St. John Vianney Church Improves Intelligibility with ICLive X Loudspeakers from Renkus-Heinz

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In the suburbs of Detroit lies Shelby Township, home to St. John Vianney Catholic Church. The quiet and unassuming church hosts a vast nave, with seating for more than 1200 people. The rectangular nave features brick-lined walls and soaring slanted ceilings that culminate in a glass-encased cupola, allowing natural light to bathe the altar below. Although open and airy, the vaulted ceilings and brick masonry compromised the speech intelligibility of liturgical services. Beam-steering arrays from Renkus-Heinz were the perfect solution to help solve the church’s audio challenges.

Church staff contacted Robert Wisnieski, owner and system designer at RMW Productions, to design a new audio system for the sanctuary. Wisnieski recommended Renkus-Heinz’s ICLive X Series of steerable arrays to meet the church’s goals of even coverage and high intelligibility. The ICLive X Series provides complete customization of room coverage through individually steerable beams, and the loudspeakers’ high directivity made them the best choice for a venue like St. John Vianney.

“The reverberation in St. John Vianney’s nave was pretty significant,” said Wisnieski. “It’s a wide room with high ceilings, so the acoustics were not ideal. After looking at several different loudspeaker series, we felt the ICLive X was the best fit for the sanctuary’s needs.”

RMW Productions installed four ICLX loudspeakers around the sanctuary for increased sound directivity toward the congregation. The ICLive X Series of steerable arrays is a complete, scalable system that offers high-quality, highly directional sound for any space, regardless of shape or size. From liturgical churches like St. John Vianney’s to massive contemporary worship events, faith communities can build the exact sound solution for their unique needs. The ICLX steerable array module includes six 19 mm compression drivers coaxially mounted in front of two 8-inch woofers. The woofer arrangements maintain significant pattern control down to lower frequencies, providing system designers with the horsepower, steerability and directivity to deliver consistent coverage and clarity in venues of all sizes. For a loudspeaker that can output massive volume, the ICLX is surprisingly compact and discreet, making it perfect for spaces like St. John Vianney that need the power to cover 1200 seats without visually intrusive loudspeakers compromising the worship atmosphere.

The Renkus-Heinz exclusive Acoustic Source Multiplier (ASM) waveguide used in the ICLive X Series minimizes acoustic source spacing, ensuring optimal high-frequency steering with no lobe distortions for precise, consistent performance. Additionally, the ASM allows the high-frequency section to be coaxially mounted in front of the low-frequency section, producing a consistent and symmetrical wave of high and low frequencies along the entire length of the array for excellent performance through the critical mid-frequency crossover region.

The church staff was thrilled with the audio improvements. Masses are intelligible for the entire nave — even parishioners sitting in the back of the large sanctuary can still understand the liturgy.

“ICLive X loudspeakers are great for challenging acoustic environments like St. John Vianney,” said Wisnieski. “Renkus-Heinz’s beam steering is a wonderful solution for reverberant spaces.”