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Vocals Shine at Ursuline
UK – Founded in 1903, the Ursuline Academy in Ilford is a Catholic comprehensive school for girls aged 11-19, that delivers high quality education and pastoral care with an inclusive and community-focused ethos. As well as aiming to provide its students with the best possible facilities in which to develop their talents, in common with most educational establishments, the school also hires out a range of spaces and equipment to outside organisations. Not only does this offer the surrounding community a useful venue for a variety of functions but also brings in useful revenues to be re-invested for the benefit of the students. For both internal and external use, it is essential that the facilities and equipment are of the highest standards, both to enhance the learning experience of the students and meet the standards expected by hirers. The school’s business manager, Karen Bevan, recently conducted a review of the facilities and concluded that the school’s AV provision was in urgent need of attention. The systems in place had become outdated and no longer worked properly, causing much frustration to end-users, who for the most part had given up even attempting to use them.
Karen had encountered CIS in a previous employment and having enjoyed a productive relationship with the company, contacted its team with a brief to provide an AV system that was up-to-date and easy to operate. In turn, CIS consulted with Audiologic and arranged for representatives of both companies to attend site visits to meet Karen and the respective heads of the academy’s music and drama departments. CIS’s Nick Evans, along with Yavor ‘Max’ Yanakiev and Andy Lewis of Audiologic, listened to the client’s requirements and after careful consideration of the brief and budget, Max produced a design that ultimately exceeded the client’s expectations.
CIS installed a QSC audio system based on two QSC-15 speakers, QSC GX7 power amplifier and QSC TouchMix 30 PRO mixing console. The E15 is trapezoidal, two way loudspeaker intended for applications where high power and rich low end are required, making it ideal for the varied demands of an education setting. The TouchMix-30 Pro is QSC’s feature-rich, flagship console, part of the world’s most powerful small-format digital mixer series. The availability of wizards, presets and other helpful tools assists users to go beyond simply mixing, whilst its operation is intuitive and therefore quick to assimilate for audio professionals and novices alike. Compact, robust and affordable, its selection again chimed perfectly with the requirements of a school setting, where the sheer variety of demands on the system require flexibility and ease of use. Audiologic supplied bespoke stage boxes by Quartex.
An Ecler DN44BOB break out box was used to facilitate a two-way audio link over single CAT5 cable to and from the balcony at the rear of the hall, whilst at either side of the stage an Ecler WPmMix-T wall panel micro mixer offered an optional and backup input connection for a wired microphone, laptop or mobile device, facilitating a very quick and simple alternative set-up for assemblies and presentations.
Two Shure QLXD24/SM86 hand-held wireless and two Shure QXLD14/150/C lavalier wireless microphone systems complemented the system for use across a range of applications. Shure is synonymous with high audio quality and these systems are robust and easy to set up, once again meeting the brief and budget without any compromise. One particularly important requirement was the facility to project the performance of the school’s exceptional choir – The Ursuline Academy is well served by a large number of talented singers – and for this specific task, Audiologic recommended two Sennheiser K6 microphone powering modules with cardioid ME64 heads. When required, these could be used with two heavy duty steel Samson SB100 studio boom stands, adjustable to over 12 feet in height, enabling accurate and stable positioning.
A Denon DN300ZB CD/Media player with Bluetooth/USB/SD/Aux and AM/FM Tuner and DN500BD Blu-ray player completed the picture, between them offering easy-to-use technology covering every playback requirement.
Nick Evans, AV manager at CIS was very pleased with the project: “The main stage has been completely transformed by the installation to enable presentation of professional level productions. With the audio system cabinet located onstage and facility to control all AV functions from the balcony at the rear of the hall, every base is covered. The drama and music departments can produce plays and shows, full band and choir concerts, as well as being easily able to stage all manner of presentations, talks and assemblies. The technology, which came at a realistic cost and exceeded the client’s expectations, now enables the students to properly express themselves and demonstrate the true extent of their talents. We received full support from Audiologic throughout the project, from the design stage through to commissioning and they also followed up with training for the client. We must reserve a particular mention for Max from Audiologic, who was very knowledgeable, extremely professional and very well received on site.”
Andy Lewis, sales and marketing director at Audiologic added: “The feedback we’ve received from Karen and the staff at The Ursuline Academy has been very favourable, stressing just how happy they are with the solution. At a recent awards presentation, the system was put through its paces by both the choir and individual students; by all accounts the reaction of everyone present was to agree that the quality of the audio was excellent. Budgets in education settings like this are tightly managed, so the focus has to be on extracting every ounce of value from projects such as this.
“The breadth of our portfolio at Audiologic coupled with the design expertise of our team, means that we are very well placed to help our customers deliver high quality audio solutions that fall within the economic scope of their clients.”
Karen Bevan, business manager at the Ursuline Academy was delighted: “We have been impressed by the new AV systems installed by CIS in partnership with Audiologic. The school had been working with very old and outdated equipment for many years and the transformation has been amazing! Audiences are now able to properly enjoy the musical talents of our girls and we are about to stage our first school production for many years. The project was well planned and implemented and the project team worked hard to meet our very tight time frames. I would have no hesitation in recommending CIS and Audiologic to other schools.”
The benefits of the new system at The Ursuline Academy are clear. Careful consultation over design and product selection allied to swift, professional installation, delivered a very competitively priced solution that will add value to the student experience at the school for years to come.
5th April 2018
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