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School’s athletic facility equipped with Symetrix DSP system

St. Augustine High School in San Diego has opened a new athletics building fitted with a Dante-enabled sound system, managed by two Symetrix Radius 12x8 EX DSPs.

The school is the first private school to be admitted to the San Diego City League of Athletics and it boasts one of the best sports programmes in the city.

Systems integrator Sound Image designed and built the Dante-enabled sound system that serves the gym and ancillary rooms throughout the new facility. “This was a design-bid-build project,” stated Michael Fay, who was senior design consultant at Sound Image during the project, and responsible for the audio, video and acoustic designs.

The focal point of the facility is the Fr. John R. Sanders Gymnasium, which can seat around 3,000 when chairs are set up on the main floor, and the school also uses it for church services and other large events, so the sound system needed to be configurable in several ways.

During games, sound is primarily distributed to the bleacher areas, as well as routed to the 70V systems in the ancillary rooms. Events that use both floor and bleacher seating are focused on a stage location at one end of the gym. Fay designed the speaker placement, aiming, and timing with these two basic set-ups in mind, creating six coverage zones of Bose RoomMatch-series arrays, driven by Dante-enabled Bose PowerMatch-series amplifiers. He used Symetrix SymVue software to create multiple scenes and controls that configure the room for various events. Some events run hands-free, while other are mixed with a Dante-enabled Yamaha TF3 console. For games, wireless mics and music tracks are mixed through the Symetrix Radius, using its gain-sharing automix module.

“SymVue is running on a WiFi-enabled tablet computer to control minor level adjustments, while Crestron XPanel software controls a video projector, switcher, and screen,” said Fay. “For instance, there’s a preset on both the SymVue and XPanel GUIs labelled ‘Large Event.’ These synced presets push the various configuration commands to the Radius devices and the video system. The screen drops, the projector turns on, a computer input is selected, the FOH console is live, and the proper loudspeaker zone configuration is recalled. Each subsystem has basic override controls through the GUIs.”

Upstairs, overlooking the gym, are several classrooms, including a large classroom that can be subdivided with an air wall. “There are more ceiling speakers in the subdivided room than can typically be controlled by a single 70V volume control.” noted Fay, “so we used two Symetrix ARC-2e wall panels up there, one for each side. That way, they can mute the speakers in the individual rooms or do independent volume control when they use the air wall.” Levels in most other ancillary rooms are controlled with regular 70V attenuators.

A third Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel controls the gym feed and local input levels for the ceiling speakers in the lobby. “The lobby is the main entrance, and it’s designed like a high-end hotel or corporate lobby, so it’s functional and aesthetically pleasing,” added Fay. “The lobby can handle overflow for the gymnasium or it can be a classy, standalone area for small pregame events. An 80in video monitor can hook up to a portable computer or display a video feed from the game court. There’s a Dante patch, so they can bring in the Yamaha console, and local wired mic inputs with mutes and volume controls on the ARC-2e wall panel. The wireless mics work in that room, too.”

Fay also praised Symetrix’ Dante implementation and support. “At St. Augustine, the Dante aspects came together without any sleepless nights, and Symetrix tech support is good. When I come up with some wacky idea that I can’t quite get to work right, they always help me figure it out.”