Please also visit:

Feature: Gaining an Edge in a compromised room

Feature: Gaining an Edge in a compromised room
The newly constructed four-level mosque is close to Little India

Feature: Gaining an Edge in a compromised room

Two storeys become four to accommodate the rising number of worshippers at Angullia Mosque, reports Richard Lawn

Bearing the name of the late merchant and philanthropist Mohammad Salleh Eusoff Angullia, an iconic landmark in Singapore’s Serangoon Road and Little India district has endured for 130 years. Accommodating a capacity of 1,500 worshippers on two levels had become the norm at Angullia Mosque but the overflow crowds during Eid and Hari Raya had reached a tipping point. The Mosque elders and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) agreed and decided that the heritage building required a full reconstruction.

All you need to host a service – a fixed mic and a tablet
All you need to host a service – a fixed mic and a tablet

Having raised the S$6.35 million required, applicants were invited to tender their designs to install an AV system that would provide intelligible audio and assistive visual systems. No stranger to the MUIS, Hazel Bayu Studios was awarded the role of AV designer and consultant for the project. “All mosques generally operate in the same manner with five daily prayers, main Friday prayers, Hari Raya and other special events,” explains Hazel Bayu’s Ahmad Lokman. “The main variance between mosques is crowd control.”

Systems integrator Avitcom is perhaps more at home in the corporate space and the classroom. Prompted by an advertisement promoting the open tender, Avitcom’s design was successful. “Hazel Bayu provided us with full schematic plans, documentation, SPL level specifications, audio coverage and other pertinent information,” comments Avitcom director, Christopher Chong. “We then created and analysed EASE plots, taking into account standard mosque surfaces such as marble walls, concrete, carpeted floors and glazed windows.”

The two-storey building was demolished to make way for a new four-level construction that could accommodate the rising number of worshippers. “The first phase of installation involved the trunking of conduits and cabling during the construction phase,” explains Avitcom director, Kelvin Teh. “At this time, the upper levels of the mosque were still being constructed, so the site was congested and dirty. As we were late to site, the general contractor had already completed most of the works, which meant that we had to retrofit the AV works into the fabric of the building and cutting into walls, ceilings and floors. Luckily, we were in time to coordinate our works with the general contractor on levels three and four.”

Forming the basis of the mosque’s visual network, an extensive Extron twisted pair cabling infrastructure interconnects the L2 and L3 prayer halls, prayer rooms, L1 car park and lobby with the L2 control room. Capable of receiving up to 10 HDMI and PC VGA inputs, a DTP CrossPoint 108 4K matrix switcher is routed to eight outputs throughout the four-level complex.

The main visuals are provided by a pair of Epson G7905UL 3LCD projectors
The main visuals are provided by a pair of Epson G7905UL 3LCD projectors

The simple video setup in the main multipurpose prayer hall on L2 combines two main inputs being fed into the matrix processor. Arabic scriptures are transmitted from the control room PC, while a single Panasonic AW-HE40 PTZ camera is routed via a DSC 3G-SDI to HDMI converter and scaler. “Owing to a restricted panoramic view, the PTZ angle could not be flush-mounted to the ceiling,” explains Lokman. “To overcome this, the unit was lowered 300mm with a customised bracket fabricated by Avitcom.” Although Avitcom created several preset angles for selection from an Extron touchpanel, an RM-120 can also be used to manually adjust the PTZ camera. The addition of an Extron SMP111 recording and streaming processor distributes both AV sources for livestreaming internally to other rooms or externally via YouTube.

Cable lengths measuring almost 100m connect the video sources to the outputs on all levels, warranting the inclusion of two Extron DTP HD DA 4K 330 distribution amplifiers. Each unit provides signal extension to eight Extron DTP-enabled products, sending HDMI, audio and control over shielded Cat-6 cable. Multiple DTP 4K 330 receivers receive the HDMI signals for outputting to the Epson projectors and various LG LED displays.

Projecting onto L-R Remaco PRO-2717 120-inch motorised screens, two ceiling-mounted Epson G7905UL 7,000-lumen 3LCD projectors play a vital role in assisting the visually impaired in the main prayer hall. “Integrating the projection screens into the marble façade was quite a challenge,” professes Lokman. “The contractor wanted to reduce the size of the screens, so I explained the reasons to the contractor as to why this size of screen was needed. To keep within budget, I felt that the LCD models are more than adequate, compared to LED models.”

