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Promoting technical excellence


Any architecturally or acoustically demanding building which requires sound or communication systems needs input from experienced audio specialists to ensure the right products and design input are incorporated into a new or upgraded system.

The Institute of Sound, Communications & Visual Engineers (ISCVE) is a specialist learned society and professional body for sound and communications engineers. Founded in 1948, it is an entirely independent Institute, run by a Council elected by its members. Members maintain a code of conduct in professional activities, embodying high ethical standards and concern for the environmental and sociological impacts of professional activities.

21st century sound for
Places of Worship

Traditional places of worship are notorious for poor acoustics degrading the intelligibility of the spoken word. Ironically, for the hard of hearing we have largely solved the problem with the development and continuous improvement of induction loop systems.
However, for the majority, with apparently good hearing, little has been done to improve the intelligibility of sound in these highly reverberant environments.

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Members of the Institute are professionals from the field of audio – especially public address, voice alarm, sound system, audio frequency induction loop system, audio-video or acoustics – who maintain a code of conduct in professional activities.

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World

Membership includes consultants, manufacturers and specialist installers who are all able to engage with an end user or their architectural advisors to develop and deliver solutions in even the most demanding of buildings. Contact with members in most areas of the UK is available via its website or the secretariat.

As a learned society, the institute is keen to share their knowledge and expertise with others working in the industry and offers a wide and varied programme of training courses for both members and non-members, from beginners to advanced, with the focus of the training on important technical and standards issues.

The Institute runs training courses for both members and non-members, from beginners to advanced, in the sound and AV industry. The organisation also arranges an annual event ISCVEx, at the picturesque rural location of Coombe Abbey, outside Coventry, and brings consultants, specifiers, installers and manufacturers together, under one roof. This year the event takes place on 19-20 March.

The training focuses on important technical, managerial and standards issues. With audio and acoustics specialists from across the country, ISCVE members can offer churches an authoritative service in designing, installing and maintaining sound systems in difficult acoustic and demanding architectural buildings.

Some church specialist installer members have experience of working in several hundred church buildings of different faiths and can offer a complete service tailored to the needs of worship.

ISCVE has also created an approved hearing loop assessment scheme to offer organisations a source of competent individuals and companies who can test and assess their hearing loops for correct operation and performance.

The importance of having a correctly installed and operational induction loop is vital in this day and age with aging congregations. The latest induction loop equipment coupled to a modern sound system can provide excellent results to those who are hard of hearing.

With the recent introduction of many exciting new audio products, many of the traditional problems that churches encounter with sound systems can be reduced and possibly eliminated, such as feedback, poor microphone pickup, lack of intelligibility and ease of use.

univoxDigital audio mixers enable systems to be setup during commissioning by the installer with lots of sophisticated control, yet leave the end user with a simple to use system which can revert to default settings in the event of unauthorised adjustment.

Loudspeakers with accurate control and dispersion can minimise reflections from hard surfaces and improve the audibility in reverberant spaces.

In particular directional columns and steerable arrays can perform in the most demanding of locations.

Compact full range speaker enclosures can combine music and speech with hi-fi quality and remain relatively unobtrusive.

High sensitivity condenser microphones can provide discrete yet effective pickup from lecterns, pulpits and altars, with many options for mounting, positioning and appearance. Options vary tremendously with different mounting options, heights and finishes.

With many budget products flooding the market, choosing the correct radio microphone is important and selecting the ideal one for installation in a church is vital. ISCVE members have access to products from many manufacturers, which can be more suited to use in worship applications than some available through retail channels.

In particular, the impending sell off of frequencies by the government may impact on a number churches who use radio microphones on certain frequencies.


Keeping your existing system regularly maintained, ensures it stays up and running when you need it most.

This is particularly important for induction loop systems, which require an annual test. Many systems can be improved with a few simple adjustments and tweaks, which an engineer with a trained ear can provide.

Whatever your churches’ audio requirements, using the professional services of an ISCVE member will ensure you take the correct initial steps to obtaining a clear, natural sounding and intelligible church sound system.

