Flexible Yamaha Solution Joins Dutch Community

DKL01

Although the Dutch village of Vredepeel only has 245 permanent residents, it has a remarkable sense of community. Having raised over 100,000 EUR towards the cost of combining the church and community centre, they are now enjoying all the benefits of a flexible, networked Yamaha audio system.

Located a few minutes’ drive from the city of Venray, a significant decline in the number of regular worshippers at Vredepeel’s Catholic church meant that it had become too large. At the same time, the local community centre needed major work. Residents came up with the idea of incorporating the community centre into the church building, which would host all of the village’s social activities in one place, including worship, activity groups, meetings, events and the village pub/restaurant. The church and local authorities agreed, and De Kleine Loef (The Small Loaf) was born.

Altogether the project would cost around one million Euro but, despite the small size of the community, the residents managed to raise 100,000 EUR towards it. Another 200,000 EUR came from the board of the Catholic church and the local diocese, with the remainder funded by the municipal and provincial authorities.

Having worked together on many previous projects, audio contractor Willem Claessens of WICL Projects and René Kuenen of audio supplier In2Sound were asked to join the project, with the aim of supplying and installing a high quality system that could accommodate the many different activities that De Kleine Loef would be used for.

“We spent a lot of time with everyone involved in the project, discussing the needs of the community and taking on board all the wishes and ideas of those who would be using the system. This took a great deal of time before we could design it,” says Willem.

The updated building comprises five areas - the worship space, the pub/restaurant, two community/activity rooms and an outside terrace. Between all of the indoor areas are concertina walls, which can be fully opened to allow the space to be divided into any combination of the rooms, or be used as one big area.

Willem and René specified a Yamaha system, based on a Dante network and MTX5-D matrix processor.

“It had to be very flexible, to instantly adapt to the building being configured in any way, with local inputs in each area and control that anyone could use,” says René. “It was a challenge to program the MTX5-D in advance, because we couldn’t always predict what users would want and so respond to their wishes. As expected, during the building and programming of the system, we had many more requests for different functions. Fortunately the system is so flexible that we were able to accommodate every demand!”

Yamaha speakers are installed throughout, with a pair of white, slimline VXL1-24 line array units complementing the plain decor of the church room, while making sure everyone present hears services clearly. Six VXS8 full-range speakers are installed in the pub/restaurant, a pair of DXR12 powered loudspeakers are in ‘Room 1’, with two more DXR12s and a pair of DXS15mkII subwoofers in ‘Room 2’. Two NSAW592 all-weather speakers are installed on the outside terrace.

The outdoor speakers, VXS8s and the VXL1-24s are powered by XMV series power amplifiers, while a WXC-50 MusicCast wireless streaming preamplifier is provided for delivering background music to the system.

The system is set up as five zones, one for each area, with additional zones for assisted hearing loops in the church and Rooms 1/2. System control is by four MCP1 wall-mounted panels, one in each indoor area. Each MCP1 has local, panel-mounted XLR and RCA inputs nearby.

De Kleine Loef was scheduled to officially open in February this year with a gala event that the whole village (and more!) attended. However, a week before the system had an unexpected ‘dress rehearsal’, with the funeral at the church of a popular local resident.

“It was a large turnout and everybody wanted to hear the priest, so all the walls were opened. We had to quickly reprogram the MTX5-D with an extra setting especially for this, routing the inputs from two gooseneck microphones in the church to every speaker in the building, which nobody had previously requested!” says Willem. “But it worked perfectly.”

He continues, “Devising a system with this amount of flexibility has been a learning process for both us and the users, but they are very happy with having such a great-sounding solution that can be used so intuitively. They told us that it has not only completely satisfied their expectations, it has far exceeded them.”

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