Jefferson College is a public junior college 30 miles south of St. Louis, Missouri in Hillsboro. It serves over 5,500 full and part-time students who are either seeking to round out their education for professional advancement or completing an Associates Degree in preparation for a four-year college or university. In keeping with its mission to foster balanced student growth, Jefferson College provides its students with a wealth of extracurricular activities, including Viking athletics, theatrical and musical performances, and outside concerts and public events. The school recently funded an overhaul and modernisation of the sound reinforcement systems in its 2,500-seat field house and in its 300-seat theatre, which included high-performance, cost-effective Ashly Audio KLR Series amplifiers in the field house and Dante ready nXe Series network amplifiers in the theatre.
“Of course, the field house is used for women’s volleyball and men’s basketball,” said Paul Murdick, president TSI Technology Solutions, the firm that installed both systems. “But it’s also used for commencement and other large assemblies. The theatre, which is located inside the Fine Arts Building, is used to showcase the college’s drama, dance, and music performances, and the college also rents it out for concerts and other public events. However, the existing sound systems in both venues were very old and needed to be replaced.” David Bick and Josh Rasch acoustical engineers with McClure Engineering’s St. Louis division designed both new systems.
The field house’s new sound system starts with two Sennheiser evolution 300-Series wireless systems, two Sennheiser MEG 14 40 microphones with MAT 133s bases, and a CD player. Their outputs feed a Shure SCM-810 mixer, which in turn feeds a Harman BSS BLU DSP system. Two additional Sennheiser evolution 300 series wireless systems, a CD player, and a series of existing wired inputs directly feed the Harman BLU DSP system and are controlled in a stand-alone mode by either BSS Contrio Keypads or via the Harman HiQnet Motion Control app installed on an iPad. Ten channels of Ashly amplification (one dual-channel 1,000W KLR 2000, two dual-channel 800W at 70V KLR 3200s, and two dual-channel 2,500W KLR 5000s) power a distributed system consisting of nine Renkus-Heinz TRX 151/9 loudspeakers for the main sports arena, four Renkus-Heinz TRX 61 loudspeakers for two low-ceiling areas in the arena, SoundTube CM890D loudspeakers for the lobby, and Lowell 810 loudspeakers for the conference room.
The new front end for the theatre consists of 10 Sennheiser evolution 300-Series wireless systems and a Sennheiser MEG 14040 microphone, along with existing microphones, all of which feed via Dante-networked audio channels through a Harman BSS BLU DSP. This allows for a complete stand-alone system operation exclusive of the Allen & Heath GLD 80 mixing console. System control is via the Harman HiQnet Motion Control app on an iPad and integrated BSS Contrio Keypads. All Dante network audio channels also feed the GLD 80 as a front-of-house mixer for use during larger events. The system can be further expanded when additional channels are needed through the addition of the Allen & Heath AR2412 portable stage rack. Two new Sennheiser evolution 300 Series personal monitors complement an existing collection of stage monitors. Output from the GLD 80 feeds a separate Harman BSS BLU DSP system, which in turn feeds (via Dante) ten channels of Ashly Audio network audio amplification: one four-channel 800W nXe 8004, one four-channel 400W nXe 4004, and one dual-channel 1,500W nXe 1.52. The amplifiers power three Renkus-Heinz TRX 81/9 mains loudspeakers in a left-center-right configuration and two Renkus-Heinz BPS 12-1 subwoofers. Listen Technologies assisted listening systems and Juice Goose UPS and TCP/IP-controlled power sequencers complete both the field house and the theatre systems.
“Ashly has always designed their products to be powerful, flexible, and extremely reliable, and their incorporation of Dante technology made integration at Jefferson College a lot easier than it would have otherwise been,” said Lee Buckalew, Sound Systems Designer and Systems Engineer at TSI Global. “In addition, the fact that Ashly builds most of its equipment right in Webster, New York makes lead times fantastic. If a change needs to happen, Ashly is always fast with a new order. In addition, it’s never a problem to get in touch with an Ashly tech who can sit down at a bench and load up the product I have a question about. That makes Ashly installations fast and trouble-free.”