New AV system provides the complete solution

The re-ordering of Holy Saviour Church in Bitterne, Southampton, has seen the culmination of over four years of project work by Creative Audio-Visual Solutions (CAVS).

Within the main church, full sound, visual and streaming systems have been installed for complete versatility and long-term development potential. The audio system features eight Electrovoice EVC 8” speakers for effective coverage throughout the main nave and side aisles – supplemented by dual compact ELX-200 active subwoofers. Additional S-series speakers provide additional chancel coverage for service leaders.

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Ebenezer Evangelical Church adopts live streaming solution

Thanks to the expertise of audio-visual integrator Vaughan Sound, Ebenezer Evangelical Church in Neath Abbey now benefits from an intuitive live streaming system – facilitating remote, online services.

Situated between junctions 43 and 44 of the M4 motorway, the church approached Vaughan Sound looking for a means of streaming their services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Transformative technology for Welsh chapel earns praise in Y Tyst

Capel Gellimanwydd in Ammanford has benefitted from a complete makeover, including an array of new audio-visual equipment provided by leading integrator, Vaughan Sound.

The chapel dates back as far as 1782, making it the oldest in this former coal mining town in Carmarthenshire. Rebuilt in 1836 before extension in 1865, a vestry was later added in 1882.

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Networking, innovation and community shine at ISCVEx 2024

The Institute of Sound, Communications and Visual Engineers (ISCVE) are celebrating the overwhelming success of ISCVEx 2024, an event that has notably marked its presence in the sound, communications, and audio visual industries. The two-day symposium, which took place from 19-20 March at the historic Coombe Abbey near Coventry, brought together more than 250 attendees in a compelling showcase of knowledge, technology and community.

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Just to be clear: choose your speakers with care

Whether you’re a regular member of the congregation or attending a wedding, funeral or some other religious ceremony, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to struggle to understand what is being said. That was brought into sharp focus recently at St Mary the Virgin, in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside – a local church struggling with exactly that sort of sound issue. Complaints of distortion and patchy coverage were common among the congregation, leading to an urgent need for an overhaul of their sound system.

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New AV system brings added life to services

In an era characterised by rapid technological advancements it is imperative for places of worship to adapt and evolve to meet the changing needs of their congregations. Putnoe Heights Methodist Church in Bedford has taken a commendable step in that direction by partnering with Scanaudio to install the NEC PA703W projector and Kramer VP-440X video switcher – ushering in a new era of multimedia capabilities that promise to enhance the worship experience for all.

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Streaming service brings the church to all

In an age when technology seamlessly integrates with spirituality, St Elphege’s RC Church in Wallington, Surrey, has taken a significant step forward by partnering with Scanaudio to introduce a state-of-the-art web streaming service. The groundbreaking initiative aims to bridge the physical and digital realms of worship, allowing the congregation to connect with their faith, irrespective of physical presence.

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Keeping it simple is the watchword for St Ann’s new system

Dating from the 1890s, St Ann’s Church in the Welsh seaside town of Rhyl now boasts thoroughly modern audio-visual systems – both in the church and the church hall – courtesy of Richard King Systems. The facilities now include upgraded sound systems, new audio loop systems, updated AV-projector systems, and comprehensive wi-fi coverage.

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Unleashing innovation: ISCVEx 2024 – where sound, communications and visual technologies converge

Coventry Warwickshire, UK – The Institute of Sound, Communications and Visual Engineers (ISCVE) is delighted to announce the annual return of its acclaimed event, ISCVEx 2024. Scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, 19-20 March 2024 at the Coombe Abbey Hotel, near Coventry, Warwickshire, the event boasts a blend of informative and networking opportunities for industry professionals.

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Steerable speakers prove the solution to intelligibility issues

The Church of St Mary and St Joseph, Poplar (pictured), is a Grade Two-listed building designed by celebrated architect Adrian Gilbert Scott as part of a project associated with the Festival of Britain. It was constructed between 1951 and 1954 and is a powerfully imposing structure.

