Phill Beynon, technical director at NoiseBoys, with the control tablet.
UK - They have been planning the project for two years, and the installation has taken two months, but now pro audio and acoustics consultancy NoiseBoys Technologies, based in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, provided the sound for the arrival of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral this week, where thousands of visitors will attend services including his reinterment on Thursday.

NoiseBoys won the contract to supply and install the state- of-the-art sound system, after the discovery of King Richards's bones in a car park opposite the Cathedral by archaeologists in 2012, which sparked a massive refurbishment programme, including a complete overhaul of the Cathedral's AV system.

The loudspeakers include Pan Acoustics' unobtrusive Pan Beam steerable column arrays, with JBL CBT 50 columns in the side chapel areas. The control system is BSS Soundweb, and is designed to be very capable, yet simply presented to users, most of whom are non-technical staff or volunteers. Day-to-day control of the Soundweb is achieved via a touch-screen tablet, allowing vergers to tap once to set up the entire cathedral, but more advanced users to mix services live. Using AKG radio microphones and Crown amplification, NoiseBoys were able to tie everything together and monitor the whole system from the control tablet, from amplifier temperatures to RF levels.

Provided microphones comprise AKG's DSR-700 radio microphones with DPA D:Fine 66 headsets, all monitored from the touch-screen, as well as some ambient mics for recording and relay to the back of house areas. The whole system is connected using a variety of cabling options by Van Damme from VDC Trading. The 3.5km of cabling includes assemblies of dual Cat-6, coax, HD-SDI, blue and white line signal cables, 90% of which is hidden under floors and in ceilings.

Phill Beynon, technical director at NoiseBoys, commented: "When we were successful in winning the contract, as a local company we were delighted and naturally very proud to play a part in such a unique set of proceedings. It was a tough selection process, and we had some very strong competitors. The challenge was to offer a more innovative approach, one that not only sounds great but that also visually compliments the new aesthetics of the Cathedral. The outdated system that we replaced was not fit for purpose; speakers had been added to over the years and none were ever removed, so we've been taking out some genuine antiques! We've replaced 20 speakers with nine new ones, and improved the sound tremendously. Reducing the number of speakers and using cutting edge technologies has meant that we have minimised the impact on the fabric of the Grade 1 listed building.

Beynon continued: "The installation uses steerable array speakers which we have used to digitally direct the sound only to where it is needed, minimising reflections and maximising clarity. Each speaker delivers a really pleasing natural speech quality, yet the sound still arrives at the listener with a blend of the cathedral's space and acoustics. We're really pleased with the Pan Beam arrays, which have the added advantage of taking power, data and signal down any old two-pair cable, meaning that we only had to get one feed of tiny signal cable to each speaker.

We have also been impressed with the new levels of detail that we can achieve with the Soundweb, running Audio Architect as the programming and operation software. From one tablet device we can monitor and control the audio, the amplifier parameters and all radio mic data, including battery and RF levels. We were keen to avoid using expensive third-party controls, and using Audio Architect has allowed us to do that, saving the client literally thousands of pounds. All of our programming is in-house, so we also gain the added advantage of being flexible to changes and software tweaks without incurring expensive programming bills."

King Richard was first laid to rest in 1485. His new resting pla

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