Church acoustics : One solution for acoustic enhancement and speech!

Adaptive acoustic enhancement

SIAP has developed an integral acoustics solution especially for churches with too little reverberation, i.e. that sound “too dry”. This solution offers rich acoustics for organ, choir, harmony vocals and good speech intelligibility at the same time. The sound adapts automatically to the nature of the sound (music, speech): adaptive acoustics. The organ, the choir, the musical instruments, but also the speakers and the singing are given the pleasant (acoustic) experience that makes a church visit so extra valuable. The church service will become even more of a joint integrated experience.

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Characteristic acoustics

Organ, Choir, Vocal harmony and Speech

The characteristic acoustics of churches with a rich reverberation can be very beautiful and desirable, on the other hand it can be a disadvantage with speech (speech intelligibility). The origins of the churches have recently led, among other things, to great musical compositions for organ and voice.

Church and music are, as it were, “fertilized”. Over time, there have been many churches that no longer have the desired acoustics. Often this has to do with building history (such as repair of war damage / renovation due to changing use) and unfortunately the acoustics of these (sometimes old churches) have been lost. This can be beneficial for speech, but not for music (which needs spatiality). New-build churches also often have “modern” acoustics with (too) little reverberation and spaciousness in the sound.

In the absence of beautiful acoustics, the organ and choir, instrumentalists and singers (acoustically) do not sound optimal. They sound too dry due to lack of reverberation and are not worn.

The integral SIAP offers protection of both acoustics and speech intelligibility (adaptive acoustics). This gives all musicians (organist, singers), the speakers and the community the beautiful (acoustic) experience that makes the visit to the church extra valuable. Church attendance becomes a communal, integral experience. The SIAP system for churches offers high-quality music reproduction, variable acoustics and speech enhancement. Speech enhancement is thus an integral part of the installation. The uniqueness of this is that speech enhancement and SIAP acoustics go hand in hand. This works as follows: when an acoustic preset is active (eg 3.0 seconds), the organ, choir and vocals sound spacious and rich. The acoustics “carries” the sound and one is, as it were, “washed over” by the sound. But such reverberant acoustics is unfavorable for speech intelligibility. For good speech intelligibility, a short reverberation time is optimal, about 1 second. These are quite different – in fact opposing – acoustic requirements.

When a speaker (preacher) talks into the microphone, the SIAP “voice function” is activated and at the same time the SIAP “acoustic function” is automatically ducked to optimize the speaker’s intelligibility. This is very pleasant because the acoustics are still present at the moment of speaking, but automatically drop to the correct level. The advantage of this is that the acoustics do not have to be switched off to create good intelligibility. Turning off the acoustics is highly undesirable as it can be very confusing for the community, so the room should continue to sound the way it does.

Collaboration with existing installations can be realized both digitally and analogously.


The microphones and speakers are as invisible as possible and (recessed) Mounted with great respect for the interior aesthetics. In churches with a (national) monumental character, discrete integration is extra important. So no boxes against the vaults or on the walls (as far as possible). Our knowledge of church buildings and experience in this area guarantees a subtle and professional installation.

Too much reverberation time / poor intelligibility

Churches that have “too much” reverberation time may still be able to achieve improvement with a properly functioning speech enhancement system. In addition, we have experience with very reverberant churches, for example with 5.0 seconds reverberation time, in which men for multifunctional use want to return to a short reverberation time of, for example, 2.0 seconds or even shorter for speech and improved sound, such as 1.1 seconds renovation building). This makes speech and music improvement possible again. Subsequently, a SIAP system was installed to give the organ the original reverberation time of 5.0 seconds, vocals 3.0, etc. Based on the wishes and requirements, we can compile a design and advice report. Of course, the possibilities are also (partly) determined by any monumental restrictions and we can also recommend this area.

Intuitive Control Panel CP03

Please have a listen and become happy!

Contact us for a demonstration in a church which has a SIAP system installed.