Fohhn Beam Steering in the Middle East’s Largest Church

The new Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in New Cairo is equipped with Linea Focus Systems.

At the start of the year, a new cathedral for the Coptic Orthodox minority living in Egypt was ceremoniously opened, near Cairo, by President al-Sisi. The huge cathedral is dedicated to the birth of Christ and is considered to be the largest church in the entire Middle East. The cathedral offers space for up to 8000 worshippers.

During the planning and simulation stages of the project, it was already apparent that the imposing building would create several challenges for Audio Technology Egypt, the company responsible for sound reinforcement. Due to the cathedral’s huge dome, high vaulted ceiling and all its smooth walls and floors, the 135,000 sq metre interior has an extremely long reverberation time (11 seconds on average). Also, from the Choir to the far end of the main nave is an area over 120 meters in length that requires sound reinforcement.

These challenges could be met by Fohhn Linea Focus Beam Steering systems. This latest generation of line source systems with electronically steerable beam characteristics enables a very direct, precise sound coverage. Excellent results with speech intelligibility can also be achieved. The measured Speech Transmission Index (STI) is on average 0.6.

14 Linea Focus systems have been used in total: Two DLI-430s installed at the sides of the sanctuary serve as the main PA system. These brand-new line source systems – which are over 4 metres long – have been specially developed for applications requiring long reaches. Two further DLI-430s cover the Choir. Along the nave, eight DLI-230 systems form four delay lines. Two additional DLI-230s take care of both side aisles.

The digital control signals (Fohhn-Net) and audio signals (AES/EBU) are distributed via Fohhn’s in-house developed AIREA-Net. Two AM-40 AIREA master modules form the interfaces for this.

We congratulate our customers, Audio Technology Egypt, and all project participants on this successful installation.



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