Sacred Heart Cathedral, Tennessee served as the cathedral for the Diocese of Knoxville from 1998 until recently where it was replaced by the new Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, built on the same property.
McCrery Architects, Washington, DC, assisted architectural firm BarberMcMurry to design the space, it’s engineers worked with all parties to create the acoustics and the installation of a high-impact sound reinforcement system, the musical content is conveyed by Danley Sound Labs J3-64 Jericho Horn and four Danley SM80 loudspeakers.
Keith Reardigan, TSAV TP of technology & standards and senior systems architect explained: “We’ve completed several successful projects with the Catholic Church including two recent sound reinforcement systems at churches in Georgia
“We were able to suggest acoustical treatments that would nicely balance the often-conflicting needs for intelligible spoken work and lively music. Whereas an untreated room of comparable size might normally have a six to eight-second reverb, we brought the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus down to around two seconds when empty – enough to really help with intelligibility but not so much as to spoil the music.”
Mindful of the cathedral’s resplendent, low-tech aesthetic, TSAV installed a music reinforcement system at the back of the room, hidden below the choir loft. Keith added: “We knew we didn’t want to excite a lot of air and surfaces unnecessarily.
“We’ve completed several projects that had that same imperative with Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers, and we’ve been impressed with the Danley design’s ability to deliver a coherent waveform over long distances and its related pattern control. Danley was a great choice here as well.”
A single Danley J3-64 Jericho Horn the same massive loudspeaker used to throw sound around in some of the world’s largest stadiums covers almost all of the seating from its location under the choir loft. Four additional SM80s two for near fill and one each for the two transepts complete the music production system. QSC amplifiers and BiAmp DSP drive the system. A Bose column array system at the front of the church coupled with K-Array micro-format speakers integrated into overhead hung lighting fixtures provide primarily speech reinforcement, and a Yamaha QL console together with custom Crestron controls allow an engineer to control both setups.
Glen Kahler, director of music and liturgy at the church, said: “The space is fantastic. The team at TSAV was able to find the happy medium between high speech intelligibility and lively acoustics for music – neither is a sacrifice. The loudspeakers are wonderful and fill the space beautifully.”