Wotruba Church – Vienna
The Wotruba Church, located in Vienna’s 23rd district, is certainly one of the most futuristic churches in Austria – from a sound engineering point of view, however, with a reverberation time of up to 12 seconds it is every sound engineer’s worst nightmare. It isn’t possible to take acoustic measures either, as the listed building mustn’t be altered in any way.
However, it was the wish of the pastor in charge and his parish to improve the intelligibility of speech in the divine service with the help of sound engineering measures and to have a little more sonority available for rhythmic masses. At the same time, however, the most inconspicuous visual appearance was of course one of the most important requirements.
The loudspeakers we installed make use of cylinder wave technology and throw the sound with a vertical radiation of almost 0° to the last corner, without unnecessarily exciting the room above. The listeners thus receive a very high proportion of direct sound at every position, which is one of the basic prerequisites for good speech intelligibility. In addition, the level decreases only comparatively little with increasing distance from the loudspeakers, so that even the rearmost places can be sufficiently sounded without producing an unpleasantly high volume in the first row.
A nice side effect is the extremely high feedback security of the loudspeakers used, which has been further improved by careful filtering. The system is completed by a digital mixing console on which the basic settings for various applications are pre-programmed and can be called up at the touch of a button if required. The fault-free operation of the system is thus also possible for laymen after a minimum of training without any problems.