Deltona High School in Deltona, Florida, has installed an Allen & Heath GLD digital mixing system in its live theatre. The public high school has four specialist academies designed to help prepare students for vocational careers or college education, offering a variety of fine arts activities and electives ranging from band, chorus and computer arts, to drama, video production and theatre technology.
Many of these classes and activities take place in Deltona’s live theatre, a fan-shaped auditorium that seats 975. The theatre has a 26’ x 22’ stage and an elevated sound and lighting control booth at the rear of the audience area. Much of the theatre’s audio equipment was installed soon after the school was built in 1988 and the system had become outdated and unreliable.
In the summer of 2013, Deltona contacted Dan Lee of Signature Systems Florida for audio system improvements and updates. Some of the school’s amplifiers and microphones had already been replaced. However, Lee recommended a new loudspeaker system and a modern DSP to replace the theatre’s analogue signal processing equipment. Lee also recommended the school replace their aging analogue mixer with the GLD.
Lee says the Allen & Heath GLD-80 mixer and AR2412 audio rack combination was a great choice for Deltona. Several different departments use the theatre and its audio system so Lee helped the school set up the GLD with passwords and configurations customised for each department. Now, a user can log in to the system, go to their own setup and make changes and adjustments without affecting the work done by other departments. For some productions, the school wanted to move the mixer from the control booth to a mid-audience location.
“The GLD’s built-in digital snake made that easy,” said Lee. “Instead of a multi-channel analog snake, we just ran a CAT5 cable from the booth to the audience location. And, the mixer is compact and lightweight so it’s easy to move.”
Deltona takes good advantage of the GLD’s extensive signal processing capabilities. “We reused a number of existing microphones,” said Lee, “and the per-channel processing really helped with those mics and their wireless mics.” Lee also commented on the GLD’s touchscreen which helps with setups and provides a useful visual display of system functions. “The students and staff can use it to monitor and adjust dynamics and signal processing,” he said.
Jeff Carson, the school’s auditorium manager and a soccer coach, notes that the school teaches theatrical sound and lighting design. “Now, we’ve got an up-to-date digital audio mixer for our own productions and it helps the students prepare for theatrical competitions,” he said. Carson, who also does audio system volunteer work for local churches, says the audio system performance at Deltona was greatly improved by the updated audio system and the GLD mixer. “Digital was a big change for us,” he said, “but the GLD was easy to learn and it’s a great teaching tool.”