Primary Sounds On Campus
PRO-AVL install at neighbouring schools.
As next-door neighbours, Lee St Special School and adjoining Caboolture State High School wisely share a few resources. This ties in nicely with QLD Department of Education’s program for these schools to do joint projects. The first major initiative was to refurbish the common multi-purpose hall in 2021.
This barn of a room is “basically a double Olympic basketball stadium — it’s pretty huge” according to Scott Mathison, Manager at Mooloolaba Music and their installation offshoot PRO-AVL. With prior commercial relationships with key staff, they were approached directly to do the job. The principal and head of arts department wanted Scott to “install something functional, rather than old, ancient department recommendations.”
ROOM FOR MORE
The space is primarily used for sporting requirements but doubles up for assemblies and performances. A visually and aurally bright room presented puzzlers for PRO-AVL. They submitted a quotation early during the Covid period, but over the six months waiting for client confirmation, prices soared, and they had to alter many elements of the design to fit the budget. The schools still needed a powerful system capable of full theatrical performance, but it had to be simple enough for daily presentations. They also wanted a screen component and the high ambient light levels ruled out any easily affordable projection options. Further, Scott emphasised that it “needed to be impact resistant because, hanging in a basketball stadium, sooner or later some kid is going to get the smart idea to have a crack.”
Although budget had effectively constricted, a big room still needs a big PA. PRO-AVL worked closely with Brendon McDonald from NAS to specify a flown line array system that could achieve even coverage across the vast auditoria. They chose dBTechnologies DVA K5 as the main element, with eight per side. These are supported by four DVA KS10 subs under the stage and a further three LVX 10 two-ways to plug the gaps to the sides and centre. Four FMX 12 wedges cover stage sound.
Revised budget constraints led to console and FoH gear sourced elsewhere, but NAS still helped fill in the holes and get the entire audio system working sweetly.
They came to the fore assisting with screen choices, opting for two Unilumin USlimII LED screens, each hung from the PA truss. Configured in 3m x 2m, these modular units fit the bill for being bright and expandable. Scott elaborates: “The school were a little bit nervous about the small size of the screens, given the price (being impact resistant),” but PRO-AVL pitched it as: “We start with this, everyone is going to be able to see it. It will a) be bright enough, and b) you can add on to it if you feel you need a larger size down the track.” That kept the client happy, both for now and later.
A control panel is set side of stage with simple presentation settings. A staff member “can walk up to the stage, plug in the HDMI from their laptop, pull up the volume from the touch panel and away they go.” But when full band functionality is required, ‘console mode’ is selected to route everything via FoH for greater control.
KEEP IT LOCAL
As Sunshine Coast neighbours, the school gets prompt servicing from PRO-AVL, without having to wait for techs to transit from Brisbane or beyond. Mooloolaba Music have been trading for over 30 years and Scott feels “the MI side of our business has now got a pretty solid reputation, especially in the local community, and people trust us.” The PRO-AVL arm aims to continue in this manner, recently expanding staff numbers to do the job well. Scott knows “It’s about listening to the clients and making sure they get what they need.”
And the proof is in the pudding. During handover of this project to the principal, Scott was told that they are adding another building with similar specs later this year and she said: “I want the exact same system in there.”