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d&b xC-Series changes the course of historic Swedish church

d&b xC-Series changes the course of historic Swedish church

Sweden – Stockholm’s historic Maria Magdalena kyrka is one of the oldest and largest churches in the city, with a unique layout featuring a particularly long nave. A complete renovation project of the church was started in 2013, with refurbishments both inside and out.

As part of the renovation, the church also decided to upgrade its sound system. It was important that a new system not only delivered from an acoustic perspective, but also sat comfortably with the building’s architecture.

SoundCop Consulting provided consultation as well as handling the installation. At the time the specs for the project were being finalised back in 2013, SoundCop Consulting was not yet aware of d&b’s xC-Series column loudspeakers and had chosen another option for the installation.

In 2014 they happened to attend a demo by d&b’s local partner Arva Trading at another of Stockholm’s churches – Stefanskyrkan (Saint Stephens church) – and were so impressed with the results that they decided to redo the whole specification for the sound system at Maria Magdalena. SoundCop Consulting decided to go with a combination of d&b’s xC-Series two-way passive column loudspeakers, xS-Series loudspeakers, and B4 cardioid subwoofers along with the 10D four channel amplifier.

Natanael Lyckelind, sales and support AV/pro audio, at Arva Trading explains: “The passive cardioid function of the xC-Series column loudspeakers results in excellent dispersion control, which makes them particularly good for an environment like Maria Magdalena. SoundCop Consulting was very impressed with the results that they saw – or rather heard – at the demo.”

“We were totally blown away by how good it sounded at the demo,” confirms Jacob Julin, co-owner, SoundCop Consulting. “So, we went back and changed the whole specification for Maria Magdalena. This is the first two-way passive column speaker that we have seen that actually sounds like a proper PA system. The sound stays coherent and warm, rather than like it’s coming from a flimsy speaker, which is so often the case with the sound set-up in a church.”

As Lyckelind explains, in a church the size of Stockholm’s Maria Magdalena, which has such a long nave, reverberation can be a significant barrier to speech intelligibility, but the cardioid dispersion pattern of the xC-Series significantly reduces the level of the reverberant field, maximising speech intelligibility.

In all, SoundCop Consulting installed six 24C and eighteen 16C column loudspeakers, eight 4S loudspeakers, two B4-SUBs and six 10D amplifiers. The entire sound system is controlled by a QSC Q-SYS audio control platform, utilising the d&b plug-in for the integration of the 10D amplifiers. The plug-in allows access to d&b amplifier parameters (gain and mute status, amp presets, power on/off status, etc.) directly from the Q-SYS interface.

“This is the first big installation we’ve done with d&b xC-Series in Sweden; there have been some smaller churches but nothing on this scale, so now we have a lot of technicians talking about this project. The results have been really good. A lot of choirs come to perform at Maria Magdalena Church and they like to bring their own sound systems, but when they see how well the in-house setup works, they prefer to use that instead,” says Lyckelind.

Julin adds: “The system has actually ended up being used for a bit more than originally expected; what they wanted for the church was really a sound reinforcement system for vocal (speech), but it actually works really well for smaller concerts – so long as they aren’t too loud – and choir concerts.”

Julin also explains that there are now a number of other church projects in the works resulting from the success of the Maria Magdalena kyrka installation.

17th October 2017

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