Today’s worship styles embrace both the arts and technology, with changes apparent across all traditions and denominations. Congregations are incorporating amplified music and sermons into the worship experience, along with the ever-present demand for intelligibility.
This multimedia approach to worship places extraordinary demands on a sound system. Audio systems must not only provide intimate communication of the spoken word, but also deliver full-range, high-impact music reproduction.
Places of Worship, specifically large churches, minsters and cathedrals are very special buildings, intended to last for hundreds of years! They are typically architectural icons and they represent a community’s spiritual identity.
Acoustically, consulting on Places of Worship are a very special opportunity. These projects are prestigious commissions supported by high expectations and as far as budgets go, there has never been a project that has had enough money to do everything everyone wanted. Therefore, we work to see what the art of the possible is which may include an overhaul of your current system.
Here are a few of the acoustical challenges we encounter and overcome
- Cathedrals and churches incorporate a variety of spaces and uses in addition to worship, including social and fellowship, and learning.
- Places of Worship should be quiet; conducive to meditation and tranquillity.
- These projects can have significant community/regional/national impact.
- The challenge of accommodating the spoken word (e.g. sermons, lectures, presentations) and music in a large church, minster or cathedral is significantly more difficult than a typical project.
- This is because of the size and shape (typical seating 900-3000 seats) with huge interior volumes lacking “close-in” sound reflecting surfaces, the acoustical design challenges are exacerbated.
- Iconic architectural design, is difficult to change to any significant effect.
- You can’t mount speakers to the walls when there are stained glass windows everywhere.
Places of Worship have an amazing sound if you’re just walking quietly by yourself. With all the hard surfaces and cavernous ceilings, it’s wonderful to hear your footsteps reverberate off the walls. At Sound Systems UK, we offer a totally bespoke and personal service to make sure that you don’t wind up with sound bouncing all over the place, muddying the intelligibility with echoes and timing problems.
We ensure the aesthetic appeal of your building – the stained glass, the stonework, the flooring – no longer interferes with your sound reinforcement. Components are so seamless that they will echo the building’s aesthetics, without reverberating the signal around the room. It’s not trial and error, what we do is based on science to ensure that your Place of Worship sounds as magnificent and glorious as it has always looked.