The parishioners of St. Mary Catholic Church gathered in February 2017, to dedicate
their brand-new building in the small town of Woolmarket, a dozen miles northwest of
Biloxi, Mississippi. Many times the size of St. Mary’s previous sanctuary, the new
church features a peaked ceiling with an assortment of angles, as well as alcoves,
wooden pews, and statuary.

The new sanctuary is acoustically live, with its many reflective surfaces. Mass at St.
Mary’s can include music ranging from traditional piano, organ, and choir to acoustic
guitars to full contemporary electric band with drums. That makes the sanctuary a
challenging acoustic environment – yet the church’s new Renkus-Heinz ICONYX sound
system delivers crystal-clear, intelligible sound to every pew.

“Without Renkus-Heinz ICONYX loudspeakers, we could not have provided such clear
audio,” offers Rain Jaudon of Magnolia Music’s Audio Video Install Service (AVIS)
division, which designed and installed the system. “We chose a pair of ICONYX IC24-
RN digitally steerable line arrays for several reasons. For one, point-source speakers
would not have been as effective as steerable beam arrays. In addition, there was no
way to mount multiple point-source speakers from the ceiling or flush-mount them in
the side walls.”

Each ICONYX IC24-RN array includes 24 4-inch coaxial transducers, each with three
high-frequency tweeters, along with 24 amplifier and DSP channels. Beam control is
effective down to 250 Hz, with up to 12 beams and multiple acoustic beam centres
that enabled the precision sound placement required for St. Mary’s sanctuary. The
church’s sound system is managed with a Biamp TesiraFORTÉ AI DSP and Tesira TEC-
1 wall controls.

“With a Renkus-Heinz ICONYX IC24-RN digitally steerable line array mounted on each
side of the platform, behind the altar, we were able to precisely steer the audio over
the microphones and directly on the pews, while minimising interaction with the
ceiling and walls,” Jaudon explains. “This provided us with nice levels of gain before
feedback, even for the boundary microphone on the altar. We could not have
accomplished that without beam steering.”

Another major benefit of using ICONYX loudspeakers was that the IC24-RN has a
slim, low-profile design, and Renkus-Heinz was able to colour match them to the soft,
sky blue tone of St. Mary’s altar area. “The architect initially wasn’t entirely onboard
with using ICONYX,” Jaudon admits, “but once the IC24-RNs were paint-matched and
installed, everything was great. The arrays visually blend into the upstage wall, so you
hardly notice them.”

To handle the sub-lows, Jaudon and system co-designer Tony Strong chose a Renkus-
Heinz PN212-SUB subwoofer, which combines dual heavy-duty 12-inch woofers and a
Renkus-Heinz PN-1 Class A/B PowerNet amplifier with loudspeaker-specific signal
processing. The two woofers feature long-throw magnetic structures and dual channel
air cooling for high-impact sub-bass performance up to 134 dB peak SPL. The amps
have eight bands of parametric EQ, high and low shelving filters, delay, and input level
control, as well as monitoring, automatic alert, and protection features.

“The PN212-SUB is flush-mounted inside the choir storage closet, and as with the
IC24-RN, you don’t notice it,” observes Jaudon. “The IC24-RN and PN212-SUB
combination easily handles all of the church’s sound requirements, including excellent
intelligibility for spoken word; low-end power and richness for drums, bass, organ,
and piano; and outstanding overall clarity from top to bottom.”

“We were pleased that the church leadership followed our recommendations for a full
ICONYX IC24-RN system,” Jaudon opines. “That enabled us to deliver everything they
wanted, sonically and visually, and they are extremely pleased with the results. The
fact is, Renkus-Heinz ICONYX was our only choice.”