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Black Light brings high-tech AV to Scottish schools

Paddy Baker 19 July 2010

The company worked on the project at schools in Perth and Kinross in collaboration with construction giant Laing O’Rourke, writes David Davies. As a result, five schools – a mixture of primary and secondary – in these rural areas of Scotland now have access to state-of-the-art cinema and theatre equipment, with a sixth to follow by year’s end.

An exhaustive 18-month consultation period preceded the actual installation, which entailed the specification of extensive AV facilities and the transition of assembly halls into high-spec performance venues. The secondary schools were also equipped with cinema systems and fully-featured sound recording studios.

Specific equipment selected for the project included: Prolyte X30V Box-Section trusses; Zero 88 Chilli dimming and outstation systems, Betapack 3 dimmer racks and Jester Lighting control desks; Selecon Acclaim fresnel, Axial zoomspot and Hui floodlight luminaires; Yamaha IF-series loudspeakers, PC-series amplifiers, DME24 DSPs and Blu-ray players; Tascam CD/MD/MP3 playback devices; Soundcraft LX7ii and Phonic Powerpod 1860+ audio mixers; Shure and AKG Microphones, including SM57, SM58 and PGX-series radio microphones; and Sanyo XF70 LCD Projectors.

Juggling the varying demands of theatrical and cinematic audio, and the need to accommodate ball games in the primary school halls were among the challenges confronting Black Light installations project manager Paul McGreal and team.

Speaking to IE, McGreal highlighted the Yamaha systems as being integral to the project, noting that "the speakers and processors are of such quality and flexibility that the change from cinema to theatre mode is literally the press of a button". In a wider context, the onus was on "quality brands, functionality and reliability. The generation of children and others using these systems need to learn the ropes, and for that they require industry-standard equipment."

Looking back on the project, McGreal paid tribute to the "enthusiasm and flexibility" of Laing O’Rourke and the local authorities, and said that there was an emphasis by all concerned on "delivering the best possible project". He added: "The entire process was very friendly and positive. What we have ended up with is right – the right kit, the right installation and everything works."

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