Posted in news on May 25, 2017 11:43 am EDT

Sound Renovation Clarifies Message in India

Thane Catholic Church north of Mumbai undergoes architectural restoration and an audio upgrade.

St. John the Baptist, images courtesy of Martin Audio.











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TAGS: architecture, audio, audio upgrade, historic renovation, intelligibility, sound reinforcement, worship,


By Church Designer Staff

St. John the Baptist, a Portuguese-style Christian church situated in the Indian city of Thane, north of Mumbai, can trace its origins back 500 years. Having been declared a heritage site by UNESCO, it recently underwent a massive restoration project spanning 18 months, including a complete sound system upgrade.

The original system had consisted of multiple speakers that were spaced along the wall of the church, and neither provided suitable intelligibility nor venue coverage. With the extension to the church (enabling it to increase the congregation size to around 5,000 for Sunday mass), the parish priest had initially requested a vendor demo to provide coverage for the growing number of people. “We were not very impressed with the sound [from the vendor's product],” admits Cleo Pereira, from Martin Audio partner Zoodio, who has been specifying the British brand for the past decade. “Instead, we suggested the Martin Audio O-Line as a brand, since we use it in most of our installs.”

Fewer speakers, enhanced coverage

Zoodio’s Dylan Hilton, who also is a St. John parishioner, coordinated the project. He set up a demo of Martin's discreet, premium micro line array, O-Line, through Integrated Entertainment Solutions (IES), the Martin Audio distributors. “We suggested that this would do the trick, at the same time reducing the number of speakers required and enhancing the overall worship experience.”

O-Line was duly adopted, with Zoodio supplying the components and its team of engineers, technicians and riggers working on the fit out to meet Hilton’s specification of four sets of O-Line (eight elements per side).

" ... we had a lot of constraints from the Heritage committee; they wanted an extremely compact system that would not block any of the murals and paintings present in the church...."

—Cleo Pereira, Zoodio, Mumbai, India

O-Line was supported with Martin Audio’s CDD8 Differential Dispersion loudspeakers for the delays as well as in the corridors. “The reason,” notes Pereira, “was that we had a lot of constraints from the Heritage committee; they wanted an extremely compact system that would not block any of the murals and paintings present in the church -- and a system that sounded good.”

He also emphasized that this was the first time both the O-Line and CDDs had been used in India.

The biggest challenge was rigging the O-Line since the walls of the church were not concrete, but limestone—and so the utmost care and safety measures needed to be taken during the mounting phase. “The O-Line did [an ideal] job in reducing the reverberations within the church as the limestone walls had no acoustical properties.”

Feeding the system is a combination of six vocal mics for the choir, an acoustic guitar and keyboards, a podium mic for the clergy, and three mics on the altar.

In concluding, Pereira says, “Having dealt with all the sound challenges, and taken proper care to avoid any further issues, Zoodio has brought back the voice of the church once more.”

The Parish Priest, the Rev. Fr. Allwyn D’Silva, is also delighted with the system, which he says provides him with excellent sound quality.




Learn more about the companies in this story:

Martin Audio





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