Annapolis Chapel

Annapolis, MD

DFX completed this automated system installation in early 2012. Originally, the chapel had a significant amount of existing equipment in good working order, provided by another company. However, our design team determined that reuse of the existing equipment was not recommended; the existing loudspeakers had a conical/round wave guide, which is made to disperse audio in a circular pattern and is commonly used in outdoor and open environments. The existing equipment caused each audience member to hear the same sound up to 10 different times, ultimately resulting in an unpleasant listening experience. Proper acoustics in a house of worship call for a much more controlled and focused dispersion pattern, allowing our design engineers to focus the output of a speaker to a very specific part of the audience.

With that in mind, our objective was to direct all reinforced audio towards the rear floor of the church, and to keep all frequencies moving in one direction and away from hitting the back wall. With digital alignment, this allowed the audio to reach the audience from a single direction, from all of the speakers simultaneously. Our design team carefully chose high-quality linear steerable arrays and broad-range fill speakers, and implemented precision acoustic timing with state of the art digital signal processing. This provided each speaker in the chapel to have discrete delay and processing capabilities, allowing our design engineers to completely customize each listening zone individually. The result is a high-quality listening experience.

The audio system installed in the chapel also includes automated Crestron touchscreen control. The system provides the ability to customize microphones, sources, and/or outputs. After the desired custom settings are made, they can then be saved to one dedicated button on the touchscreen, allowing for easy repeated access. The system has the ability to store up to 20 custom presets at a time. The control system is protected by a password, which stops the end user from changing any of the settings unless authorization is granted. This feature protects the system from improper configuration and eliminates the need for a system operator on staff for every event. The installation also includes remote access, which allows our technical staff 24-hour access and control over all of the settings present at the facility. If a user is having technical difficulties, he or she can simply press the remote help button on the Crestron touch panel, which will contact our service manager. A support technician will then contact the user, walk them through the necessary steps, or even control the system from our office.

Aside from system form, function, and audibility, our installation also addressed efficiency. The system is outfitted with Class D amplifiers as well as the ability to automatically shut down. The amplifiers offer high-end output and clarity, while using minimal electrical energy to function. Unless otherwise specified by the user, the system will shut down if it is not in use. As soon as needed after shut down, pressing a single button will power on all devices and make them ready to function as desired. These key features will extend the life of all the equipment, minimize the need for constant service, and reduce yearly electrical costs.