In an Australian first, DiGiCo and Nexo have made their way into one of Australia’s primary schools. Helensvale Primary, located in Helensvale along Queensland’s Gold Coast, recently finished their new Performing Arts Centre complete with a full audiovisual solution designed, supplied and installed by Dominica Sound.
The new space measures approximately 40m x 25m, roughly the size of a basketball court with a stage at one end and elevated seating at the other. The space features an 1100+ patron capacity and is destined for a wide variety of applications as Steve McCallum, Director of Dominica shared.
“Helensvale wanted to ensure the space was able to accommodate a wide variety of events. They were previously hiring halls out at their local Arts Centre for school events but wanted to become self-contained in order to cut some of their operational overheads. They also intend on renting the centre out to other schools in an effort to generate some income from the space while saving other schools money at the same time.”
The audio system was comprised of a Nexo Geo S12 system including 4 x Geo S12 speakers (1 x Geo S1230 and 1 x Geo S1210 flown per side) and 2 RS15’s ground stacked either side of stage. Steve’s decision to go Nexo was based on the requirements of having equal sound distribution across the room.
“The distance from the stage to the end of the hall was too far to use anything else. We would have had to have used delay speakers half way down the hall using other products and that wouldn’t have worked well for people sitting in certain parts of the hall. The reflections would have made it near impossible to get right. There was also raked seating up the back which ran about 4m high. People sitting in those seats also needed to be considered. With the Geo S12 system, we were able to get the sound evenly dispersed across the whole space. It sounds beautifully clear from end to end. Even kids with the weakest of voices can be heard perfectly now from anywhere in the entire room.”
To compliment the speaker system, an SD11 was commissioned and installed for the centre also. “We went with DiGiCo because it turned out to be a higher quality and more cost effective solution than anything else. When looking at other digital consoles that would have required a digital core, the price point became comparative to the DiGiCo. The sound quality of any other digital console wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good as the SD11 so it was a simple choice.”
Another big advantage of choosing the SD11 was the ability to configure the console for non-technical individuals such as teachers and student AV operators from other schools. “Helensvale holds a talent show every single school day at the end of the day so the system is getting regular use. The DiGiCo was setup with every input on every layer so anybody could walk in, clearly see which fader belonged to which input and begin using the desk. The teachers have commented on how easy it is to use. They just turn it on, select the inputs and then control volume, it’s that simple.”
In addition to the sound system, a complete lighting solution was also installed by Dominica. 6 x LED strips, 24 x white bars, 5 x colour bars, 18 x coloured LED’s, 22 x white LEDs and a Strand 200+ console were installed. A 6m wide projector screen was also installed at the rear of the stage. “The school doesn’t have easy access to the lighting system so we decided to go with LED lighting with changers. It was a low maintenance and long lasting solution which we could set and forget. We decided to go for a 6m screen because we wanted to make sure anyone sitting at the back could still read text off the screen. From a 40m distance, a 6m screen is really required. We put the sight screen at the back of stage as it was the only place dark enough to get a really good image.”
Feedback from the school has been extremely positive also. “Everyone loves the new system. One of the teachers told me they feel like they’ve won the lottery. We wish them all the best with their new space.” Special mention goes out to the Dominica crew: Steve McCallum, Russell Baker, Luke Criss, Elliott Laird and Sam Cruise.