Sligh Middle Magnet School in Tampa, FL has a new gymnasium audio system thanks to professional wrestler Thaddeus Bullard’s charitable organization, the Bullard Family Foundation, and it utilizes components from Ashly Audio.
Bullard’s foundation supports programs that provide opportunities to those in struggling communities. His website states that he avoided the reach of statistics because teachers and local leaders took an interest in his success and “his community began investing in him.”
“The school district’s budgeting doesn’t ordinarily allow for this caliber of sound system in public middle school athletic facilities,” explains Joey Donovan, Vice President of Audio at Donovan Audio Designs (pro audio division of ACCI). “But Thaddeus’s vision for this gymnasium included its use for performing arts, dances and other social events, appearances by his celebrity friends – Dave Bautista is a frequent visitor – and speeches. When I pointed out to him that it was a gym, and it wasn’t acoustically feasible to use it for such demanding uses, he asked me what it would take to make it work. Ultimately, we installed more than four times the normal amount of acoustical treatment you would normally find in a gymnasium in order to accommodate a high-performance sound reinforcement system in the space.”
The system incorporates five Ashly Audio KLR-5000 power amplifiers joined by a KLR-2000 amplifier to drive a custom Ramsdell Pro Audio stereo line array loudspeaker system. Units in the KLR Series provide a 3-position gain switch for both channels, a 3-position mode switch (bridged, stereo or parallel mono) and a 3-position 12 dB/oct HPF switch (30 Hz, 50 Hz or off).
The system also makes use of an Ashly Audio Protēa ne24.24m Series DSP matrix processor, which uses modular expansion cards to provide up to 24-channels of audio matrixing and processing. Each input and output expansion card has an individual DSP processor. Matrixing allows routing of any input to any output and control individual levels once they’ve been assigned. Donovan calls the ne24.24m “the absolute brains of the system.”
Further, Ashly Audio neWR-5 Programmable Multi-Function Network Decora wall remotes were installed to offer control to those at the school. The neWR-5 is designed to offer flexibility in what settings are offered to the end user,.
“It’s designed to be as easy as possible,” Donovan adds. “You can go in there, grab a microphone, and with one press of the control panel your system has come to life.
“At the start of this there was a discussion of what it would take to really make a gym sound amazing,” he concludes. “And with the support from the Bullard Family Foundation we were able to do what was needed to make that happen. You can see by what we put in there which brands we trust at this level, and Ashly is obviously incredibly important in that equation.”