Wiltshire School goes digital with Yamaha

Dauntsey School in Wiltshire has installed a Yamaha digital system as part of its main venue’s technical refit.

Memorial Hall, which has a capacity of 730, is the schools main assembly place and is claimed to be the largest multi-purpose hall in the county. It is used to host a variety of events, such as musicals, live bands, classical concerts and discos.

However, due to the nature of the hall’s internal acoustics, it was felt that the previous audio system was not up to the task. Following this decision, a full refit was required, which included the installation of a Yamaha M7CL48-ES digital mixing console and three SB168-ES stage boxes.

“We opted for this system for two main reasons,” said Graham Paddon, of Hertfordshire-based Amber Sound, who supplied and installed the system. “Firstly it is the only current digital console that makes all the input faders available at once. Secondly, the remote stage boxes could be located in different positions – knowing the kind of work that the school does, it seemed like the ideal solution.”

Kester Sims, the school’s head of music technology, confirmed this: “The most important feature of the new system is that we needed much greater flexibility, given the poor internal acoustics and the multifunction nature of the hall. It needed to be usable by a non-techie to simply bring up an iPod or radio mics, but the next day it might need to be used for a full stage show with 18 channels of radio mics, four to six spot mics and 20 channels coming from the pit.”

Furthermore, the new installation appears to have created a sense of anticipation around future events at the hall.

“We have an annual rock band competition where between four to eight school bands play two songs each. Next year is going to be the first that I am really looking forward to mixing,” added Kester. “Each song will be able to be stored as a separate scene and I anticipate the bands sounding more like their soundcheck than they sometimes have in the past.”