Framingham, Massachusetts, January 9, 2013 – When construction began on Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (a new Catholic church in Woodinville, Washington), church leadership and the architect, Seattle-based Broderick Architects, turned to Olympia’s CCI Solutions as consultant for acoustics and systems integrator for the audio system. The church’s design and layout (in addition to worship considerations) presented unique challenges in both the acoustical program and the sound system, but CCI Solutions President/CEO Ron Simonson was up to the task, and he selected a system consisting of RoomMatch® array module loudspeakers from Bose® Professional Systems Division. The worship-related audio concerns were familiar to any church: clear and intelligible speech and well-balanced music, enhancing worship rather than distracting from it. The RoomMatch system’s high level of directivity made it the ideal choice, and the recently-opened church features audio that has thrilled church leadership, architects and worshippers alike.
Simonson points out the challenges the audio team faced with this project: “The church’s pastor, Father Schuster, took a very active role in the design of the facility, and he had specific preferences for the acoustics and audio, as he should. It was an absolute requirement that the acoustics of the room would need to strongly support congregational worship and their pipe organ. We had to strike a balance in the acoustical program between speech clarity and a reverb time sufficiently long to support the music program. Go too far in the first direction, and things will sound dead, but too much reverb on the other hand will make spoken word and music hard to understand. Also, Father Schuster demanded that the speakers be hidden out of sight. Another challenge was that the architectural design of the church is a ‘cruciform’, with transepts on either side – a challenging acoustical layout. With those challenges to solve, we explored a number of speaker design options. The Bose RoomMatch design we created met all of the criteria and ended up as the most cost-effective solution.”
Simonson and his team worked closely with Broderick Architects in defining the acoustic program for the church. After strategically working absorptive and diffusive surfaces into the design, the next step was to decide on the audio system. “The challenge was, what speaker system provides consistent coverage of the seating area while providing great pattern control in both vertical and horizontal directions? We looked at a number of electronically steerable options, but none of them gave us the horizontal dispersion control that we needed. Then we looked at the Bose RoomMatch system, and it was clear that it was the right choice.”
The final system consists of two RoomMatch 7040, one RM9010 and one RM5520 array module, powered by the PowerMatch® PM8500 configurable professional power amplifier. Simonson notes, “Together with Bose technical support, we designed the system with one RM7040 for each of the transepts, and two RoomMatch modules paired in a traditional near-throw/long-throw configuration for the main seating area. We got creative with this, since we had only used the RoomMatch modules deployed in a line array configuration prior to this project. We had to think just a little outside the box, so to speak, to think of the modules as individual speaker boxes that have semi-custom definable coverage. Because of the RoomMatch array module’s wide options for dispersion patterns, we really had a huge amount of control even in the critical midrange frequencies, and we were able to tailor the coverage angle for the needs of the three different seating areas. We were able to conceal the speakers too. We really succeeded in designing the right system for the space.”
Simonson adds, “When the system was up and running, everyone was just amazed at how natural the speech sounded, and how great the music filled the room. And in the end, not only did the Bose system sound great, it was more cost-effective than the other options, which made the client very happy. The church is just thrilled with the system.”