The housing for the motorised screens also needed to be troubleshooted, recalls Teh. “Fixing both units to the walls wasn’t a problem, but the short bracket depth ruled out future maintenance from the rear. We worked closely with the general contractor to modify this, by creating new apertures in the Imam’s room to the rear. As such, the service engineer can unscrew the units and lower them from the wall.”

An Epson EB-2142 projector offers images of the service to the overflow audiences
An Epson EB-2142 projector offers images of the service to the overflow audiences

During major religious festivals and events, overflow areas in the mosque can be opened up, including the L4 outdoor garden and the L1 car park. In addition to speaker outputs, the centralised Extron setup allows the services to be streamed to the HD outputs throughout the mosque. Furthermore, an Epson EB-2142 4,200-lumen projector provides the car park audience with a view of the main prayer hall on a Remaco motorised 110-inch diagonal screen during peak times.

Offering compatibility with the video network, an Extron AV control system was specified to provide ease of use, especially with the mosque elders. “The daily requirements within a house of worship such as a mosque need to be planned in advance,” furthers Lokman. “AV is just one of them and so the GUI touchpanel is vital to their operations. The touchscreen must be forgiving and with the simplest controls and security, including password or key code elements. Seeing that there are elders that will be managing the mosque, we decided that the minimum size should not be less than a 5-inch for the touchpanel.”

During major religious festivals and events, overflow areas in the mosque can be opened up, including the L4 outdoor garden and the L1 car park. In addition to speaker outputs, the centralised Extron setup allows the services to be streamed to the HD outputs throughout the mosque. Furthermore, an Epson EB-2142 4,200-lumen projector provides the car park audience with a view of the main prayer hall on a Remaco motorised 110-inch diagonal screen during peak times.

Offering compatibility with the video network, an Extron AV control system was specified to provide ease of use, especially with the mosque elders. “The daily requirements within a house of worship such as a mosque need to be planned in advance,” furthers Lokman. “AV is just one of them and so the GUI touchpanel is vital to their operations. The touchscreen must be forgiving and with the simplest controls and security, including password or key code elements. Seeing that there are elders that will be managing the mosque, we decided that the minimum size should not be less than a 5-inch for the touchpanel.”

Customised Extron TouchLink touchscreens serve as simplified GUIs for the mosque users
Customised Extron TouchLink touchscreens serve as simplified GUIs for the mosque users

“Extending the worship space during peak times was a large part of my work,” explains Lokman. “It was important to be able to send an audio feed and transmit it anywhere throughout the mosque, especially during special events and Friday prayers where overfill would come into play. Based on previous experiences, I created the audio design using Biamp Canvas software as the drag-and-drop programming is intuitive and the presets work extremely well. Not only is it extremely flexible, it interfaces very well with Extron control programming.”

The audio settings for the L2 main prayer hall are configured within a Tesira Server-IO DSP processor. Avitcom configured the loudspeaker EQ, delays, filters, compression and crossover settings within the Biamp Canvas software as they have on previous projects. “I like Biamp’s functionality and the programming to be extremely user-friendly,” furthers Chong. “For this particular project, Tesira broadcasts audio to any outputs on four levels from the Server-IO processor and sets the times for the five daily prayer services. By adding DSP-2, SIC-4 input and SOC-4 output cards, the varying acoustics and properties of the different rooms could be individually calibrated.”

Suitably impressed following a demonstration of EdgeMax ceiling speaker technology at the Bose showroom, Lokman adopted a Bose loudspeaker solution for the audio reinforcement. The main prayer hall adopts L-R wall-mounted Panaray MSA12X loudspeakers in 8Ω mode. Finished in white, each self-powered, digital, beam-steering model comprises 12 2.25-inch drivers in a vertical line array to cover 160° horizontal wide dispersion in the hall.

“Given the challenging acoustics of this space, the vocal intelligibility during Koran recitals and prayers is outstanding,” furthers Lokman. “In addition, the slim column enclosures satisfied the interior design wishes of the M&E consultant Conteem Engineers.” Based on an 8x8 I/O and 48kHz/24-bit audio conversion, a ControlSpace ESP-880 processor controls and manages the DSP settings for both column speakers.

Powered by two dual-channel PowerShare PS602 amplifiers, Edgemax EM180 and EM90 ceiling speakers provide side and rear fill reinforcement in 8Ω mode. The inherent PhaseGuide technology produces asymmetrical beam angles of 180° and 90°, respectively. With a vertical beam angle of 75° and a range of almost 20m, the 8-inch design is best installed close to the corners of a room. “Despite the higher cost, their inclusion in the design was warranted as you get the same SPL levels and coverage using far fewer speakers,” adds Lokman. “As there are only three speakers tucked away in the corners, they are less obtrusive on the eye. When I was tuning the speakers using Bose simulation software, I was amazed at the even dispersion they provided and the detail within the vocal range.”

