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GK Productions upgrades St Virgil’s College Auditorium with Electro-Voice and Dynacord

November 20, 2019

St Virgil’s College is one of Tasmania’s oldest and most respected boys’ schools. Founded in 1911 as a Catholic day and boarding school, today St Virgil’s provides a contemporary, engaging and fun-filled education for day students which continues to honor the school’s rich history and traditions. More than 750 boys aged from 8 to 16 are enrolled, all engaging in first-class educational opportunities and experiences set within modern, purpose-built learning and teaching facilities.

As the school has expanded, St Virgil’s found that they did not have enough seating in their auditorium to comfortably seat the entire student cohort for assemblies. The solution involved seating some of the students on the stage area and conducting visual presentations from the back of the stage. This posed various audio-related issues for the audience. The original sound system, installed in 2000, required an urgent upgrade. In line with the school’s high-quality education standards, St Virgil’s sought a high-quality solution to address the audio-visual needs of the Joyce Performance Centre. A great result would ultimately improve the auditorium’s usage, including production of assemblies and a busy schedule of musical concerts, musical theatre and dramatic performances.

“The EV and Dynacord range enables us to choose the right box and amp for every situation.”

GK Productions, founded in 2012 by Gareth Kays, was approached about the job. As one of the largest integrators and installation specialists in Tasmania, with over 20 years of experience and a solid reputation in theatre production and sound installation, Gareth was well suited for the execution of St Virgil’s audio requirements.

Why Electro-Voice and Dynacord?

After examining the auditorium and noting the complexity and various design aspects of the job, Gareth turned to the Electro-Voice product catalog. “There’s really no other brand of speaker boxes that I’ve come across that provide the same amount of choice in their range,” says Kays. GK Productions have a long-standing relationship with Electro-Voice and Dynacord and have acquired an extensive amount of product over time for both installation and production inventory.

“The EV and Dynacord range enables us to choose the right box and amp for every situation.” In this particular case, GK Productions’ primary goal was to fill the stage and auditorium with high-quality audio in a manner that was not obstructive to dramatic performances and the shows that the school hosts.

System selection and installation

The installation is centered around EVF (front-loaded) and EVU (ultra-compact) series enclosures from the Electro-Voice EV-Innovation family of acoustically and aesthetically matched installation-dedicated loudspeaker solutions. Due to the venue‘s excellent acoustics, an EVF-1122D system was chosen and integrated into a main left-center-right configuration, due to the width of the room. A pair 60° x 60° cabinets are used for the left and right hangs; a 120° x 60° cabinet serves in the center, with its horn rotated and mounted horizontally to minimize obstruction of sightlines, lighting and data projection. This enclosure covers most of the auditorium from a single point source. To mount the EVF, custom-engineered steel brackets and beams were placed between timber trestles, as the existing structural points in the room were already occupied by curtain tracks and other equipment. The stabilizer brackets on the EVF helped with overall installation synergy.

On stage, EVU2082 and EVU1082 under-balcony boxes are installed underneath the lighting bar borders, providing a very discrete solution without compromising sound quality and coverage. As the auditorium is quite steep, a further set of EVU2082 and EVU1082 enclosures are installed as delays towards the rear of the auditorium. Completing the speaker design, a pair EVF1151S subwoofers provide low-end extension to the system. “Having a one-brand solution for the mains, delays and in-fills allowed us to achieve a very similar sonic result across the performance area,” Kay adds.

To power the system, C series DSP amplifiers from EV’s sibling brand Dynacord are integrated into the control system with a simple contact closure for power on/off. Loading FIR filters into the amps further streamlined the project and ensures optimal performance from the Electro-Voice speakers. An Electro-Voice NetMax processor handles delays and matrix switching, with multiple presets recalled via the control system.

Moving forward

This project required a well-thought-out solution to make sure the coverage patterns and correct throw and volume were achieved. The results of the project have further strengthened Gareth’s belief and reliance on Electro-Voice and Dynacord products. “I certainly don’t have any plans to look elsewhere for audio supplies,” he says. “The gear simply does what it is supposed to do and does it very well.” As for GK Productions, their plans for the future are simple. “We will continue to expand our inventory. We are very driven by what our clients are asking us to do and that’s our key for growth. We certainly have a very good reputation amongst schools, theatres and houses of worship, and due to word of mouth we are entering into more and more verticals in installation and production.”

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