Of all the buildings set within the historic cloisters of Oxford’s world famous university, one that really stands out is the Chapel at All Souls College — one of the city’s oldest, whose origins date back to 1438-1442. Built by master mason Richard Chevynton, the original structure of the carved reredos (screen altarpiece) dates from around 1447 but the Chapel was almost completely rebuilt following its destruction by Puritans, followed later by a mid-19th century renovation, heavily influenced by Victorian design ideals.
The chapel contains 40 stalls, for the 40 Fellows of the original foundation and a high chapel roof — but the difference in reverberation times, and therefore audibility, between a full chapel scenario to an empty one was palpable. And this was causing major concern.
And so the facility’s regular service specialists, City AV, were brought in to assist. The company, which has provided the Chapel with temporary PA systems for a number of years, proposed an amplified system, and so for the first time a pair of AKG C747 shotgun condenser mics were installed in the stalls lectern. “This was important, particularly for the older members of the congregation and those who were hard of hearing,” said MD, Peter Gunn.
Readings are given from the main Eagle lectern in the centre of the chapel. Faced with a solid floor, which prevented hidden cabling, CAV decided to run AKG’s new GN155 (155cm high) flexible wired mic, fitted with CK33 hypercardioid capsule, a B48L Phantom power supply and a AKG WMS420 instrument radio kit, making the GN155 a wireless system. Celebrants can also operate wirelessly with a lavalier version of the WMS420 radio system.
Also sourced from the HARMAN portfolio, Crown CT 475 Com-Tech DriveCore 4-channel amps feed invisible wall speakers and a BSS Soundweb London BLU-101 (12-in/8-out) DSP holds the gain structure, although the officiating clergy also have the benefit of a.Soundcraft EFX8 8-channel mic mixer for manual override. The Crown CT475, delivers class-leading energy-efficiency thanks to Crown’s unique DriveCore technology, whilst its fanless design ensures whisper quiet operation ideal for the chapel.
“By providing the Chapel with system presets and the correct AKG microphones, we have succeeded in making a massive difference to the sound quality,” summarises Peter Gunn, “and everyone seems delighted.”
All HARMAN Professional products are supplied in the UK and ROI by Sound Technology Ltd. For any enquiries please call us on 01462 480000.