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Reclaim Audio shortlisted for Festival Supplier Awards 2024

Reclaim Audio, a pioneer in socially conscious loudspeaker manufacturing and home to the groundbreaking GreenWaves solar-powered amplifier, has been named as a finalist in the prestigious Festival Supplier Awards 2024. The company is shortlisted in the Best New Product/Service of the Year category. The Festival Supplier Awards is now in its ninth year and were developed to recognise, reward and promote best practise in the outdoor event and festival sector.

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Reclaim Audio launches brand new website

Reclaim Audio, a pioneer in socially conscious loudspeaker manufacturing, has officially launched its new website. The new site highlights the concept behind Reclaim Audio while also providing a platform for the world to meet its award-winning product range.

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New church is blank canvas for sound system

The completion of The Lighthouse Church in Heswall, Wirral, is the culmination of a nine-year project to build the brand new church as a place of worship, service and hospitality. As the previous 1960s building was showing its age, with many things wrong that were going to be very expensive to fix, it was decided to create the building that was really needed.

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Contacta offers hearing access for all with new RX-30 rechargeable loop listener

Assistive listening specialists, Contacta Systems, have launched a new rechargeable loop listener, offering worshippers enhanced access to sound.

The RX-30 is a complete wireless receiver, designed to help people with hearing loss who don’t use a hearing aid or cochlear implant.

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CAVS launch new website

Creative Audio-Visual Solutions (CAVS) are proud to announce their new website is now live - providing comprehensive details on all the solutions they provide for the modern church. Covering audio, visual, streaming, IT, hire and more, it is a valuable online resource for any organisation looking to update their technology.

CAVS’s current brochure can be read or downloaded as well as viewing their latest installation case studies. Online chat is available as well as a contact form to discuss your next project - so get in touch for all your audio-visual and technology requirements.

Click here to visit their website.

21st century sound for places of worship

Univox Audio have added the unique Activo Speaker series from Fulgor Service to their product range.

Ken Hollands, director at Univox Audio said: "With speech intelligibility at the core of everything we do, we are pleased to bring the unique speaker technology from Fulgor Service to the UK to help transform the service that our pro audio installers deliver to their customers."

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AV installers make the (up)grade at Holy Trinity

Last year, Holy Trinity Church in Knaphill, Woking, commissioned Creative Audio-Visual Solutions (CAVS) to complete a major audio, visual and performance lighting upgrade.

The audio system features an Allen & Heath SQ6 digital mixing console with iPAD control over a new, managed wi-fi or network infrastructure for main operators – and also for musicians to adjust their monitor levels independently. The mixer provides over 40 inputs, via digital stagebox expansion on the dais, with the ability for different service settings to be stored and recalled along with direct audio recording.

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ISCVE announces dates for ISCVEx 2024

ISCVE is pleased to announce the dates for its annual event, ISCVEx 2024, which will be taking place at Coombe Abbey on 19-20 March 2024. Next year’s event promises to be the perfect platform for industry professionals from all sectors of the professional audio, communications and visual industries. Attendees can expect 30+ exhibitors and distributors, thought-leading seminars, inspiring talks and more.

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Wales’s medieval jewel now sounds as magnificent as it looks

St Asaph Cathedral dates back 1,400 years, with the current building dating from the 13th century. The cathedral now benefits from a bespoke, comprehensive premium sound system designed and commissioned by expert engineers from Richard King Systems.

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AV community prepares for its annual gathering

The annual meeting and exhibition of the AV industry’s trade association ISCVE will be taking place in person on 21-22 March at its traditional venue, the Coombe Abbey Hotel in Coventry. ISCVEx 2023 will be the premier event for audio, communications and AV professionals.

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Revamped masterpiece adds clarity to its delivery

While Rochdale’s Grade One-listed Victorian Gothic Town Hall is one of the finest municipal buildings in Britain, renowned for its unique and detailed architecture, it also functions as the ceremonial headquarters of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council and houses local government departments, including the borough’s civil registration office.

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Magnificent self-built church accessible to all

When the congregation of High Street Church in Cambridgeshire outgrew the 19th Century chapel, members decided to rebuild a larger church in 2008, entirely by themselves. Finding the skills necessary to build the place of worship from within the congregation, The Ark is believed to be one of the largest self-built projects in the UK.

