Print This Page

Historic London church receives major audio upgrade

Apr, 2010

Located literally a stone’s throw (or a Beatle’s crawl) from London’s famous Abbey Road studios, the church of St Mary in Kilburn has recently joined its illustrious near-neighbour in providing true audio excellence, thanks to a Yamaha DME-based audio system.

Built in 1856, St Mary’s is typical of Victorian churches, sporting a tall nave, side aisles and many reflective stone and wood surfaces. The resulting, highly reverberant, acoustics were fine for the first century and a half of its existence. However, nowadays people are used to high quality audio in all aspects of their lives, so Yamaha technology has been harnessed to deliver sound which meets modern expectations.

As well as the central nave and side aisles, the church features a chancel and narthex (entrance lobby). Designed and installed by Keith Monks Sound Systems, the audio installation division of London-based Cunnings Recording Associates, the system needed to work well but be as unobtrusive as possible.

A pair of loudspeakers was installed to cover the nave, one mounted either side of the chancel arch, with the side aisles, chancel and narthex covered by one time-aligned loudspeaker in each area. All were colour-matched to their respective surroundings, ensuring they are as inconspicuous as possible.

“We supplied four headworn radio microphones, one lectern microphone, two choir mics and installed four sockets - two in the chancel and two near the organ in the south side aisle. This allows the choir to be heard, regardless of where they sing from,” says Daniel Cunnings, Business Development Manager for Cunnings Recording Associates.

“However, as there is no operator to mix the microphones, they would all have to be live at the same time, causing problems with feedback. Avoiding that scenario was one of the many reasons for choosing the DME.”

Inputs from a CD player, iPod/MP3 player and a Kramer VP724 switcher scaler were also required - the latter forming part of the church’s highly specified visual system. To manage the system, a Yamaha DME24N digital mixing engine was installed, controlling the microphones using its automatic mixing facility. A CP4SF wall panel controller was also installed, giving church staff simple control without needing in-depth knowledge of the system.

“We have installed other automated systems in churches, but none of them had the right combination or number of inputs, control facilities, expandability or compact size required for St Mary’s,” says Daniel.

“Fitted with an MY8-ADDA96 card, the DME24N provided all the necessary inputs, outputs, control and flexibility, while the CP4SF provides very simple control over the whole system. It ticks all the right boxes and we can reprogram the system to add presets as and when things change at the church in the future.”

Installed in a wooden cabinet, carefully colour-matched to fit in with the nearby pews, the compact size of the Yamaha equipment means that the system’s heart is just as inconspicuous as its loudspeakers. But, although visually unobtrusive, it has made a major improvement to the church’s sound.

“Everyone is very happy with the result,” says Daniel. “St Mary’s is seeking to be at the forefront of audio visual technology, yet ensuring that it blends in well with its historic architecture. It now has a 21st century system, but it’s been carefully managed to not lose any of the traditional ambience of the church.”


Products DME24N

Return to Top

Your preferences

Select your region and press [Apply].

+Search by Region

  • Asia and Pacific
    • Other Asian Country
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • Thailand
  • europe_region
    • Other_Europe
    • Germany
    • Spain
    • France
    • United Kingdom
    • Italy
  • Latin America
    • brazil
    • mexico
  • North America
    • Canada
    • United States
  • Other Regions and Countries
    • Africa
    • Middle East
    • Oceania