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State-of-the-art sound brings cathedral into a new age

State-of-the-art sound brings cathedral into a new age

State-of-the-art sound brings cathedral into a new age


First built in the 14th century, Kaliningrad Cathedral is home to Russia’s largest pipe organ, as well as the tomb of philosopher Immanuel Kant. It was destroyed by fire in its third century and rebuilt again in 1992 to become an important symbol of change and endurance in the region. The cathedral was designed for a narrow range of acoustic properties, specific to the human voice, limited instrumentation and, most importantly, the pipe organ. Today, the cathedral is used for pipe organ concerts in one direction but, for amplified performances, the space is used in reverse, with the stage at the other end.

Chief engineer of Russian K&F distributor Audio Solutions explained: “There is too much reverberation here. Conventional speaker systems aren’t up to master the acoustic complexity and deliver detailed, intelligible sound.”

Yevgeny Kobylyansky is both a composer and head of the project for the new sound reinforcement design. His goal was for the space, the microphones, the speakers and the control interfaces all to act as one large musical instrument. To do this, he turned to Kling & Freitag’s VIDA beam-steering array speakers to create a custom acoustic/sound reinforcement design.

Six VIDA L speakers have been installed in arrays of three on each side of the performance area. They comprise a total of 288 individual amplifier and digital signal processing channels that allow precise control of the sound beam. VIDA C cardioid sub modules have been added to the back of the arrays to enhance the sound quality for the performers by minimising low-frequency spill onto the stage. The combination of the VIDA L/C units focuses sound to cover only the audience area and reduces the unwanted room excitation to a minimum. SCENA 12 stage as well as PASSIO speakers fill in areas behind the large columns and complete the new system, bringing the cathedral into a new age and a new life.

“Everybody is very pleased by the sound quality of this installation,” added Vladimirovich, “so now organ, chamber, choir and other music genres will be enjoyed here.”

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