Eton College Chapel

Eton College chapel is a fine example of the Perpendicular Gothic style built by Henry VI. This fine Grade 1 listed building is noble in its unity and simplicity of design, but only a part of what might have been one of the largest and finest churches in the country if Henry’s plans had been fully executed.

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Scanaudio were originally approached by the Buildings Department to assess if improvements could be made to the existing system, which at the time of our first involvement was around nine years old. Following a series of meetings and subsequent partial upgrades, the College appointed Scanaudio to design and install a fully updated sound reinforcement system to accommodate the needs of this busy chapel.

Great importance was placed on finding a technical solution which would both provide good sound coverage throughout this large building whilst remaining sympathetic to the fine interior. One of many challenges was to install loudspeakers against the wall paintings. They are the work of at least four master painters who, with their assistants, took eight years to complete them in the Flemish style between (1479–87).

Miniature KV50 line array loudspeakers from the Italian manufacture K-Array were installed on top of discreet bronze columns and color matched to blend with the background colours of the wall paintings. Further K-Array KV50’s were installed along the North and Side walls of the chapel with additional KK50’s for the Ante Chapel and 3 x KKS50 sub bass speakers for full range music reproduction. The control system was based around the Yamaha DME series digital audio processors controlled from MIDI controllers in the chapel. Audio Technica ES935ML miniature gooseneck microphones were installed at fixed position around the chapel including the altar, lectern, pulpit, conduct, headmaster, lower master, Provost and Vice Provost stalls.

These were supplemented with Sennheiser radio microphones and fixed DPA microphones at the medieval reading lectern. Playback equipment includes solid state and CD equipment from Tascam. Amplification was supplied from K-Array and Cloud Electronic with the induction loop system powered by an existing Ampetronic ILD9.