Beverley Minster sound system installation

Progressive sound company, Apple Sound, experts in the design and installation of sophisticated systems for the ecclesiastical market, have provided a cutting edge audio control system to Beverley Minister, in Beverley, East Yorkshire. As part of a substantial audio system upgrade, Apple Sound provided an intuitive control system, which centred on AUDIA from BIAMP and the CUE media management system.

Working closely with its sister acoustic consultancy – Apple Dynamics, headed by Dr Paul Darlington, Apple Sound designed a system which would counter the massive acoustic challenges presented by the majestic Cathedral-like Beverley Minster, and satisfy the installation restrictions imposed by the listed building regulations (the Church is Grade 1 listed). The system had to be visually diminutive and very easy to operate.

Following an in-depth RASTI acoustic analysis, it was apparent that intelligibility was the key factor as the enormous vaulted ceilings are notorious for problems caused by reflected sound paths. Another major issue was that the system had to be physically invisible to meet the exacting demands imposed by the Faculty and in accordance with Listed buildings’ regulations.

The system’s control mechanism specified by Apple Sound relied exclusively on BIAMP’s AUDIA – a revolutionary digital platform and CUE’s touch screen control system.

Programming code was written to interface AUDIA to CUE to accommodate their requirements through software re-writes and up-dates. The resultant system is not only hugely intuitive, but is very easy to operate by non-technical users. The system comprises two AUDIA C88 DSP 8×8 matrix systems linked via Cobranet, configured on a single PC screen and downloaded into AUDIA. Feature packed, AUDIA combines numerous audio components (EQ, dynamics, matrixing, delay, speaker protection limiting, crossovers, level control) into a single 2U unit – eliminating the need for bulky unaesthetic systems support equipment.

Apple’s Systems Designer Phil Brown explained:

“As a design tool AUDIA is very powerful with huge flexibility. It boasts a tremendous DSP capacity and above all it sounds superb. As a new technology it provided the ideal solution that met the clients requirements for “minimum visual impact and maximum intelligibility”. The discrete nature of the installation and its apparent simplicity does not reflect the complexity, skill and sheer man hours that have contributed to its success.”

The CUE system was programmed on a fail-safe basis with its intuitive touch screen button layout. The touch screen is the only control mechanism within the system and has been positively received by the Vicar: the Rev Canon David Bailey.

He enthused:

“The system is amazing! We are delighted with the work that Apple Sound have put into this. They have understood our requirements completely and been very generous with their time.”

To address the inherent acoustic challenges, Apple specified an Axis Intellivox loudspeaker system from Netherlands based Duran Audio. Boasting computer-controlled directivity, the system offers minimal levels of reflected sound. Controlled and managed through AUDIA, it provides exceptional clarity, natural speech projection, even dispersion and sonic excellence.

As one of the largest Grade I listed Churches in Europe, Beverley Minster boasts a vivid history dating back to the Norman Conquest. Coincidentally, it is dedicated to St John, who amongst a plethora of good work had healed a deaf and dumb child in the early 700’s.