Posted in projects
on June 1, 2015 11:30 am EDT
England’s Leicester Cathedral Gets Sound Fit for a King
After two years of planning and two months of installation, NoiseBoys Technologies is preparing for an event honoring King Richard III this spring, where thousands of visitors attended services.
The Cathedral Church of St Martin, Leicester, known as Leicester Cathedral, is a Church of England cathedral in the English city of Leicester. Images by Paul Kent Photography.
NoiseBoys Technologies Ltd., a pro audio and acoustics consultancy based in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, England, won the coveted contract to supply and install a state- of-the-art sound system -- after the discovery of King Richards’s bones in a car park opposite the cathedral by archaeologists in 2012. This event sparked a massive refurbishment program, including a complete overhaul of the cathedral’s AV system.
"The challenge was to offer a more innovative approach, one that not only sounds great but that also visually complements the new aesthetics of the cathedral."
—Phill Beynon, Technical Director, NoiseBoys Technologies Ltd.
The loudspeakers are by Pan Acoustics and feature unobtrusive and reportedly acoustically excellent Pan Beam steerable column arrays, with JBL CBT 50 columns in the side chapel areas. The control system is BSS Soundweb, and is designed to be capable yet simply presented to its users, most of them non-technical staff or volunteers. Day-to-day control of the Soundweb is achieved via a touch-screen tablet, allowing users to tap once to set up the entire cathedral, but more advanced users to mix services live. By using AKG radio microphones and Crown amplification, NoiseBoys was reportedly able to tie everything together and monitor the whole system from the control tablet, from amplifier temperatures to RF levels.
Microphones specified are AKG’s DSR-700 radio microphones with DPA D:Fine 66 headsets, all monitored from the touch-screen, as well as some ambient mics for recording and relay to the back of house areas. The whole system is connected using a variety of cabling options by Van Damme from VDC Trading. The 3.5km of cabling includes assemblies of dual Cat 6, coax, HD-SDI, blue and white line signal cables, 90% of which is hidden under floors and in ceilings.
Phill Beynon, technical director at NoiseBoys, comments, “When we were successful in winning the contract, as a local company we were delighted and naturally very proud to play a part in such a unique set of proceedings. It was a tough selection process, and we had some very strong competitors. The challenge was to offer a more innovative approach, one that not only sounds great but that also visually complements the new aesthetics of the cathedral. The outdated system that we replaced was not fit for [its] purpose; loudspeakers had been added to over the years and none were ever removed, so we’ve been taking out some genuine antiques."