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Martin Decks the Halls

St. Paul, MN (March 6, 2003)--As part of a recent $5 million construction and renewal project, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul, MN built a 17,000-square-foot addition to the main structure, on top of renovating the existing 1950s-era church building. The architect for the project was Bentz/Thompson/Rietow of Minneapolis, MN. The project encompassed all-new audio systems--designed and installed by Jim Pfitzinger of PI Audio/Design--based around a total of 40 Martin Audio loudspeakers. Pfitzinger's contract included complete replacement of the existing main sanctuary PA system, upgrades to the fellowship hall system and the installation of systems for the new, 3-story building addition.

The most difficult challenge faced by Pfitzinger was designing a system for the long, tall and highly reverberant sanctuary. The old, high-mounted single cluster suffered from inadequate coverage and, with the recent addition of wireless lapel microphones, frustrating feedback problems.

To cure these ills, Pfitzinger devised a delay-zoned distributed system using Martin Audio's compact EM15 2-way, wall-mounted loudspeakers supplemented by single-driver C115 surface-mount speakers. A total of 10 EM15s were recessed into side pillars for the main seating area, with additional EM15s and C115s providing balcony coverage. This approach provided even dispersion of sound throughout the space, minimizing reflections and greatly enhancing intelligibility.

"The new speakers sound great, and it's working out very well," said Jack Angerhofer, the church's volunteer sound technician for the past 15 years. "It's much better balanced throughout the church, with fewer dead spots. We don't have to crank up the system in order to make the words intelligible. We can keep it down to a much friendlier level."

The new sanctuary system also included a pair of EM15s to cover a side chapel, which extends at a 90-degree angle from the main worship space. For the altar area at the far end of the chapel, Pfitzinger specified a small, dedicated system employing a pair of the Martin C115 speakers.

The large gathering space in the new addition utilizes 10 Martin Audio C516 flush-mount speakers to cover the large, high-ceiling room. Additional C515 and C516 loudspeakers were also installed in the new addition's kitchen, nursery and connecting hallways.

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18 December 2007
Minnesota Orchestra Invests in the Cadac Sound

Cadac Electronics plc reports that it has supplied a 24-channel S-Type Compact Live Production Console to the Minnesota Orchestra, as part of a major upgrade of its sound system. The Orchestra Hall, an architectural landmark in downtown Minneapolis, is home to the 98-member ensemble, with its busy annual programing spanning live concerts, award-winning broadcasts and recordings. The Cadac S-Type was commissioned in November, alongside the installation of 64 additional mic lines, under the supervision of head of sound, Terry Tilley.

Established in 1903 as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra has an internationally acclaimed reputation, playing nearly 200 concerts a year under the direction of Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä. Terry Tilley is currently serving his 30th season with the orchestra, during which time he has changed mixing consoles just four times. The Cadac represented the fulfillment of a long-standing objective, as Terry explains:
“I wanted a really good-sounding desk, capable of handling the eclectic mix of recording and broadcast projects we get involved with – anything from classical reinforcement to light jazz. Earlier this year, our director and the musicians put in a pretty loud request for some new equipment that would enable us to get the best possible sound. Management said yes, and I was allowed to go shopping! I have always wanted a Cadac – it is sonically superior to anything else, and has a transparency that makes it ideally suited to classical reinforcement. We need a very fine and controllable sound, along with a very precise EQ for the wonderful acoustic we have in the Hall. With the S-Type, everyone is very happy with what we can now achieve – including the broadcast guys! I love the sound and the way the desk is built, added to which the Cadac has the best pre-amps in the building. Given that I have a pretty good collection here, that is saying something!”

The upgrade project included increasing the number of mic lines from 30 to 94, reflecting the volume of broadcast work handled by the Orchestra Hall, along with the addition of LabGruppen fp2600 and fp3400 amplifiers and a Yamaha PM5D sub-mixer for road-show projects. Terry and his assistant handled the installation, battling with the lack of any cable pulls in the 1970s building, while continuing to work through a hectic daily schedule that involves some 4 shows in rotation at any one time.