Córdoba, Spain – April 2018… As an iconic and ancient church in the Andalusian city of Córdoba, San Nicolás de la Villa boasts a long and storied history that attracts worshippers and tourists alike. One of twelve churches constructed in the city after its conquest in 1236 by King Ferdinand III of Castille, the building has since been almost entirely rebuilt with new styles of architecture, most recently in the 18th Century. What has not changed is the grand house of worship’s classic acoustical character, with a majestic reverberation that beautifully enhances the choir and organ but wreaks havoc with the spoken word. That is, until a recent installation of Renkus-Heinz Iconyx transformed intelligibility throughout the building.
The challenge of creating a sound reinforcement system that was capable of serving San Nicolás de la Villa’s audio requirements while protecting its historical structure fell to Malaga-based LDA Audio Tech, working alongside a local integrator for the system installation. Despite their history as a long-serving Renkus-Heinz partner and a highly acclaimed AV consultant and systems integrator, the company nevertheless approached the San Nicolás de la Villa project as a departure from the norm. Having earned their reputation across hundreds of high profile projects in airports and other public spaces, the Andalusian church represented the consultant’s inaugural excursion into the worship market.
“From our many projects with Renkus-Heinz systems in other environments we were confident that the Iconyx system would be able to deliver the substantial improvements to intelligibility that were required,” says Diego Velazquez, LDA Audio Tech Area Manager for Spain and Latin America. “Working in close cooperation with our install partner, the result is a new system that uses just six IC7-II arrays to cover the entire worship space.”
Employing the same triple-tweeter technology and fully natural sound reproduction as their digitally steered brethren, the IC7’s fixed acoustical beam is ideal for side-fill, front-fill, and short-throw applications that don’t require programmable control. The self-powered IC7-IIs each comprise a column array of four 4-inch LF woofers and three 4-inch full-range coaxial drivers.
The IC7s are positioned in two dual stacks within the altar area, providing coverage for the front side of the audience while two further single units, located in the middle of the sanctuary, deliver consistent coverage throughout the remainder of the church. In addition to their ability to provide highly targeted audio, the IC7s also comply with the church’s request for a visually unobtrusive system that does not impede upon the venue’s historic and much-loved aesthetic.
“The installation was carried out over the summer and I am delighted to say that both the priest and parishioners have commented upon the improved clarity of the sermons,” says Velazquez. “Our installation partner is also very pleased with the results and we expect to be working on further projects in the worship space, which is great news for us as it really means that we are opening up an additional market.”