LEA Connect Series Web Tools allow important Community Centre audio installation to progress during lockdown in New Zealand

A newly built Community Centre in Auckland, New Zealand was established by the national charitable organization ISSO (International Swaminarayan Satsang Organisat- ion) to accommodate the organization’s rapidly growing numbers. The facility will soon provide vital resources to the ISSO group, allowing them to cater to the needs of the local community through health and wellness classes, music productions, weddings, large events and seminars. Local integrator Audio Connect had their first experience using LEA Professional technology on this project, leading to exceptional results.

Audio Connect is an Auckland based business specializing in the hire, sales and installation of professional sound systems, lighting, staging, and DJ equipment. For this new community centre project, Raj Morar, Manager at Audio Connect, worked with local distributor Jansen to source their audio equipment solutions. Jansen representatives recommended the LEA Professional Connect Series amplifiers as the perfect solution to address the challenges this installation presented.

For Morar, a project like this may have been relatively straightforward a few years ago, but now with the ever-present shadow of COVID and the battles of local lockdowns, time was of the essence.

“Being able to access the amplifiers and address all six zones from our phones via Wi-Fi, made the whole process a lot easier and quicker, ensuring we met our deadlines,” commented Morar.

The LEA Professional Web UI allows users to get a clear status check and monitor the performance of every channel and every amplifier on the network. In addition, the platform gives users the capacity to view and adjust channel settings such as input settings, signal generator, crossover, equalizer, limiter, and load monitoring.

This two-story centre uses five LEA Professional amplifiers in total — a Connect Series 168D, three Connect 354, and one Connect 704 — all configured to drive a mix of 150 in-ceiling and surface-mount Martin audio speakers.

As the installation continued during the lockdown in New Zealand, the team was able to use the LEA Professional Cloud platform to program the system off site, so when they were finally allowed to return, they weren’t under the same time pressure.

All LEA Professional amplifiers leverage the built-in Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT Core. This cloud platform allows integrators to control and monitor critical operational data points for maintaining system health securely and remotely. Individual amplifiers or entire amp systems can be accessed and controlled securely, from anywhere in the world without the need to VPN into a Local Area Network.

Another challenge of this project was to ensure that the venue was future-proofed. As the community centre will be used in the future to accommodate up to four to five different events at once, they needed the ability to matrix everything for any possible scenario.

“Giving the user the flexibility to be able to do whatever they wanted to do with the system was challenging,” said Morar. “We needed to ensure it would accommodate all their future needs and give them the channel configuration for any scenario. For this, the LEA technology, including the Smart Power Bridge, was fantastic, very friendly and easy to use.”

In order to remedy the channel loss found in traditional bridging, LEA Professional developed a proprietary Smart Power Bridge technology. This technology creates a better way to bridge channels without sacrificing channel count. To begin with, the amplifier uses the voltage headroom available from the 70V/100V direct capability and automatically adjusts the current capabilities of that channel. Next, it applies it in a controlled manner to the low Z mode. As a result, it effectively doubles the power of any amplifier channel of the installer’s choice.

While this was Audio Connect’s first experience with LEA Professional it hasn’t been their last. The team now specifies LEA Professional amplifiers on all their projects.

“The connectivity and flexibility of the LEA amplifiers allowed us to make this all work,” added Morar. “And as soon as we turned on the system and heard the sound quality, we and our customers were all blown away. We now routinely use LEA amplifiers on all our installs — LEA has definitely earned their spot as our amplifier manufacturer of choice.”