L-Acoustics Provides Flexible Solution for Filadelfiakyrkan’s New Space
Kara II delivers on coverage, fidelity, and architectural restrictions in the Swedish church
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – June 2021 – Inaugurated in November 1930, Stockholm’s Filadelfiakyrkan (Philadelphia Church) belongs to the Swedish Pentecostal Movement. With the church’s popularity expanding, a service program that features small bands, and the intention to rent the building out to touring productions, the decision was made to undertake a complete renovation of the building and update its technical infrastructure. In 2019, construction work began, including remodeling the main hall to create a versatile space with improved sightlines. At the beginning of 2020, the official L-Acoustics Certified Provider Rental and Certified Provider Install, JLE Audio, was asked to provide a proposal for a new PA system that would address the church’s own needs and ensure that it is a fully rider-friendly venue.
The remit was for a complete solution of full coverage for all seats that would handle anything from speech to pop/rock music. In September, a shootout was organized in a similar venue between five loudspeaker brands. The systems were hung side by side, and a jury of professional sound engineers, staff from the church’s music and tech department, and volunteers performed listening tests and comparisons of a wide range of music and speech material.
“We asked everyone to fill in a form for each system in the different scenarios,” says Pontus Rydebjörk, head of installation at Filadelfiakyrkan, who works alongside colleague Linus Pansell. “When we gathered all the answers, JLE´s commitment, the rider compatibility, and the price meant that choosing the L-Acoustics system was easy.”
JLE’s Johannes Jonsson, who handled the design, installation, calibration, and tuning of the system, then created a sound design proposal with the help of L-Acoustics Application Engineer Oskar Meijer. The load capacity of the building roof is limited; therefore, the team chose Kara II for the main system due to its light weight and its ability to provide the coverage and punch Pontus, and his team was after.
“We had a number of additional criteria, a significant one being that we wanted flown subs,” adds Rydebjörk. “As our stage is built with removable sections, we wanted to be flexible with the stage design and not have to adjust the design/space for the subs.”
The installation was completed by JLE and the audio crew from the church during the winter of 2020/21. The final design comprises main left/right hangs of 12 Kara II per side, with four KS21 flown behind the Kara II per side. Outfill is catered for by an A15 Wide per side, whilst frontfill is six X8, with a further eight X8 as under-balcony fills. The entire system is driven by LA4X amplified controllers running on AVB from an L-Acoustics P1 processor and measurement platform at the front of house.
“Using the P1 was the natural choice as we wanted a flexible matrix for the whole system where you can connect both the in-house console and guest consoles, with the ability to connect both via AES or analog. We also wanted the ability to send separately to subs, etc., and have a guest EQ,” continues Jonsson. “In addition to this, we want the best sound transmission to amplifiers. Here, AVB/MILAN is unbeatable, as everything is 100% time aligned and sent with the highest sound quality. As for redundancy, there is an analog fallback from the P1. Another nice feature that the P1 offers is auto-climate integration.”
Jonsson appreciates L-Acoustics’ support and assistance with the Soundvision design and proposals and its help during the demo/shootout. “It feels very good to have a close relationship and support from the manufacturer,” he says. “It has helped us to make the right decisions and take the project to the next level, with excellent results.”
“It is always a pleasure working with Johannes and JLE. No one takes their mission more seriously than Johannes. He always looks for the best solution and does it with a smile!” concludes Rydebjörk. “We haven’t been able to test the system as much as we would like due to Covid, but our first impression is how even the coverage is. It sounds the same everywhere, from the first row to the last row of the balcony.”
The church is currently being used as a mass vaccination center, and the L-Acoustics system being put to good use, playing lounge music and recorded messages for everyone attending.