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Gloucester Cathedral Case Study

Learn how Gloucester Cathedral took advantage of a restoration to upgrade their AV system using Dante

Image credit: Kevin Lewis

When Gloucester Cathedral began a restoration project on the magnificent Lady Chapel, the flooring was removed for restoration which presented the opportunity to install a new chapel sound system by running cabling under the floors.  DM Music Ltd, one of the UK’s foremost and audio-visual solutions integrator for churches and protected historical buildings, was called in for the project.

“When they were taking the floor up, we had a chance to put in a new PA system, and as is my habit on all large buildings with multiple areas, I put in a Dante-enabled equipment kit, including a Yamaha MTX5D mixer,” said Graham Bennewith, Installation Director, DM Music Ltd. “Whenever we’re working on a larger or a multi-area building, I use a Dante network because it allows for excellent flexibility. Even with the floor up, we still had very limited options for running cables; so, we got the Dante equipment in place then ran a network cable run through to the main nave.”

While the system in the Lady Chapel can run independently, the network also enables the chapel to connect with other areas of the cathedral, including the main nave. Lady Chapel, which can accommodate about 250 people, is often used as an overflow room for large events in the main nave, which holds about 2,500. The main nave was recently upgraded with an Allen & Heath AHM64 mixer with a Dante card. The system is controlled by a Crestron touch screen and a custom iPad app using Crestron for mobile/wireless connectivity.

“Over time, as Gloucester Cathedral continues to upgrade its systems, each area will be Dante enabled,” Bennewith said. “My team at DM Music is adding some microphones now, all fed into a Dante preamp interface. Dante gives us a lot of flexibility so these microphones can move around, and all they need is a network connection. By using PoE, users can take these microphones  wherever they’d like. The main thing for my team is that, out of the box, Dante is clean, efficient, and easy to use. Dante just works.”

Bennewith said that while the Cathedral itself is historic there are major benefits for all involved by choosing the cutting-edge when it comes to technology.

“In the old analog days, we would need multiple patch bays and patch lines all around buildings and have multiple processors and matrix systems, and the systems were complex and not at all user friendly,” said Bennewith. “Because of Dante, the church loves their new systems, and they have had absolutely no issues.”

The article above is an excerpt from the full case study ‘900-year-old Cathedral Turns to the “Magic” of a Dante Audio Network for Efficient Sound System Installation, Management, Use Flexibility’ 

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