Originally dating back to 1623, the present First Bangor Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland is a superb example of a traditional, early-Victorian Presbyterian meeting house.
When Rea Sound, who are based nearby, were first contacted by church manager George Monaghan, they were surprised both by the high level of organisation, how specific the church was with its requirement, and how realistic it was with the large budget that would be needed to achieve this.
“In addition to a new sound system they wanted full AV and lighting as well,” stated Rea Sound project manager, Roger McMullan.
In view of the dimensions of the 700-seat facility—with a balcony, and pulpit set in a semi-circle—a Martin Audio CDD system was specified using their unique Coaxial Differential Dispersion design. This met the requirement for a distributed sound system.
“The client wanted absolute clarity at every seat. Previously, they had speakers everywhere, but they simply didn’t work.” And this needed to be ripped out.
One of five companies approached, Rea Sound responded successfully to a high-budget tender that included HD cameras, projection screens, 40” x 60” LCD Sony panels and all control equipment for picture-in-picture and live streaming.
With regard to the sound, McMullan says, “No-one else could show what the equipment would achieve. I explained that the Martin Audio CDD we were proposing would guarantee speech clarity, cater for a live band and provide full intelligibility in every seat. In the end we never needed to conduct a demo … they simply went with us.”
The main system comprises a cluster of three CDD10 (10”) speakers, using four CDD6 facing out to the wings (two per side) and eight further CDD6 fixed to the balcony underside using the purpose-designed ceiling brackets, and delayed to the main system.
Directly beneath the CDD10 cluster are a pair of Martin Audio Blackline X210 subwoofers, recessed under the platform. The passive speakers are powered by an external process-controlled Martin Audio iKON iK8 8-channel amplifier.
“It’s a very live oriented worship, with the band playing all the time—and hence we needed the subs,” stated Rea Sound’s project manager, explaining the decision.
At the same time the integrators have doubled the size of the mixing position by removing two rows of seating, and provided the church with a new Allen & Heath SQ-6 digital mixer.
“This was a perfect project,” summarised Roger McMullan. “The new installation has also allowed the church to be used as a conference facility which wasn’t possible before. So it’s given them a further option.”
George Monaghan added, “The whole project went really well with Roger and his team, and ended up fantastically successful. The audio quality throughout the entire church is great.”