In many K-12 schools, auditoriums are multi-use spaces serving many purposes. School auditoriums are often the home of student performances, guest speakers, educational presentations and much more. In order to support various uses, auditoriums are in need of an audio system that allows for numerous configurations and flexibility.
West Jordan High School, located southwest of Salt Lake City, was in need of a higher quality and more flexible audio solution for its main auditorium, as the current space allowed for limited sound and audio control.
The school worked with BNA Consulting to not only design the new audio network, but also choose the right audio networking technology that would best fit its auditorium’s needs.
“During the conversation, the school decided they wanted to go with Dante because they wanted to be able to move the mixing console around instead of having everything come back analog, then have a DSP and then have to do a bunch of breakouts and route everything,” says Jaime Verhaal,
audiovisual designer at BNA Consulting. “It was easier to just run everything Dante. We just needed to put some network drops where they were going to move things around.”
Dante is an uncompressed, multi-channel digital media networking technology from Audinate. With Dante, all networked components can be located anywhere within the auditorium through the use of data drops, and the school can quickly reconfigure the network as needed.
“With Dante, what we’re able to do is take any of the microphone inputs or auxiliary inputs and put them into a network and we can route it however we want to,” says Verhaal. “In this specific scenario we had six wall plates in the front that had two audio inputs and two audio outputs. What we can do is take all six of those, which is a total of 12 inputs, and we can route them to a mixing console. They can mix each channel individually and then they can output to those 12 channels on the front of the stage for a monitor mix or fill speakers, etc.”
Verhaal further explained that once channels are mixed they are sent to the amplifier for the main distribution system. From there, a user can push a button that allows them to switch the system to auto mode, which simplifies the mixing process.
“[Auto mode] takes all inputs and routes them to a DSP rather than a console, and auto mixes everything and sends it straight out the amplifier,” says Verhaal.
West Jordan’s auditorium is often rented out, and before its Dante installation, those who rented out the auditorium often had to have someone present to help run the system. With Dante, those who rent out the space can run the audio networked solution without a tech professional, as the system is very plug and play and easy to use.
“The school can just push the [auto mode] button and get the company that is running it a few microphones and they are good to go without having someone there who understands the system to mix the board,” says Verhaal.
Dante has not only helped those who rent the space to easily control audio, but has also greatly improved guests’ experiences.
Since the Dante installation, guests can hear high quality sound no matter where they are seated. The school’s old audio system was routed to one spot, where its console was locked down to one balcony. If guests were not sitting near the console, they were unable to hear the audio clearly.
“The experience is like night and day. Once we updated to the digital system, the console can be moved down to the middle of the audience so users can hear exactly what the audience is hearing or they can route it to a recorder if they want to,” says Verhaal. “It gave them a bunch of options as to where they can move it and how they can control the flow of the audio.”
With an audio networked solution such as Dante, schools can have more flexibility to configure audio and sound for specific events. For multi-use auditoriums, a flexible, easy to use audio networked solution is essential to supporting numerous types of performances that may have different audio and sound needs. West Jordan High School has been able to improve sound to support numerous types of events and performances, ultimately providing better experiences for its students and guests.