Offering live stream and in-person services for their 1,700-family congregation in the Chicago suburb of McHenry, IL the 1,200-seat Church of Holy Apostles is a compassionate, welcoming and family oriented contemporary and traditional house of worship.
Recently, APAV Solutions of Altamonte Springs, FL was involved in an upgrade for the church sound system. APAV Solutions Inc., formerly known as Atlantic Professional Audio, Inc. (APA), was founded in January 1999; starting out as an audio company, APAV Solutions has evolved into the two divisions it is today, encompassing full audiovisual production and installation services.
“Directivity was key to mitigate adverse reflections in the reverberant church space which is why we recommended the d&b Y-Series two-way passive loudspeaker systems,” states Craig Beyrooti, CEO, APAV. “We relied upon the d&b dipole LF arrangements within the YiP and ViP point source speakers to achieve the desired results.” The system includes Yi10P, Vi10P, and 16C column speakers. “Y-Series provides great clarity and offers excellent coverage from a compact cabinet. The sound is clear and warm at the same time and satisfies the tone for sermon as well as musicians.”
Beyrooti said the key to the project was the ability to accurately model the performance in d&b ArrayCalc simulation software. “Due to the architecture and seating areas, the rigging plan was challenging so we needed to be sure that we hung the loudspeakers right the first time. ArrayCalc gave us all the information required. We essentially leveraged the DSP in the 30D and 10D amplifiers and combined that with external DSP to give us two distinct sound systems; one that we call the lecture system, which times the Y-Series speakers to the center of the altar, and one that times some of the Y-Series to localize the sound to the choir area. The V-Series located on the choir side of the church are timed to reinforce the acoustic output of the choir. For contemporary services, acoustic drums, grand piano, percussion and other acoustic instruments serve to anchor the sound by timing both the V and Y-Series loudspeakers to those sources. We have successfully used this technique in many Catholic and traditional churches where the choir is never located in the central altar area, but rather on one side or the other. The result is a much more engaging experience as the congregations’ eyes and ears can work in unison without the brain having to compensate for the sound not coming from where our eyes are looking.
The contemporary worship services include 7 musicians along with 3 vocalists utilizing ensemble of drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and piano with the vocalists singing in harmony together. “We are back to a regular schedule with all masses being live streamed,” states Craig Colson, Liturgy and Music. “The church is still at 30% (about 200-350) capacity due to CDC Covid guidelines. On a typical weekend services take place on Saturday at 5pm, Sunday at 8am and 10am and a Spanish mass at 11:30 am.
Colson has been a music director for over 26 years and worked on a lot of really amazing sound systems. “This system is by far the finest system I have ever had the privilege of working with,” says Colson. “The clarity of the sound is unmatched and everyone in the church can hear at a balanced level regardless of where they are sitting. You can hear everything more clearly in every part of the church. No more dead spots. APAV is a wonderful company to work with.”
The church, which construction was finalized in 2007, has many architectural features that are “fruit of the designer’s prayers,” such as the stained-glass windows, designed by Sr. Agnes Paul, SSpS, states Joe Filpi, Building Manager. “Located in the Church’s sanctuary, behind the tabernacle, the Trinitarian window is a prominent and a breathtaking depiction of the congregations’ belief in the Blessed Trinity set against a star-filled sapphire sky. The tiny stars in the background remind us that those who instruct others into justice will shine like stars for all eternity. The shape of the raised platform of the sanctuary hints at a deck of a ship. Surrounded by buoyant blue from the stain glass windows, our monumental crucifix stands tall like a mast on a ship. The sanctuary invites us all to become fishers of men descendants of the first apostles. Twelve sections of pews represent the twelve apostles.”
Regarding the new d&b loudspeaker system, Father Paul White added that “It is truly amazing hearing how different the sound is in the church. Both spoken word and the music got a huge upgrade. There are no more dead spots, and the total clarity is just wonderful. Before you could not hear the singers over the music but now it is like a song that is in perfect harmony.”
Two d&b 16C column speakers are mounted in a horizontal orientation on either side of the altar high up in the architecture so the sound can be focused on the altar area by using the narrow 40-degree dispersion of the column speakers horizontally. The wider 90-degree vertical coverage serves to get sound from front to back of each speaker’s coverage area. Each loudspeaker is on its own mix so there is independent control of each zone.
APAV also installed BSS, Crestron, an Allen & Heath console and Shure Microphones.
For more information on APAV, visit www.apavsolutions.com.
For more information on d&b audiotechnik, visit www.dbaudio.com.