Deep in Jersey City, New Jersey, on the west side of its namesake river, Hudson County Prep High School serves as a magnet school for over 700 students from ninth grade through twelfth grade. As part of a facilities expansion, the school recently completed construction of a new, state-of-the-art gymnasium that will also host events, such as graduations, dances, concerts, and tournaments.
The school hired local A/V integration and manufacturers rep firm Volt Laboratories to design a punchy sound reinforcement system for these special events. Based on its deep feature set, intuitive layout, remote iPad app, and affordable price, Volt Laboratories gave County Prep High School an Ashly digiMIX24 digital console augmented for the new system,” said Hartung.
“It’s a ‘studio-grade’ console, meaning it has all the functionality you would expect from a real studio console – parametric EQ, full dynamics control, sophisticated routing, and so on.”
“We’re a Technomad loudspeakers manufacturers rep, and they often throw the hard, technical jobs our way,” explained Vince Hartung, architect from Volt Laboratories, a sole source provider. “County Prep High School contacted them to request a demo of a DragonFly™ Weatherproof Portable PA System, and we stepped up to provide it. The school loved the sound quality. In fact, they loved it so much that they asked us to design an event system for the new gym they were building. We visited while it was still very much under construction, but already they had JBL speakers hanging from the ceiling. They expected that system to handle the day-to-day music playback, but they still wanted a dedicated event sound system.”
The school wanted a fully-featured console for the system, with a breakout box for the stage, inputs to four Audio-Technica wireless mic systems, Bluetooth and casting inputs for students and coaches. “The Ashly digiMIX24 is a perfect fit for a situation like this,” said Hartung. “It comes with Ashly’s free iPad remote control app, which will allow novices to operate things for simple events or the school’s tech to run a more complicated mix from anywhere.” A pair of twigged Technomad Berlin loudspeakers powered by Volt Laboratories custom amps complete the system.
“Take all that functionality together with Ashly’s legendary reliability and an incredibly low price point… there’s nothing else that even comes close to it on the market.”
The JBL loudspeakers that were hanging but unconnected when Hartung first walked through the gymnasium were eventually connected to a QSC amplifier and a BSS DSP, but the school was dissatisfied with its lack of flexibility. In the near future, Volt Laboratories will remove the BSS and connect the JBL system with its paging feeds and a couple of Shure wireless mics to the Ashly digiMIX24 as well. They’ll also add a subwoofer for even richer low-end performance.
The digiMIX24 will serve as the nerve center for it all. “They absolutely love the crystal clear audio and the ease with which their technicians can control the system,” Hartung said. “The Hudson County school district is building a new ‘High Tech High School’ in Secaucus, New Jersey, and they want it outfitted in exactly the same way. We may use the smaller Ashly digiMIX18 if it is available by that time.”