Unlike almost all the other athletic programs at Missouri Southern State University, the MSSU Lions baseball team had long played all of its home games off campus. There, scheduling conflicts with other Joplin-area teams and removal from the buzz and activity of campus put a low-level strain on the program, prompting MSSU’s baseball organization to long for its own home field on campus.
A recent funding initiative has now made that dream a reality. The 500-seat stadium has all of the modern amenities, including synthetic turf, regulation lighting, training facilities, a press box, concessions, and a great-sounding sound reinforcement system. Local A/V integration firm and low-voltage specialists Total Electronics Contracting designed and installed the sound system, which centers on a two-rack space, Ashly ne8250.70PE eight-channel 250W network amplifier with integrated Protea™ DSP. Users can make volume adjustments with an Ashly FR-8 remote fader bank, which relays their changes to the customized Protea DSP.
“The team officials had a lot of complaints about the sound system at their old ‘home’ field, which was a ten minute drive from campus,” said Nate Pugh, A/V specialist with Total Electronics Contracting. “It was small and tinny-sounding, but nevertheless managed to blow fans’ heads off without managing to get sound to the field. Of course, they were on a tight budget, and there were serious space limitations.”
The Ashly ne8250 was the perfect solution” said Pugh. “In just two rack spaces we could get all of the DSP and amplification we needed, and Ashly’s reliability is fantastic. Despite all its high-quality features, Ashly’s price point is very competitive. The ne8250(.70pe) gave us a big bang for the buck.”
Inputs to the modest system include a Shure press-to-talk microphone, a Shure SLX-Series wireless microphone, and a Tascam CD player with integrated Bluetooth and a built-in iPod dock. A Furman sequencer conditions the system. Despite limited load ratings on the lighting poles, Pugh was able to arrange four Community R.25 and two Community R.5HP loudspeakers to provide good coverage of the stands and the field. JBL contractor-series ceiling speakers provide coverage for indoor areas. The Ashly ne8250.70PE fits under the desk in the press box, and it is currently using seven of its eight amplifier channels.
“The FR-8 is one of the features that has sold me on Ashly,” said Pugh. “It’s the only interface that I’ve found that gives the user the feel of a mixer – without actually requiring a mixer. At MSSU, I simply labeled the inputs and the master fader. They can mute inputs and adjust volumes as needed. It’s so simple that anyone can use it, even without training. It’s easy and reliable.” With the new system installed and the new on-campus stadium up and running, the MSSU Lions, coaches, and fans are ecstatic.