One of our favorite installs...
Douglas Valley Middle School, from District 20, came to us with an audio problem in their gym. The school had an aging audio system. The cables were a mess, no one really knew how to work the system, and it wasn’t really serving the school’s needs. We asked the PTO what they were using the gym for and the needs were pretty simple. The school staff needed to be able to hold an assembly, play music for gym classes and connect audio from a DVD player for movie night. The gym also doubles as a theater with a small stage for school programs and activities. The PTO and teachers also specifically requested a system that didn’t require them to know audio theory or reference big training manuals. They were looking for a quick, simple and effective fix.
Within the control system we created a lot to make the system simple. A single graphic ON button on the touch screen powers on the system including the AMP and resets faders and mutes. Every fader on the screen is color coded to match the rubber bumper on each mic. We built in feedback suppression that resets its filters after each use and a system EQ to make everything sound great. We even built a button using the auto mixer functionality of Symetrix to allow users to simply tap the auto button and have all 4 mics automatically mixed together for group speaking situations.
We had so much fun working with Douglas Valley Middle School and getting them some new equipment to make their gym a more functional room and cut some typical audio-visual hassles for teachers and students. The best part of this system was the training. As we were finishing the project classes were still in session. The gym teacher was using a portable boom box, so we brought her over to check out all the new gear. We spent about 5 minutes showing her the new system, thinking we would do a full system training after the holiday break when more teachers were around to learn. Within 10 minutes she was not only confidently using the new system but bringing in others and teaching them. The principal of the school even taught herself how to use it. In fact, the system worked out so well we never had to go back for a formal training. This has been one of our favorite builds we have ever done. We just loved building a simple system that met the needs of the school so well and let the teachers be confident in using their new system! We look forward to other D20 projects in the future!
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