, which allowed the integrator to highlight the most effective speaker locations before construction began. Minozzi and his team designed a hybrid point source/distributed speaker setup for each of the possible configurations distributed to over 12 zones via 4.5km of cable.

‘Because of the amount of power required for that amount of wire, and because all of 12 zones had to be amplified independently, we needed an amp that could handle it,’ Minozzi explained. ‘That’s one of the reasons we chose Powersoft.’ Three Powersoft Quattrocanali 1204 four-channel amplifier platforms provide power for one discreet channel per zone.

Another reason Minozzi chose the Quattrocanali 1204 amplifier was for its ability to work with the integrator’s own proprietary Ubiquiti cloud system. ‘In a space as big as Church of the Presentation, an owner may not know when a speaker is not working until people start to complain,’ he said. ‘At Monte Brothers, we offer houses of worship our ability to monitor that sound system remotely so that, if a speaker goes down, we will be notified through the Ubiquiti cloud – an intellectual property we built. But, in order to do that, the amplifier has to have that capability.’

Monte Bros worked with Powersoft to ensure its monitoring system could be used at Church of the Presentation, as well as at other houses of worship in the future. ‘Ubiquiti Networks Secure Remote Access System is an intellectual property that our technicians developed because we’ve done work for the NYPD since 1995,’ Minozzi explained. ‘After 9/11, we were commissioned to build an independent communications network that couldn’t be taken down if something like that ever happened again. And it required that, at every precinct, if anything became disconnected, we would be notified.’

Powersoft is currently fine-tuning the Ubiquiti network security feature for future Monte Bros house of worship installations using Quattrocanali amplifier platforms. It will also allow audio streaming of church services through the Ubiquiti cloud. ‘Say an older person passes away, and they have friends that live in Florida who can’t make it to the funeral in New Jersey, but they have a smartphone,’ said Minozzi. ‘Through the proprietary technology we developed, the friends in Florida will have the ability to listen to the audio from the funeral using an app on their smartphone, which is a capability we’ve developed with Powersoft for the Quattrocanali.’

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