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Allen & Heath AHM-64 Offers Flexibility for New York’s General Theological Seminary

Legend Sound Systems is a Philadelphia-based AVL integrations company, offering installation services to a variety of customers – including bars and restaurants, fitness centers, houses of worship, and more. The company was recently approached for a unique project upgrading the Chapel of the General Theological Seminary in Manhattan, NY. “They needed a way to host two different types of services,” recalled Bill Lyle, President of Legend Sound. “The seminary had daily traditional services each morning; requiring a very basic audio setup with a few wireless mics. Then on the weekends, they hosted more modern services with a full band. We needed to figure out a way to give the right control access to the right people.”

With the complexities of the project now clear, Lyle began to ponder an optimal solution. “I didn’t want a seminary student with no training to be pushing faders on a mixing console,” he explained. “I also didn’t want the control to be dumbed down for trained audio engineers when they came in to mix on Sundays.”

At the time, Allen & Heath’s AHM platform was rising into prominence, and Lyle saw that as a perfect fit. AHM matrix mixers offer advanced audio processing and multi-zone routing with a variety of simplified control options. “Using an AHM-64 processor with a Dante module to feed directly to the amps, we had our traditional services covered,” said Lyle. For the modern weekend services, Lyle’s team added a fully-featured 48-channel SQ-5 mixing console – which connected to the same Dante network using its own Dante module. An Allen & Heath AR2412 stagebox feeds inputs to both the AHM and SQ.

For the students to control the various microphones during daily services, Lyle created a custom mobile application using Allen & Heath’s Custom Control editor. “The app interface only shows seven faders,” explained Lyle. “We also set it up so that each fader is limited to prevent the mics from being set too loud and creating feedback problems. It really worked out well.”

The Legend Sound team configured the AHM so that each Zone output fed a different speaker, which allowed for precise tuning in a difficult acoustic environment. “The walls are stone and the ceilings are 40 feet high,” explained Lyle. “There was a lot of careful tailoring required to get the sound right, and we were able to do that with AHM.”

Even though this was his first time installing an AHM processor, Lyle found it a breeze to configure and operate. “New products are always daunting, but it was fairly easy to use. If I ever did hit a brick wall, I could shoot an e-mail to the support team or use one of the many great instructional videos online to get through it.”

The staff at the Seminary were delighted with the resulting installation and its control interface. “We’ve been thrilled by the setup at (General Theological Seminary),” said Michael DeLashmutt, Senior Vice President of the Seminary. “We don’t have a professional AV team or even a single person who we can rely on for AV support from one semester to the next. The setup that (Legend Sound) provided for us, with the simplified tablet interface, gives us the sound quality that we needed, but without the complexity that would make running it unfeasible for our students, staff, or volunteers.”

The Legend Sound team has earned more jobs through word of mouth as a result of this installation, and they will likely continue to opt for AHM when similar installs come up. “I prefer Allen & Heath products to any other products on the market,” noted Lyle. “Not only are they good quality products, the service is unparalleled. If I ever have a problem, I can pick up the phone and I know it’s going to get fixed.”

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