STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT – OCTOBER 2011: St. John’s Episcopal Church, located in Stamford, was founded by Colonists in 1752. Its present structure erected in 1880, replaces the original destroyed by fire. Its current Rector the Reverend Dr. James Wheeler and Special Projects Coordinator, Bruce Kittredge approved an engineered multimedia A/V system designed by PASCOM of Hamden, Connecticut featuring the new Symetrix Solus for a recently renovated gathering space. Named the Eagles’ Loft, this former basketball court turned state-of-the-art multi-function gathering space, is a major component of this campus’ extensive four million-plus dollar restoration. This meeting facility is named to represent St. John’s parish’s symbol, the Eagle, as well as its soaring architecture. The Eagles’ Loft name also ties nicely to the church’s support of Boy Scout Troup #5 (Connecticut’s second oldest troop). This space’s flexible seating will occupy up to two-hundred persons attending a range of functions that will include: concerts, theatrical productions, lectures, presentations, and full bandwidth HD movies.
Early into the project, one of the building’s contractors was asked about a sound system for the space and gladly agreed to do some research. With a visit to the local branch of a national electronics chain he found the assistance of a salesperson eager to sell him four of their largest, three-way, home, hi-fi, speakers. His strategy was to place one loudspeaker into each of the room’s corners, aimed toward the center. Fortunately this design strategy caught the ear of Bruce Kittredge who put the brakes on this effort and proceeded to do his own investigation.
With the Episcopal Church being the close-knit community that it is, it wasn’t long before a colleague from another Episcopal church in NYC had contacted Bruce suggesting a decidedly more professional solution.
It is here that Peter Scandone, president of PASCOM, entered the story. The recommendation was for a Duran Audio steerable line array, and Duran Audio’s U.S. distributor suggested that Scandone and PASCOM should become involved. “The acoustics of the Eagles’ Loft presented a serious challenge,” he said. “Its hardwood flooring on both the stage and the gathering area, together with a plaster ceiling and walls, while excellent for music, are a detriment to the naturalness and articulation the owners sought for their lecture series.
Although the church initially considered a single source, monophonic system for speech, their aspirations blossomed at the prospect of a truly professional A/V system. Scandone designed and installed a Duran Audio DSX-180 stereo line array with its extended high-end response. Together with a Bose 502B subwoofer powered by a QSC amplifier, the loudspeaker system has more than enough sonic muscle to match the Eiki HD video projection system.
A Symetrix Solus 8 open-architecture signal processor forms the core of St. John’s new audio system. Scandone custom programmed the unit to handle all of the input conditioning, logic routing, and loudspeaker management, relying on its fixed 8-in by 8-out topography to interconnect to the rest of the gear.
Despite the sophistication of the Solus 8’s processing, Scandone was able to present St. John’s with an extremely simplified user interface. Specifically, a Symetrix ARC-K1 wall panel remote provides volume control. “The rest of processing – precisely controlled mixing, dynamics processing, equalization, routing, and signal-alignment – all happen inside this single chassis,” said Scandone. “I am impressed by the Solus 8’s ability to seamlessly manage multi-microphone speech and vocal reinforcement with true clarity and transparency. At the same time, it provides the high-fidelity reproduction of prerecorded sources that include the demanding soundtracks of HD-Blu-ray(tm) discs.
Perhaps most importantly, the Symetrix Solus 8’s stability, reliability, and tamperproof interface allow the officials at St. John’s to rest comfortably knowing that their system will sound perfect, week after week.”
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