Zürich’s Historic Liebfrauenkirche Shares The Faith With New Compact Loudspeakers

by | Audio, Case Studies, Production

Built in the late 1800s to serve the spiritual needs of the growing Catholic community in Zürich, Switzerland, the Liebfrauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady, positions itself as a contemplative center in a turbulent society. Designed in the style of an early Christian basilica, nearly every surface is covered with gorgeous mosaics and frescoes of famous biblical figures and events. The church is also renowned for its high-quality vocal and instrumental music, with an ornate pipe organ dominating the wall behind the choir balcony. However, the reverberant architecture led to compromised speech intelligibility during church events. To correct this problem while maintaining the awe-inspiring beauty of the sanctuary, the church installed beam-steering arrays from Renkus-Heinz.

Church staff contacted Urs Habegger, CEO of effekte.ch AG, to help solve their speech intelligibility challenge. Together with Chris Steiger, CEO of promedias AG, as a leading audio and video solutions provider in Switzerland, they were well-positioned to help alleviate the church’s acoustic issues.

“As we’ve encountered in many other churches, Liebfrauenkirche had very long reverberation times in its nave. Given all the spectacular artwork, there were limited options for where we could mount loudspeakers,” said Steiger. “That’s why the only solution for this scenario was a beam-steered loudspeaker system from Renkus-Heinz.”

effekte.ch AG installed and commissioned four ICC24/3 digitally steerable loudspeakers to improve speech intelligibility. A member of the Iconyx Compact Series, the ICC24/3 gives integrators even more flexibility in price, performance and footprint when addressing their most challenging projects. High-performance 3-inch, full-range drivers and state-of-the-art, multi-channel amplifiers, combined with Renkus-Heinz’s world-leading experience in beam-steering arrays, lead to stellar performance in sizes and price points previously unattainable. The ultra-narrow cabinet disappears into nearly any venue. At the same time, the high vertical directivity of the ICC24/3 can penetrate even the most challenging acoustics, taking the exceptional performance of beam-steered line arrays to the most architecturally sensitive spaces and delivering pristine audio not only exactly where it’s needed but also with concert-quality, full-range sound.

After hearing the new loudspeakers, the church leadership and staff were ecstatic with the audio improvements.

“Our goal with every job is to meet or exceed the client’s expectations, and I think we were very successful in achieving our goal with Liebfrauenkirche,” said Habegger. “The church is a work of art; it’s breathtaking inside. Thanks to Renkus-Heinz, the church congregation can hear the liturgy clearly while basking in the visual grandeur.”

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