Charles Borromeo is an internationally recognized character of the Christian faith, with churches dedicated to him also in America. In Minneapolis, the audio solution is called Iconyx and is signed Renkus-Heinz.
With its size, arched ceilings, soaring columns, extensive stained glass, and other classic features, the Church of St. Charles Borromeo presents acoustical challenges. Located about four miles northeast of downtown Minneapolis, the landmark Catholic church was dedicated in 1959, complementing an existing parish school and convent. St. Charles Borromeo parish, which currently serves 1.500 families, has continued to add to the complex throughout the latter half of the 20th century.
More recent renovations further enhanced the church’s beauty but the sanctuary’s acoustics suffered. The parish therefore contacted a local system integrator, Metro Sound & Lighting (MSL), to design and install a new sound system. “We came in and did some evaluations and decided that steerable-beam technology was the best solution” – explains Randy Keeley, systems integrator and dealer MSL. “We used two Renkus-Heinz ICONYX Gen 5 IC32-RN digitally steerable line array loudspeakers at the front of the church to serve as the main sound system.”
Renkus-Heinz’ IC32-RN employs 32 4-inch coaxial transducers, each with 3 high-frequency tweeters, along with 32 amplifier and DSP channels. Each low-profile column can deliver up to 12 steerable beams, which can be individually shaped and aimed using powerful, software-controlled DSP. Beam control is effective down to 200 Hz. This combination of programmable control and precision beam steering enabled coverage of all pews, while minimizing reflections off the sanctuary’s many hard surfaces.
Although two IC32-RN loudspeakers provide clear, intelligible sound throughout the cavernous space, the MSL team also wanted to ensure that choral music performed in the rear loft was properly localized. In the back of the church, a Renkus-Heinz IC Live series Gen5 ICL-F-RN digital array was used, right in front of the choir loft, which causes the music to come exactly from the position in which it is performed. Employing five 6.5-inch cone transducers with neodymium magnets and three 1-inch titanium nitride compression drivers, the ICL-F-RN is smaller than the IC32-RN but quite powerful, delivering up to 105 dB SPL of clear, clean audio from 80 Hz to 20 kHz. Horizontal dispersion is 150° up to 3 kHz and 120° above 3 kHz.
Randy Keeley has no doubts: “Intelligibility and overall audio quality are excellent throughout the space. Renkus-Heinz Iconyx has been an extremely good product for us. It is quickly becoming our go-to product in challenging applications such as this.”
This post is also available in: Italian