Tunbridge Wells Installation
This month, among other things, DACS completed an audio system install at a school in Kent. Kneale gives more details;
September has been a busy month for DACS in many areas not least in the installations department. With a studio build in Cambridge, on going jobs in Edinburgh and day-to-day business to attend to, when the installation at the Skinners Kent Academy in Tunbridge Wells began DACS was clearly demonstrating the national nature of the company.
It is true to say of the brief for the job that it followed the recent trend for the integration of the arts into mainstream learning. The job's remit was to design and install a sound system that would deliver audio around the school from different selected sources during inter-lesson periods. The main idea behind this was to create an atmosphere around the school that would in turn produce a calming effect on the students between classes and once lessons had ended.
There were five key areas that needed coverage, the two main stairwells into which all the classrooms fed, the reception, the dining hall and the toilets. Having to cover all these areas with a limited budget was a challenge but we managed to squeeze eight JBL speakers, ten Work speakers,two Gale speakers and all the amplifiers to power them plus cabling, labour and accessories out of the somewhat tight budget.
One key item that the whole system relied on was a custom switching unit designed and built by DACS which was mounted in a rack with the amplifiers. This unit allowed switching of the audio source in each zone between either a computer's audio interface out via Broadchart's Playtime, a royalty paid web based subscription system, and also via Broadchart's Playpoint and M Box. Both system's use playlists chosen on their web site, Playtime having continuous access and the M Box having playback times and material downloaded daily. These playlists were compiled by Brenda Soars of Sound Environments, a company DACS has worked closely with over the years.
The install was part of a school wide exercise aimed at providing an atmosphere conducive to an enjoyable and successful learning experience for all students who attend the Academy.
Sound Environments - http://www.soundenvironments.co.uk/index.php