As the only church of its kind in Qatar, St. Peter & St. Paul Coptic Orthodox Church is a unique landmark in the capital city of Doha. It also represented a unique acoustic challenge for Maged Amin, Head of Design – Audiovisual, for leading regional systems integrator Techno Q. With high ceilings, an interior constructed largely of marble, a mezzanine level, and a 50 foot (15m) dome near the building’s entrance, St. Peter & St. Paul was beyond the reach of ordinary loudspeaker technology.
Begun in 2013, the design and creation of the audio system within St. Peter & St. Paul Coptic Orthodox Church has drawn on the determination and skill of all involved. For Techno Q, and for Amin in particular, the project required great patience, as ideas that were proposed at the very beginning were left waiting until the church was ready to move forwards. Nevertheless, throughout the long development, Amin’s opinion remained steadfast – with the church facing acoustic problems that would render a regular system unusable, the best solution was the Iconyx digitally steered array from Renkus-Heinz.
“During services and events the church becomes very crowded and there is a lot of noise in the back, so it becomes very difficult to cover the entire area evenly,” explains Amin. “Also, the interior is marble with high ceilings and the very high dome. It’s a very challenging environment. We ran a lot of simulations, working closely with Renkus-Heinz, and we had to convince the clients that we had the right plan. From the church’s point of view, they were investing in technology that was new to them.”
Following a commissioning phase that saw substantial collaboration between Techno Q and Renkus-Heinz, the strategy has now paid off. The church benefits from two Iconyx IC24-R-II arrays, covering the main ground floor worship area, while a further two IC8-R-II arrays serve the upper balcony area.
“We deployed beam steering in such a way that the coverage avoids the dome and still successfully reaches the rear seating,” comments Norbert Bau, Renkus-Heinz Sales Manager for the Middle East. “After we’d finished, a representative of the church came to listen to the results. He walked from the rear of the church to the front, and as he did so he started smiling. Then he asked what kind of magic we had done!”
“Renkus-Heinz gives you the flexibility to adjust performance and coverage,” concludes Amin. “I was very happy with the results. It’s a very high-end solution.”