Creative and reconfigurable digital network incorporates JBL, BSS, Crown, Soundcraft and AKG
The three things that any new multipurpose community centre needs in order to maximise its hire potential is a flexible technical infrastructure, simple operability and a degree of redundancy to ensure it continues functioning in the event of failure in the signal chain.
So when TEDAV was commissioned by Wiltshire Council to fit out Springfield Community Campus in Corsham, integrating all the comms and AV, Project Manager Gee Edwards decided to conceptually design a digital end-to-end system, incorporating protocols common to the Harman Pro (JBL, BSS, Soundcraft and AKG) components, distributed in the UK and Eire by Sound Technology Ltd.
The result is an intuitive plug and play system which networks the main and second room or allows each to function as stand-alone. For example, the gym/dance studio (Room 2) can double as a Green Room for the main 200 capacity presentation space by accessing the different presets in the BSS Soundweb DSP.
Photo above: BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-100
With a removable 28 sq.m stage, the large Multi-Performance Activity Space (Room 1) is designed to host performances, lectures and conferences and other leisure activities, with direct access to an exhibition break-out space
The second room Includes a sprung floor, mirrors and ballet bar and this will become available to hire after the campus is fully open. The facility also offers a wide range of facilities, from library and full sports facilities to neighbourhood policing.
TEDAV became involved in the project after being recommended by Wiltshire Council, for whom they had previously worked. They rewrote the existing specification, prepared by the previous installer, increasing the number of lighting bars to four and moving the sound completely into the digital domain, while cleverly maintaining a Basic mode, which enables users to bypass the mixer entirely.
With support from Sound Technology’s project team, Edwards designed a network to enable the Dance Studio to either take audio feeds from the main room or operate autonomously, when a portable rolling rack (equipped with playback devices and AKG radio mics) can be brought into play.
“I don’t think anyone has wired such a stand-alone system as this, as we’ve managed to take all the audio from the AV, including the HDMI/VGA audio, and the AKG WMS470 radio mics into the Soundweb BLU-100 (12-in/8-out) DSP so you don’t necessarily need a mixer.” When full control is required the operator simply pulls the feeds back into the Soundcraft Performer 1 desk and Mini 16 Stagerack.
The Performer was selected specifically, as Edwards required two card slots which would allow him to implement both MADI and BSS Blu-Link — the latter a 32 x 32 interface between the console and the BLU Link 256-channel digital audio bus, which allows connection to a wide range of Harman Pro devices.
Photo above: Soundcraft Si Performer 1 console
Two AKG WMS-470 D5 handhelds are designated for each space (one pair in the mobile rack in the dance studio wired back to the receivers into the main room) outputting to JBL CBT constant beamwidth column speakers.
Photo above: AKG WMS470 radio microphone system
Since the building framework is timber construction, weight-loading was an issue and so in the main room TEDAV has specified two JBL CBT70JE (along with a pair of JBL PRX412 for monitoring) and a pair of CBT100LA in the second room. The power is provided from three Crown XTi 2002 amplifiers.
“The CBT technology provides a clear and punchy sound,” confirms Edwards. “The CBT100LA contains 16 very small horns to get clarity in what is a cavernous space.”
“In the main room the CBT70JE was a perfect choice as we couldn’t fly anything from the ceiling and had to hang them from the lighting bars. We needed to go with a lightweight option, and since there was nowhere to mount the subs in view of the sprung floor, the CBT70JE sub extender also worked well. It’s ideal for day-to-day use, with good SPL, delivering great bottom end, and speech reproduction. We only needed one on each side of a room measuring 14m x 18m and these are situated 4m from the front wall. Finally, because the 70JE is directional and ellipsoidal the bounce is kept to a minimum”.
Photo above: JBL’s CBT Constant Beamwidth Technology Series
Video projection (3LCD 13000 ANSI lumens) with source switching and provision of colour-changing LED Profiles and Fresnels complete the installation.
Summing up, Gee Edwards says the customer is delighted with the flexibility of the installation. “All the I/Os in Soundweb are being used and it’s easy for them to use in Basic or Digital mode.
“In addition, we have provided three facility panels, each with BLU-Link and MADI and they can patch over Cat6 cable via Neutrik EtherCON. We have also provided them with some redundancy.”
This flight-cased solution is perfect for clients such as amateur dramatic groups, he believes. “Third party users can hire in additional lapels or headsets which they can either send down the digital snake, or alternatively we have provided analogue tie-lines.”
TEDAV worked under electrical contractors, T. Clarke of Bristol, while Midas Group was the construction company and architect was Alec French Architects.