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Wigwam Acoustics, part of the Solotech UK Group, has installed a d&b audiotechnik Y-Series system as part of the audio package for Betania Church, a new build 1,483 seat house of worship in Dublin, Ireland.
With their previous building no longer fit for purpose, Betania Church took the decision to invest in land and construct a new purpose built facility that would meet the church’s needs going forwards.
The result is one of the largest churches in Ireland with seating for 1483 and includes state of the art audio lighting and video systems.
Hard work, community spirit and financial generosity all played their part in creating Betania, which holds services in both English and Romanian to cater for the area’s large Romanian population. Apart from the steelwork, the church has been built entirely by volunteers offering their time skills and services to bring the building to fruition.
When seeking an audio supplier, Betania spoke to Hillsong Church who recommended Wigwam, with its wealth of expertise in this sector. Wigwam co-founder and now Brand Ambassador Mick Spratt explained, “We first spoke with Betania over three years ago to discuss the various audio options available to them. We had our visit to site just before Covid struck and immediately realised there was an issue with the acoustics of the building as it was just a concrete shell.”
Wigwam Project Manager Tim Mortimer added, “We said there would be no point selling them a microphone, let alone a PA system with the building as it was. Betania employed an Acoustic Consultant who fitted wood panelling to the walls. The treatment significantly reduced reverb time and removed reflections from the walls meaning the congregation would be hearing a direct source.”
Wigwam offered the church various PA options with Betania settling for an array processed d&b audiotechnik system based around the Y-Series. Main left and right hangs contain six Yi12s per side, with three YiSUBs flown behind to “fatten up” the audio in the fan shaped auditorium. Yi10 out-fills and upper outfill delays cover the far corners of the balcony. XS10SD loudspeakers have been fitted under the balcony downstairs and six Bi6-SUB subwoofers are built into the stage. Seven 44S front-fills have also been integrated into the steps leading up to the stage. Three d&b M4 wedge monitors provide a monitor mix for visiting preachers.
A key benefit for Betania’s sound engineer Sam Biro is that the d&b hangs are array processed. Each element of the array is fed off a separate amplifier channel allowing smoother coverage of the arrays across the room. “It provides a more consistent setup,” explained Tim Mortimer. “Humidity and temperature can alter in the room but Sam has access to every element of the system via the d&b R1 software. Whether it’s the arrays or delays, he can get to every box.”
At front of house is a DiGiCo Quantum 225 digital console with a DiGiCo SD9 supplied as a broadcast console. For monitoring Wigwam has supplied 11 Allen & Heath ME1 Personal monitor mixers.
Despite all the equipment being ordered prior to the pandemic, lockdowns in Ireland delayed the construction process by around 12 months. However, working within the myriad of rules and regulations Wigwam were able to attend site in mid 2021, with the first church service taking place just before Christmas.
The auditorium also has the potential to host corporate work when not being used as a church. “Although it has been built as a church, it’s more like a conference facility and will be a useful extra income stream for Betania,” explained Tim Mortimer. “It was a key reason for choosing d&b audiotechnik. Not only does it provide superb audio performance, the system is rider friendly, with clients confident that they won’t have to ship in their own audio package.”
Technical Coordinator for Betania Daniel Cantana reflected on the installation: “It was a big challenge, a long procedure and we needed to make some hard decisions when choosing the right sound system for our worship space. The d&b sound experience, together with the DiGiCo consoles proved it was definitely the right way to go. The system provides great sound and awesome coverage. I’m delighted with the service we have received from Wigwam – a very professional company and a great team.”
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