Proel’s Axiom Line Array For Finland’s Oulu Church

The historic Tuiran Kirkko, an evangelical Lutheran church in Tuira, Oulu, Finland has upgraded its sound system to a Proel Axiom compact line array loudspeaker system.

Designed by architect Harald Andersin, and originally inaugurated as a chapel of Oulu parish in 1916, the church has benefited from two extensions, the latest being in 1992. Its sound system, an antiquated 70volt line distributed system supplemented with enormous portable Cervin-Vega speakers preceding the time of the second renovation, was in urgent need of an upgrade to cater for today’s larger congregations and more modern style of worship that incorporates a lot of music content and especially contemporary gospel bands.

The church knew it was looking for a more modern audio solution of the type afforded by compact line array systems but was not particularly aware of specific brands, and turned for advice to Oulu-based HifiStudio, a specialist supplier of not only high-end hi-fi equipment but also top professional audio brands such as AKG, Bose, Proel, Sennheiser, and JBL.

HifiStudio suggested that they look at Proel’s Axiom compact line arrays as having a suitable performance to size ratio that would give them top-end quality while having minimal aesthetic impact on the building.

Senior audio sales manager Jorma Tikka of Bright Finland, Proel’s distributor in Finland, worked with HifiStudio and consultant Ilmari Mäenpää to present a proposal for the church. “We modelled an Axiom system of AX2065P passive line array modules and AX1115P single 15-inch subwoofers using EASE Focus to simulate performance across the 300-seat audience space. The AX2065P uses two 6.5-inch woofers and a 1.4-inch high frequency compression driver in a nicely sized compact cabinet with 100° horizontal dispersion, and we felt that it would provide the ideal audio solution without being obtrusive,” he comments.

The Axiom proposal was duly accepted, and Bright Finland set about a sympathetic installation in the historic church. Two clusters of four AX2065P were flown at left and right, close to the balconies that run on each side of the building. The AX1115P subwoofers were discreetly placed on the floor. The system is controlled by PC-260 system processors and powered by HPX-900, HPX-1200, HPX-4600 and HPX-6000 amplifiers. Additionally, LT8P 8-inch passive two-way speakers provide delay coverage around the room, and low profile WD10A 10-inch two-way powered monitors are installed for floor monitoring.

“We were slightly constrained as to the height of the flown PA, so achieving good vertical and horizontal coverage with the limited number of boxes available in the budget was challenging,” says Tikka. “But by assembling tight clusters of four cabinets and angling them carefully with the help of the initial EASE Focus simulations we were able get even coverage and excellent intelligibility to every seat in the church.

“The client is very happy with the result. For them the new audio system represents a big step forward – with better sound quality, and more equal coverage for the whole congregation. We had very positive feedback from one of the sound engineers following a contemporary gospel band performance there recently. From my perspective and for this project the Axiom system’s performance to price is excellent.”