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St. Mary's Catholic Community Church

DePere, Wisconsin

This beautiful 1,000 seat sanctuary proved an audio nightmare for the original sound contractor and the congregation. A new $100,000 audio system had brought nothing but complaints. “We had a dead space in the back where the sound just seemed to come down and disappear,” says Lois Schumacher, St. Mary’s business manager.

St. Mary’s members eventually went where they had heard impressive sound in the past, the Weidner Center at the University of Wisconsin, and asked who had built their sound system. Weidner managers identified and recommended Lewis Sound and Video. Lewis’ engineers studied the space, prepared an acoustical computer model, then went to work. The Lewis Sound crew installed a DSP, new amplifiers and a new speaker system, filling the room with even, robust sound. They also added speakers to the narthex and a corridor, bringing the service to all public areas of the church.

“Lewis wasn’t intimidated by that space at all,” says Schumacher. “It was a mess before they came in here, but not long ago I actually heard someone say, ‘I come here because I can hear!’”

Henry Lewis, for his part, wonders why the original contractor had so much trouble. “To my taste, St. Mary’s is the most beautiful church I’ve ever been in,” he says. “The acoustics of the space are just wonderful. Everything about it was a pleasure to work with. And, with the new speakers, it sounds really, really nice.”

Read more about AV systems for places of worship.