Gadsden City High School Gets Danley Sound Labs Audio System
Oct 3, 2007 12:00 PM
Opened in June 2006, Gadsden City High School is the newest high school built in northeast Alabama. The $30-million-dollar-plus project has 290,000 square feet under roof on a 53-acre gated campus. The school offers more than 150 courses, including many for advanced college placement; an augmented foreign language department; a highly decorated fine arts program; and comprehensive technical training. The facility has 70 classrooms, three computer labs, five science labs, a high-tech media center, a broadcast studio, three music rehearsal studios, two gymnasiums, and an 8,000-seat stadium.
In addition, the fine arts program has an 800-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium that is abundantly capable of meeting the department, school and community's many and varied needs. The school hired AV contractor dB Audio & Video to design and install its flexible sound system and to consult with the architects regarding acoustics. Keith Armstrong, dB's Alabama system advisor, centered the new system on a simple but immensely powerful and faithful Danley Sound Labs loudspeaker system.
The first thing Armstrong did was to persuade the architects to introduce curves, angled soffits, and more acoustically-forgiving materials to their auditorium design. "Since I had been a choral student of his many years ago, I knew Paul Edmondson, Gadsden's performing arts director. I knew what he was looking for," Armstrong says. "He wanted a musical-sounding system that would be flexible enough to convey any type of music gracefully and simply. The Danley loudspeakers fit that requirement."
Armstrong's design consists of an exploded mono speaker system comprising two hard-packed Danley Sound Labs SH-50 full-range loudspeakers for mains and two SH-100s placed 25ft. on either side for side fills. In addition, two SH-100s hang inside the proscenium for stage wash and choir monitors. The Danley full-range loudspeakers benefit from Tom Danley's patent-pending, synergy-horn technology. Synergy-horn technology results in both a ruler-flat, undistorted frequency response that is remarkably independent of the loudspeaker's volume and phase coherent, well-defined pattern control.
"Pattern control was important," Armstrong says. "Although we were able to reconfigure the room somewhat, it still possessed parallel side walls. Other loudspeakers claim to have tight pattern control, but once you go below 800Hz, they're omni-directional; not so with the Danley speakers. They maintain their pattern control down to very low frequencies. Thus, we were able to keep energy off the side walls and to avoid nasty flutter echoes."
A Danley Sound Labs TH-112 subwoofer extends the low frequency response of the system to the mid 20Hz range and is suspended just above the center SH-50s. As with the full-range loudspeakers, Danley Sound Labs subwoofers again benefit from Tom Danley's rare insight, this time with patent-pending tapped-horn technology. As a result, the low-end from a Danley subwoofer is rich, smooth, and impossibly loud given each unit's relatively small size.
In addition to the main Danley system, a distributed audio system of Atlas Sound FAP42T ceiling speakers was used in the foyer and both dressing rooms. Yamaha P7000 and P3500 amplifiers power the main speaker system and a QSC CX-404 four-channel amplifier powers the monitors and the distributed speaker system. A Biamp Audia Solo digital signal processor provides signal processing to the system and a Biamp Volume/Select 8 gives the school the ability to run a simple audio system from the stage. A Yamaha DM1000 digital console with 16 channels of external mic pre-amps gives the school a total of 32 channels of audio.
In its first year, the new system saw heavy use. Gadsden High School hosted all of the state's music competitions, including all of its choral and band competitions. In addition, the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra and the Theater of Gadsden used the facility for many of their concerts and events. In all, 60 events benefited from the Danley-centered system in the span of nine months.
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