Marysville, KS— August 2018… In the heart of downtown Marysville, Kansas, stands a Pony Express Station, the only such station still in its original location. It’s a fitting reminder of the town’s historic location on the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, and the route of the Pony Express and Overland Stage. Just a half mile east of this 1859-vintage building towers the brand new home of St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church. The fifth building in the parish’s 150-year history, St. Gregory’s classic-looking, cathedral-style edifice, is equipped with a thoroughly modern Renkus-Heinz IC Live Gen5 digitally steered array loudspeaker system designed and installed by DK Audio Video of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“When we first started working with St. Gregory, I arranged a demonstration to show them the differences between loudspeaker systems,” recalls DK Audio Video CEO Lucas Lafferty. “They heard point-source boxes and the distributed audio systems that many churches use, and they couldn’t stand them. They were looking for a different approach, a system that looked great and sounded great. Renkus-Heinz ICONYX was what they really needed. Some churches go through two or three systems before they find the right one but I was able to show them that ICONYX was the right system from the start.”
Services at St. Gregory are traditional in feel, featuring choir, organ, and spoken word. Many traditional-style churches choose the Renkus-Heinz ICONYX Gen5 series but St. Gregory opted for the higher-power IC Live Gen5, which is especially popular in churches with more contemporary programming. “I gave them a side-by-side comparison between the ICONYX Gen5 IC16-RN and the IC Live ICL-F-DUAL-RN, and they chose the IC Live,” reports Lafferty. “It has worked out well. We installed a pair of ICL-F-DUAL-RN arrays, left and right, with Renkus-Heinz CFX18S subwoofers for low-end support, and the sound is excellent.”
The biggest things the church wanted were ease of use and feedback control. “Coverage was very important as well, because the sanctuary is very large, with a capacity of about 750,” Lafferty observes. “The ICL-F-DUAL-RN can deliver up to eight steerable beams, with definable opening angles and aiming, so we could precisely aim the sound at the congregation and minimize reflections off the hard surfaces. IC Live arrays have wide horizontal dispersion, and combined with beam-steering, we could cover the entire room evenly.”
The ICL-F-DUAL-RN’s slim, low-profile enclosure was another advantage at St. Gregory. “The parish spent a lot of time and money on aesthetics,” notes Lafferty. “It’s a beautiful church. You can see the IC Lives on the front walls, flanking the apse, but they are unobtrusive, almost decorative. The subwoofers are concealed behind grilles.”
A Mackie DL32R rack-mount digital mixer handles audio mixing and routing. The mixer is wirelessly controlled with an iPad so there’s no need for a mixing station. Lafferty’s team programmed the DL32R to be easy for volunteers to use, providing a few necessary controls, such as level faders, and locking out features that require more expertise. All speaker processing is handled with the loudspeakers’ onboard DSP.
“The church is still brand new but so far the congregation is very happy with their Renkus-Heinz sound system,” reports Lafferty. “ICONYX is a great product; we’ve loved it for a long time, and we were convinced it was the way to go for St. Gregory. But we gave them choices, and the results prove they made the right one.”