In addition to the high-performance levels and aesthetics provided by the Bose speakers, the Avitcom team was further impressed with the Bose EdgeMax solution. “The mounting system makes the EdgeMax models easy to install and the magnetic grille makes it easy to terminate and set up,” comments Chong. “To prevent audio feedback, we have limited the control levels to ±9dB gain. The reverberance was minimised by fine tuning. The parameters set in the Biamp Canvas software really helped, as did the consistency in voicing of the various Bose speaker models.”

Once again powered by two PS602 amplifiers, four EdgeMax EM180 and EM90 models provide the main audio reinforcement in the L3 prayer hall. The same amplifier platform is used to power Bose FreeSpace DS40F 4.5-inch ceiling speakers installed into the L2, L3 and L4 lobby areas, the L2 Imam room and the L3 conference room. The car park and L3 classroom differentiate themselves by incorporating FreeSpace DS100 SE 5.25-inch models.

Worshippers upstairs are assisted by HD displays and an extensive Bose loudspeaker system
Worshippers upstairs are assisted by HD displays and an extensive Bose loudspeaker system

Networked via an Edimax PoE 10-port network switch to a dedicated IPCP Pro 250 processor, the AV parameter controls are configured from a third TLP Pro 725T in the L4 auditorium and communal pavilion. Visuals are courtesy of an Epson EB-535W projector together with dual 43-inch LD displays. HDMI inputs, including a connection to the L2 rack, are fed into an Extron DXP44 HD 4K matrix switcher and further extended by way of a DTP HD DA44 distribution amplifier.

Based on a 12-in/eight-out fixed DSP matrix, the audio adapts a TesiraForté AI processor. Feeding into a Soundcraft FX16II mixer, the main inputs include Shure QLXD4 wireless SM58 handheld and Beta 54 head-worn models, together with a wired MX418D gooseneck. Powered by a PS604 four-channel amplifier, L-R Panaray 402 dual 4.5-inch wall-mounted and dual DS100SE ceiling speakers serve as the outputs for the room.

User friendliness and future proofing are recurrent themes in the AV design. “To avoid technicalities, the addition of patch bays was negated in favour of signal routing via the touchpanels,” comments Chong. “The car park and L4 outdoor areas are both equipped with video and speaker outputs for connecting portable speakers and HD displays when larger crowds result in overspill numbers. In addition to the schematic drawings mounted on the rack, we also prepared a user manual document, allowing staff to understand any technical requirements if necessary.”

In addition to providing specialised expertise, the AV systems integrator and consultant are constantly engaging and knowledge sharing with the financers, interior designers and general contractors who may have different experiences and are now having a new appreciation of the AV integration aspects. “The end user and the client understand what they want, but they may not be aware of the best solution,” concludes Lokman. “We have to work closely with the main contractor to overcome daily onsite obstacles and communications. You can foresee many problems in advance but, once the drawings have been approved, there are always bound to be challenges. There’s always a compromise, so we have to appreciate the role we all play in creating the final outcome.”

This feature appears in the January - February issue of Worship AVL. Subscribe at www.proavl-central.com/subscribe/worship



You may also like:

Click to play video

Bose Church - Exponential

18 Feb 2021

Bose launches L1 Pro

03 Nov 2020

Bose launches L1 Pro portable line array series

27 Oct 2020

Please also visit:

Information on cookies

Cookies are short reports that are sent and stored on the hard drive of the user's computer through your browser when it connects to a web. Cookies can be used to collect and store user data while connected to be able to provide you the requested services. Often cookies are getting deleted when the user leaves a site or logs out of it.

There are several types of cookies:

  • Technical cookies that facilitate user navigation and use of the various options or services offered by the web, such asas identifying a session, allowing access to certain areas, facilitating orders, purchases, filling out forms, registration, security, facilitating functionalities (videos, social networks, etc..).
  • Customization cookies that allow users to access services according to their preferences (language, browser, configuration, etc..).
  • Analytical cookies which allow anonymous analysis of the behavior of web users, measuring user activity and development of navigation profiles in order to improve websites and the experience of future visitors.

When you keep using our website, in compliance with Article 22 of Law 34/2002 of the Information Society Services, in the analytical cookies treatment, we have requested your consent to their use.
We use cookies to improve our services. For more details please refer to our Terms of Use and/or our Privacy Policy.

Please note that you can enable or disable and delete cookies in your web browser.