Symetrix Stars at St. Augustine’s

    St. Augustine High School is the first private school admitted to the San Diego City League of Athletics and it recently opened a new athletics building. AV systems integrator Sound Image has designed and built a Dante-enabled sound system, managed by two Symetrix Radius 12×8 EX DSPs that serve the gym and ancillary rooms throughout the new facility.

    “This was a design-bid-build project,” clarified Michael Fay, who has been Senior Design Consultant at Sound Image during the project. During games, sound is primarily distributed to the bleacher areas, as well as routed to the 70 volt 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.

    Michael designed the speaker placement, aiming, and timing with these two basic setups 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 others 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 Wi-Fi-enabled tablet computer to control minor level adjustments, while Crestron XPanel software controls a video projector, switcher, and screen,” Michael detailed. “For instance, there’s a preset on both the SymVue and XPanel GUIs labeled ‘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 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 70 volt volume control.” noted Michael, “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,” observed Michael.

    “The lobby can handle overflow for the gymnasium or it can be a classy, standalone area for small pregame events. An 80-inch 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.” This project also included a fair amount of opportunity-based acoustic conditioning, much of which is hidden behind perf-metal overhangs and the bleachers. “It was an interesting job and well worth the effort,” he insisted.