Bringing Lakeshore High School into the 21st century

It’s not uncommon for schools to make use of their audio-visual equipment for long periods of time.  Speakers, microphones, and the parts and pieces between are generally rugged and able to maintain decent performance for a decade or two.  However, there inevitably comes a time for every system to be replaced and updated, whether that is due to the advances in modern technology or simply the many years’ worth of wear and tear.

Time For and Update

Paul Milligan, Lakeshore High School’s Technical Director, knew it was time for an update to the auditorium space.  Originally built in the 70s, the current Electro-Voice loudspeakers were installed over 20 years prior and were the source of a few present-day problems within the space.  Paul reached out to Tim Hamilton of Hamilton AV Design, who had just finished a sound system design for Lakeshore High School’s football field, to help him search for potential solutions.

Correcting Sound Coverage

The auditorium’s greatest challenge for years had been the lack of adequate sound coverage towards the back of the space.  Hard, reflective walls and poor performance from the current Electro-Voice speakers made the back feel acoustically muddy and confusing.  This issue was amplified (pun intended!) by the location of the mixing booth – stuck far in the back behind the audience – where creating a coherent mix was made much more difficult for any audio engineer.

Rebalancing the System

Tim worked closely with Paul and Lakeshore High School to rebalance the system more evenly between front and back and to improve the intelligibility and overall quality of the sound in the space.  He considered several loudspeaker design options, including dual line arrays and your typical point-and-shoot boxes.  Eventually, the team settled on placing two Danley SH50 loudspeakers on either side of the proscenium, which provided the best coverage to the back of the space.  They also chose to utilize a SH95-HO under each speaker cluster, tilted towards the front of the audience to act as a downfill, providing clear and even sound from front to back.

 A pair of Danley TH115 subwoofers served to fill out the low frequencies, turning the system up a notch in its dynamic range.  Supported by Danley 20k4PRO amplifiers and expertly tuned to maximize both power and clarity, the new loudspeakers and subwoofers now provide a much-needed improvement to the overall sound quality in the room.  The system is backed by a QSC Core 110f digital signal processor, which feeds both the mains and a number of new lobby ceiling speakers for announcements and notifications during an event.

Updating Just What’s Needed

“We had recently updated our mixing board to the Allen & Heath GLD and we were hoping to keep using that.” Milligan commented.  “Tim kept that in mind from the beginning and chose to update just our loudspeaker, amplifiers and processing, which was exactly what we needed.  After hearing how good the Danley speakers sound out at the football field, it was great to hear that Tim was recommending Danley speakers for the auditorium as well.”

Following bids from a number of reputable contractors, the project was picked up by TPC Technologies and completed in the late summer of 2019.  Lakeshore High School’s administration and students can now look forward to engaging events supported by a full-range, high quality audio system. 

“We are really pleased with our new Danley system in the auditorium. It sounds great and the coverage is so much better than our old system!”

Paul Milligan