We were approached by the staff at Kaukauna Riverview Middle School about the possibility of upgrading their sound system. Their current mixer was limited to 16 channels and they were running out of wireless microphones for their theatre productions.
We spent some time with them walking through their entire setup and learning as much as we could about their specific needs. We determined that not only did they not have enough channels in their existing sound board, but some of the channels in the mixer were bad as well! They already had a 32 channel snake installed in the auditorium, so we looked at some some mixer options that were able to take full advantage of the groundwork they already had in place.
After giving them a few possible recommendations, they settled on purchasing a brand new PreSonus StudioLive 32S Digital Mixer. The 32S was a huge upgrade from their current analog mixer, giving them the ability to take full advantage of their current 32-channel snake, scene setup and recall, auxiliary mixes for stage monitors, and remote control via the UC Surface touch-control software for their iPad. In addition, it helped to future proof their setup with the inclusion of the AVB networking. Now, if they every need additional channels, all they have to do is run a single ethernet cable from an AVB equipped stage box back to the mixer.
They also were looking to add five additional wireless microphone systems to their existing setup. We were able to work with Sennheiser to find a good frequency range for their area, and got them 5 of the Sennheiser EW-D ME2 Sets. The microphones all sounded great and fit perfectly into their setup without any additional RF interference.
We were able to get the 32S installed right before their main spring theatre production. We swapped out the mixer and without doing much of anything, the first comment we heard was "wow, the microphones sound better than they have in years!"
We were able to ring in the system to find additional standing waves that would cause feedback issues in their venue, and eliminated those troublesome frequencies using the graphical EQ within the StudioLive mixer.
We also added a slight gate to each microphone channel to help eliminate extra noise before someone would actually speak their part. We also setup a high-pass filter to help reduce feedback. This allowed for much cleaner sound and production quality.
We also spent some time training some students how to use the mixer during the production, adjusting levels, muting and soloing microphones, and helping them understand the overall concepts behind the mixer operation. They picked up quickly, and had a good time working with new mixer during the production.
We're proud of the setup and look forward to working with them again in the future. Are you looking to upgrade your venue? Feel free to give us a call and lets start the conversation!