The most important thing for church sound is ensuring that speech is crystal clear throughout the main body of the building. For many years Ishavskatedralen had a passive sound reinforcement system, which made speech sound boomy and muffled.

Lydproduksjon supplied and installed a system comprising ten LR7 6.5-inch micro line array modules, two BF302 double 15-inch high output subwoofers, and four VR5 five-inch mini versatile monitors. The system is powered and controlled by one Sentinel10 (four 2500w) and one Sentinel3 (four 750w) amplified loudspeaker controller. For inconspicuous integration, the system was delivered in a room-matching color scheme through Architect Color Option.

“The system ensures everyone in each of the church’s 720 seats gets the best possible sound experience. It was specially produced in a custom white colour to match the interior of the church, making sure it perfectly complemented the visual aesthetic and did not detract from its iconic architecture.” “We think it is the optimal solution for the church and we are grateful that they trusted us to design and install the system,” said Eirik Haua, Lydproduksjon.

“The system delivers pure sound, both loud and quiet, which fills a tight, clean church space. The main loudspeakers look like they are floating, rather than hanging. It perfectly supplements the timelessness of the architecture. Although Jan Inge Hovig passed away in 1977, we know that he would be happy,” explained Mogen Olsen, Church Warden.

The visual footprint of the installation had to be a minimum, not to mess up the cleanliness of the roof, which actually are the walls, which again really is the room, so both being able to get custom colour on the boxes makes quite the difference, but also the ultra-compact form factor the LR7 comes in. It’s really bigger than itself in many ways.

The reverberation time in the church is quite long, which is very pleasant for acoustical music, but challenging when adding multiple sound sources, e.g.  reinforced sound to the equation. The need for a system with precise dispersion/coverage was clear. One of the main points were that the system we specced had little or no sidelobes, and the speech intelligibility was really crucial. The pro ribbon driver really ‘cuts it’ in that room, from having a sound system with no adaptations to the room, to having a system you would believe was almost custom made for it, the difference in the experience of sound is huge. The throw, the transient response, the clarity, the ultra-even frequency response, the precise horizontal dispersion making us able to just razor cut along the walls. It all added up to a winning result.

It was really the ability to do tests and demos with the actual proposed system which made the church council decide to go for us and Alcons. (at one a/b test we were accused of tampering with the old house sound system because the difference was so vast)

Even though the arctic cathedral houses many concerts, the main purpose of the sound system was said to be speech reinforcement, so being able to reproduce so natural and uncompressed speech sound also made a big impact.

They actually had two sound systems, an installed system for speech, and a JBL SRX they bought from us for some years ago for concert use. Both systems were always rigged up, but now the Alcons replaces both.

Replacing two sound systems in one, in this acoustically very challenging room is very rarely heard of in the industry. We hope the jury will also recognise this. This paired with the stellar imagery of Daniel Lilleeng makes that you immediately want to go visit the church to see and hear it for yourself.