Feature: Divine intervention
Feature: Divine intervention
The newly opened Divine Mercy in Mira Bhayandar turned to Zoodio for a sound solution that would last for years to come. James Cooke reports
Making Divine Mercy Church a reality has been a labour of love. The building’s foundations were first laid along Mira Bhayandar’s Ramdev Park Road in 2014, and it would be almost five years before the finishing touches were applied to the sanctuary. While the gothic architectural designs had been implemented, adding striking visual elements within the new church, Father Francis Noronha also placed high significance on the intelligibility of sound within his new house of worship.
‘Speech is of the utmost importance for us to communicate to the people,’ explains Father Noronha. ‘We visited a lot of churches and, based on what we heard, decided to go with Zoodio to install our sound system.’
Mumbai-based Zoodio is a sound systems installer and acoustic consultancy. ‘We have been working in the fields of audio integration and installation for the last 10 years,’ says Zoodio owner, Dylan Hilton. ‘In that time, we have worked in many churches, in Mumbai and across India. When the client, Father Francis Noronha, contacted us, having visited St John the Baptist Church in Thane, we immediately thought of implementing a Martin Audio O-Line system for Divine Mercy Church.’
It was an O-Line rig, previously installed by Zoodio, that Father Noronha had heard at St John the Baptist Church. ‘Divine Mercy Church was looking for something similar since they did not want to have speakers placed on the walls,’ furthers Hilton. ‘We have found that the Martin Audio O-Line family best suits this kind of church and has been one of the most successful systems for us during previous church installations. And, since this is a new church, the parish committee wanted a sound system that would not only last for a long time, but also provide them with the sound audio they needed. Therefore, we wanted to implement a solution we could trust.’
A total of 16 flown O-Line cabinets form the main PA setup, while Martin Audio CDD8 ultra-compact two-way passive loudspeakers are employed as both delays throughout the sanctuary, and as monitors onstage. ‘The church is equipped with eight Martin Audio O-Line elements per side for the main PA, while for delays and monitors we made use of the CDD8,’ Hilton confirms. ‘The entire system is powered using Powersoft M Series amplifiers and we have implemented a Behringer X32 digital mixing console as it is easy to use for the church’s audio team, who can create their own presets and manage to system during the Mass.’
The Powersoft amplifiers are the M50Q model, which power the O-Line speakers, and the M28Q, which drive the CDD8s. The CDD8 delays can be found in pairs above and below the balcony, while the monitors are hung above the doors serving as entrances to the stage from both the left and right. Another CDD8 has been installed at the main entrance.
‘Since the church ceiling had a height of more than 12m, the major challenge was to fly the system as rigging and hardware had to be fabricated,’ explains Hilton. ‘The church is designed with a gothic style architecture and caters to around 3,000 people on average. It has an area of approximately 325m2 and features a wooden altar and stained-glass windows. Due to this architectural design, there were a lot of echoes, which were taken care of by carrying out some acoustic treatment to the church. Since we have been working with Martin Audio for a long time, we were able to use the Display 2.3 software to make sure that we placed the speakers at the appropriate height to get even coverage throughout the room, as well as a dbx Venu360 loudspeaker management system that was able to help us set crossover and achieve near perfect equalisation which was expected from our side.’
Zoodio also equipped Divine Mercy with several microphones. Five AKG D5 S dynamic vocal microphones are used to capture the choir, while a pair of Shure CVG18 gooseneck condenser mics can be found on the lectern and the ambo. Audio capture at the main altar is captured by a Shure MX418 D/C gooseneck.
With congregants filling the pews of Divine Mercy Church each and every week, the sound system is doing its job in ensuring everyone inside the sanctuary can hear clearly. In fact, Father Noronha noted that Zoodio’s work and the new sound system has more than met his expectations and will serve the church for years to come.