Dynacord sound system creates perfect sound with easy control in historic Paisley Abbey

  • 05 July, 2023

 


Dynacord MXE5 Matrix Mix Engine, TPC-1 Touch Panel Controller and SONICUE Sound System Software deliver
user-friendly setup and control to historic Scottish church. 

SCT: The long history of Paisley Abbey has seen the church take on many roles to serve its local community. A new audio solution from Dynacord has made it easier for users to continue this legacy with simple to understand presets that activate appropriate parts of the new system according to the activity or event.

Founded in 1163, Paisley Abbey in Scotland has been restored and renovated several times throughout its long history. The latest renovation is one that is helping the Abbey in its role as a meeting point for the whole community, where it hosts a variety of events throughout the year. With more external companies coming in to use the Abbey for special events such as music recitals, exhibitions and weddings, the 30-year-old sound system was no longer able to deliver the service required. The Abbey turned to Adlib to design and install a new sound system that could meet the various needs of the facility while also being straightforward to use.

“They required a sound system that was very simple to use but that could also be augmented by external production companies,” explains Andrew McCully, Applications Engineer/Project Manager at Adlib.
“They also needed to be able to zone the speaker system, as they might have a small communion service just in the chancel area, or a small meeting in the chapel or, of course, a full Sunday service using all zones. Above all, they were looking for professional advice.”

Adlib worked out a future-proof solution that revolves around Dynacord electronics. An MXE5 Matrix Mix Engine provides the control and sound processing required by the different functions of the site, while SONICUE Sound System Software was utilized for system setup and customizing a user-friendly GUI for the TPC-1 Touch Panel Controller to ensure effortless operation.

“We spent a lot of time around the user interface, as that is such a key element to the success of the project,” recalls McCully. “If the interface is complicated or confusing, the users don’t have a good experience - no matter how good the speakers sound. SONICUE was used to create a GUI with presets for the TPC-1 specific to the needs of the user and provided a system that both sounds great and is easy to use.”

Control is delivered to the user via an iPad or the IP-networked TPC-1, which both allow scene recall and level adjustments. The church selects one of three presets, a Normal Mode, a Chapel Mode and a Chancel Mode. Each preset activates different elements of the system and a different combination of mics.

When it came to installation loudspeakers, Adlib chose Dynacord TS models from the vertical-array series. Four TS 400 cover the main nave of the Abbey, with a further three TS 100 and the same number of TS 200 in place to cover adjacent spaces. “We’ve used quite a lot of the TS series in other houses of worship and they certainly perform really well,” states McCully. “We selected the TS range as it provided great coverage and an aesthetic quality to the installation.” To complete the setup, an Electro-Voice EVU ultracompact loudspeaker has been positioned discretely under the pulpit to provide front-fill.

Dynacord also provided the solution for driving the loudspeakers, with Adlib combining different members of the manufacturer’s installation-dedicated amplifiers. A pair of IPX 5:4 four-channel amplifiers are joined by a C1300FDi model to provide more than enough power for the church.

The age and historic nature of the building provided the main challenge for the project, as Adlib faced limitations in the loudspeaker positions and fixings that could be used. A Dante audio network infrastructure was used to reduce the cabling, and the Adlib team worked hard to ensure that anything that was on show was as neat as possible.

“This is predominantly a Dante system, though with the flexibility of the MXE5 we're feeding the C1300 with an analog output. We used a couple of Dante I/O plates to allow the church to connect additional mics when needed, or to plug a mixing desk at a FOH position for whenever there are additional requirements and the need for a dedicated operator on faders. We also had to strategically position an induction loop amp which is fed from an output from the Dante I/O plate, again meaning that we could run a single Cat-6 cable instead of a four-pair multicore.”

Reflecting on the overall project, McCully is pleased with what Adlib has managed to achieve. “This was never going to be an easy install, due to the nature of the building. The sound is very good, spoken word is fantastically clear and playback is rounded and warm. Our team did also a great job with the cabling, which is neat and hidden were possible.” Most importantly, the Abbey is pleased with the results. “The church team got up to speed with the controls pretty quickly and have had really positive feedback from the congregation,” concludes McCully. “I’m confident that the system is so versatile that it will stand up to whatever they can throw at it.”

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Dynacord sound system creates perfect sound with easy control in historic Paisley Abbey