Audio or sound systems for schools can vary dramatically. A school has many areas that can benefit from an audio system from the classrooms to the corridors to the main school hall and all of these areas need differing systems to suit. A sound system, if installed properly in a school, can actually be used in many ways to benefit the school.
The sound system in the corridors, for example, can be used not only for any announcements required but also school bells that indicate the end of lessons to also aid in fire evacuation procedures. Typically, these will be ceiling speakers such as the Martin Audio 6.8T or the Martin Audio 4.8T but, on occasions in larger areas, wall mounted speakers such as the Martin Audio AQ6 or the Martin Audio AQ8 can be deployed to offer greater volumes where desired.
The classroom, however, requires very little volume and all whiteboard setups benefit greatly from the Martin Audio AQ5, for example, due to its wide dispersion characteristics and clarity. In some circumstances, where the classroom has a suspended ceiling, standard ceiling speakers, like the Martin Audio C6.8T, are installed to allow less clutter in the classroom and negate any chance of damage.
Please take a look at some of the school sound systems that Old Barn Audio have worked with.
The main school hall is where the system designer can really shine! The design has to normally fit into a tight budget but also offer flexibility, power and sonic intelligibility. Most school halls are used in a variety of ways from exams to school plays to some gym lessons. Consequently, the echo or RT60 value is normally high and this needs to be taken into consideration when designing the system. There are two types of designs to look at – 1) a full front of house only system, or 2) a zoned system using smaller speakers to gain the same SPL level.
If a full front of house system is deployed (normally because a zoned system can not be used), the speaker needs to offer a suitable horizontal dispersion so it doesn’t bounce of the walls or interfere with any stage performance, but it also has to be able to throw the spoken word to the back of the room. In most cases, this can be 30m. In this case, the Martin Audio WT3 is the perfect solution. Linked in the some matching sub speakers like the Martin Audio WS18X or the Martin Audio WS218X and the correct processing and amplification, the system will offer many years of trouble free use.
If the system is able to be zoned, this can aid the overall experience for the audience as the echo or RT60 value can virtually be eradicated. This may be a much more labour intensive installation, but the cost of the speakers, such as the Martin Audio AQ10 or the Martin Audio AQ28, is much less as they haven’t got to do as much work and can naturally afford to be smaller enclosures. Having these zones also means that time alignment can also be taken into account which is something overlooked by many.
However, as with any Old Barn Audio sound installation, every job is given the same level of detail, thought and design as every building, environment and use will be different.
Please contact Old Barn Audio on +44 (0) 1892 752246 if you are looking at new audio or sound systems for schools under your jurisdiction.