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M3Ds Serve Uplifting Sounds at the National Meeting of Catholics in Brazil
About 200,000 people joined together to proclaim the mystery of faith and celebrate a giant Mass at Brazil's 14th Congresso Eucarístico Nacional, held July 19th through 22nd in Campinas. Bishops, priests and devoted Catholics from all over the country converged on the city, located 50 miles outside São Paulo. Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins traveled from Portugal to preside over the event on behalf of Pope John Paul II.
An occasion for affirmation of the church's sacraments and unification of the Catholic community, the Eucharistic Congress was a large outdoor ceremony filled with instrumental and choral music, spoken word and dance. Sound Designer Gustavo Franceschi was invited by the church to be in charge of both audio and video production for the event. "This was not only a challenge, but also a source of great pride for me," Franceschi commented. "I really wanted to do my very best to provide the highest quality sound to everyone attending." To meet that challenge, the Congress planning committee chose Loudness Sonorização and Meyer Sound's M3D Line Array system.
Franceschi, supported by Marcos and Márcio Pilot and the technical staff of Loudness, used a special loudspeaker arrangement to achieve coverage of the widely dispersed crowd. The main sound system consisted of two clusters suspended by large cranes on each side of the stage. Each cluster comprised two columns of five M3Ds each, with a splay angle of about 55 degrees, for a total of ten M3D's per side. Two MSL-4s hung below each M3D cluster for downfill. For near fill, six UPA-1P loudspeakers were used around the altar, and two more were placed on each side of the chapel. A total of fourteen UPM-1Ps provided monitoring for the altar and the band.
By arranging the M3Ds in this manner, Loudness and its technical team had effectively set up two systems that worked in tandem to cover an angle of more than 240 degrees. Since the service consisted of almost equal parts spoken word, song and instrumental music, it was vitally important to reproduce the full frequency spectrum while keeping distortion to a minimum. Thanks to the horizontal control offered by the M3D's BroadbandQ technology, overlap between the systems was kept to a minimum and unwanted interference effects were avoided, ensuring smooth coverage across a wide frequency range from 35 Hz to 18 kHz.
"During the event, I walked down from the back of the venue and realized that everybody could hear every word and every song with the same clarity as the people right in front of the altar," remarked Franceschi. "The sound was simply superb. I have no doubt that the committee made the right choice in picking Loudness Sonorização, and that Loudness made the right choice in buying the M3D Line Array system."