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Iconic Liverpool building gains wireless FM assistive listening

Previously known as Great George Street Congregational Church, a £6m renovation saw this iconic building in Liverpool’s China Town converted into a community arts centre in 1975. Now known as the “The Black-E”, the management of the 19th century Grade II listed building asked Contacta to install a hearing loop in the main hall in 2021.

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ISCVE appoints new president and vice president

At its recent Members’ Day and AGM, the Institute of Sound, Communications and Visual Engineers (ISCVE) announced the appointment of its new president and vice-president.

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Victorian church embraces modern technology

The year is 1873, in the middle of Queen Victoria’s reign. William Gladstone is the Prime Minister of the day and Richard Benyon MP, then owner of Cranham Hall near Upminster in Essex, makes a generous offer to pay for the parish church to be rebuilt. The original parish church of All Saints’, built in the early 14th century, has fallen into a state of disrepair.

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Spending a legacy on a sound system – what to upgrade?

Recently Blaydon Communications were contacted by a local church who had kindly been left a legacy and needed some advice. The sound system in the church had not been touched for many years so it was decided that a beneficial use for the money would be to upgrade the sound system. Conflicting online advice and sheer options for hardware had proved overwhelming, so it was time to draft in some professional help. The company's managing director Paul Dougherty takes up the story.

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ISCVE publish and launch new Guide for Training Microphone Users

The Institute of Sound, Communications and Visual Engineers (ISCVE) is delighted to announce the launch of its new publication, ‘A Guide for Training Microphone Users of Sound Systems and other Communication Systems’.

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Looking for an audio-visual system to suit your style of worship?

APi Sound & Visual are leading designers and installers of audio-visual systems for churches, community centres and heritage buildings in the South West and beyond.

Founded in Exeter in 2003, the team at APi Sound & Visual pride themselves at making technology work for people. Specialising in the design and installation of projection, sound and streaming systems; they are also installers of hearing loop systems and CCTV.

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Do you need to spend a fortune on a microphone?

By Paul Dougherty, managing director, Blaydon Communications Ltd.

Don’t worry, this article isn’t going to get too in depth from a technical point of view, but it does steer close to it! The argument of whether or not you need to spend a fortune on a microphone is a difficult one to answer. As with all things in life, you need to buy the best you can afford, and this will yield the best outcome for you and your pocket in the long run. Saying that, sometimes it is worth saving a little longer and spending a little more than you’d planned for too.

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Cadfael’s abbey has a ‘fine’ new sound system

Shrewsbury Abbey has a fascinating history dating back almost 1,000 years. It was founded in 1083 by Roger de Montgomery, one of William the Conqueror's principal counsellors. In the 20th century the Ellis Peters character Brother Cadfael was portrayed as a Benedictine monk and herbalist at Shrewsbury Abbey.

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Live Streaming now available from Creative Audio Visual Solutions

Live Streaming, especially during the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, is a vital means for churches to keep communicating to their congregation and the wider world.

Even when the lockdown is eased and churches open their doors again, many church regulars may still not be able to attend services. This is where a simple-to-use, reliable and high-quality online streaming system will allow your church to be ever present in these times when fellowship and togetherness are perhaps more important than ever. Creative Audio Visual Solutions (CAVS) offer a complete IT and networking solution for the modern office. Utilising the latest wired and wireless technologies, their systems are designed to increase your organisation's growth and productivity when storing information, printing and communicating with the outside world.

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Ecclesiastical and Heritage World

The proud history of church sound specialist and leading ISCVE member, Electronic Audio Systems Ltd

Aylesbury based Electronic Audio Systems Ltd has been in operation since 1988.

The company has many years experience in designing, installing and maintaining high quality sound systems to various types of clients, mainly in the London and Home Counties.

Click here to read the full story of the company's proud history

You can find a selection of ISCVE Accredited companies in suitable categories in our directory such as Loop Systems, Sound and AV Systems, Fire Safety, Electrical, Security and Acoustics by searching in your area for the type of company you need. Look for the ISCVE Logo.

To find out more about the ISCVE please visit iscve.org.uk