Pope speaks through Ateïs at Sagrada Familia

AUTHOR: Inavate

Pope Benedict XVI recently bestowed basilica minor status on Barcelona’s unfinished Sagrada Familia church. The 6,500 attendees heard the Pope’s address via a PA system installed by Ateïs’ Spanish distributor, Optimus SA.

One-hundred-and-twenty-eight years after building work on the church began, Pope Benedict XVI blessed the altar and bestowed the basilica minor status on Antoni Gaudi's unfinished project.

A PA system, installed by Ateïs’ Spanish distributor - Optimus SA, was designed to ensure that the congregation of more than 6,500 people heard the Pope's blessing. The installation was challenging for because ongoing means there is a lot of scaffolding in the building and the loudspeakers could not intrude on the decoration of the church interior.

The Sagrada Familia - or Holy Family church - is not officially a cathedral but is on the same scale as one. The audio brief was for a discreet system that would guarantee coverage of at least half the building.

"The Sagrada architects were initially very protective of the carefully designed interior, which is understandable" comments Albert van der Hout, international sales manager at Ateïs. "But we were able to convince them about how we could integrate our state-of-the-art loudspeakers into this beautiful setting."

Twelve Messenger directional line array loudspeakers were selected for the installation. Two Type L enclosures cover seats behind the altar and two Type Two-XLs were placed in the central area of the church. Eight XLs handled the remaining areas: two on each side wing, two immediately in front of the altar, two in the middle and two at the rear.

Ateïs and Optimus were then challenged to demonstrate their design during construction works where they installed 50 per cent of the quoted equipment.. "The final installation involved three long nights of tuning," says van der Hout, "but the system was commissioned successfully and handed over to the staff of the Sagrada."

Audio signals are controlled through three UAPg2 fully programmable DSP processors. These are connected permanently to 12 microphones and are able to control each Messenger individually.