With its mission “to provide rigorous and relevant instruction for all students at all academic levels and to ensure each has the opportunity to achieve maximum potential,” Warren Easton Charter High School has yielded numerous high-profile graduates over the years, including New Orleans jazz legends Pete Fountain, Louis Prima, and Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews to name but a few.
The school recently upgraded the gymnasium’s sound reinforcement capabilities and, to ensure the best sound quality possible, audio technology from PreSonus Audio Electronics of Baton Rouge, LA was selected.
New Orleans, LA-based The Paz Group was contracted to design and deploy Warren Easton Charter High School’s new sound system. Working in conjunction with Michael Smith (owner) and Kurt Parsons (lead installer) of Kenner, LA headquartered Crescent Sound and Light, the team deployed a comprehensive assortment of PreSonus equipment. This included PreSonus WorxAudio and ULT series loudspeakers, PDA series power amplifiers, and a StudioLive 16.0.2 digital mixing console.
“While the space is primarily a gymnasium,” Michael Paz, owner of The Paz Group reports, “it is also used as a multi-purpose space for functions such as meetings, pep rallies, and assemblies. The school’s old PA system, which was a portable system simply wasn’t getting the job done.
“To ensure even coverage throughout the space, a high level of speech intelligibility, and solid music reproduction characteristics, we elected to deploy four PreSonus WorxAudio X1Mi-PAS compact line array enclosures using the company’s TrueRig PTM 1.5 ceiling mounts.
“These enclosures are all mounted in the gym’s ceiling area and are driven by two PDA-1000R rackmount power amps with integrated DSP and Dante audio networking technology. The gym bleachers seating was divided into 4 coverage zones—each consisting of a single X1M enclosure mounted above the ceiling steel to keep them out of the path of any errant balls.”
“The WorxAudio X1M loudspeakers are supplemented by a pair of ULT15 active, 2-way point source enclosures that get mounted on floor stands,” Paz adds. “The StudioLive 16.0.2 digital mixing console handles all signal flow for the system. The console and the two ULT series loudspeakers are locked in a storage area to protect them when not in use. The control equipment is housed in a mobile rack with casters. When needed, it gets wheeled out to mid-court to operate via a multi-pin tail into a wall plate.”
Signal flow on today’s digital mixers can be a challenge to grasp. Paz says this is not the case with the PreSonus StudioLive console, “This equipment is easy to set up and the mixer’s combination of good, clean sound along with abundant onboard DSP processing and scene storage enabled us to supply the client with a powerful console that was especially easy to use. The fact that the StudioLive console isn’t the least bit intimidating to the faculty or students operating the system was an important factor in its selection because the entire setup needed to be intuitive and easy to manage.”
Kurt Parsons was very impressed with the performance of the PreSonus WorxAudio X1Ms, “After modeling the space with EASE Focus data, the X1Ms fit this venue perfectly. The 160-degree horizontal by 15-degree vertical dispersion covered each bleacher section seamlessly while avoiding blasting content onto any undesirable reflective surfaces. During the optimization process, we were very impressed with how little tuning was required with the amplifiers’ onboard DSP and just how smooth and musical the system sounded with both voice and music. Equally important, the mounting hardware was very easy and intuitive to work with in order to make the various focus changes required.”
On many installation projects, questions arise—so capable and responsive support is crucial. In this regard, the team was very pleased with the PreSonus Commercial Audio Division. “Both Tony Flammia and Stevie Meranta were great to work with,” Smith says. “They were very helpful with whatever questions we had and were just a quick phone call away with the answers. In addition, both were instrumental in delivering the products in a timely fashion to make our tight installation window a reality.”
Since the start of the academic year, Paz reports the new sound system has performed extremely well and that his client is very pleased, “The faculty and staff at the school tell us the system works flawlessly and provides excellent coverage. The equipment’s ease-of-use makes it a stress-free experience for them. Both Kurt and I are very pleased to have been able to provide this ‘state-of-the-art’ system. It’s been a positive experience for everyone involved.”