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Tannoy Qflex Offers Modern Solution For Post Modern Church

A church in the village of Vicques in Switzerland has recently benefited from the installation of Tannoy's new Qflex beam-steering array loudspeaker system, solving a decades old problem with acoustics suffered by the congregation since it opened. Located in the canton of Jura in the northwest of the country, the Church is a striking piece of Post-Modernist architecture designed by Pierre Dumas and built between 1958 and 1960, sited in the middle of the picturesque village and having replaced an earlier church from the 18th century.
In keeping with the design style, Vicques Church is bold and futuristic in form, effectively triangular in both plan and section, as well as being constructed with modern materials such as concrete and over 80 sq metres of glass. Much of this glazed area features stunning stained-glass montages by Swiss artist Bernard Schorderet, which attracts a great deal of tourist visitors to the church. The downside to this unorthodox design and expansive glazing of course is that it poses some very challenging acoustic problems. The myriad of hard surfaces and a highly irregular floor plan resulted in sound reflecting off the back and side walls making vocals barely intelligible and almost inaudible at times. Recorded music, played during services as well as during the day as background music while the Church is open to tourists, lacks clarity and has to be kept to relatively low levels to avoid excessive echoes.
After nearly 50 years of 'making do', the Church set out to find a suitable solution to the problem fearing that their only option would involve expensive building acoustic measures. It was at this point that Tannoy's Swiss distributor Decibel suggested the award winning Qflex system as an answer to their woes.
Qflex uses multiple channels of advanced amplification and DSP to produce controlled beams of acoustic energy, which are directed on to user-defined target areas. By concentrating acoustic energy in this way, the level of sound reflected off the walls, floors and other hard surfaces is minimised, greatly increasing speech intelligibility. One of Qflex's most significant benefits is its ability to control these acoustic beams at far higher frequencies than would normally be achievable. Traditionally, beam-steering products suffer from 'lobing', or side-beams of acoustic energy, at frequencies beyond around 2kHz resulting in scattered sound and reducing the effectiveness of the loudspeaker, particularly when dealing with music. Qflex delivers unrivalled beam control up to and beyond 12kHz, making it perfectly suited for both spoken word and musical content.
Decibel recommended the Church trial Qflex, on the basis of requiring just 2 discrete arrays - a single Qflex24 on each side of the congregation, at the front - to the left and right of the pulpit. After a demonstration the Church was immediately convinced and approved the permanent installation of the system. Installed in April 2009, the Qflex system has vastly improved the acoustics of the Church, much to the appreciation of the congregation, not least due to the fact that Qflex has saved them from spending a great deal more on acoustical treatment. What's more, the discrete and architecturally sensitive form of each Qflex array means that the new system has virtually no impact on the aesthetics of this Post-Modernist Church space. A win-win situation!

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