Havo Upgrade Headquarters With Allen & Heath’s AHM-64

From humble beginnings in 1963, Dutch company Havo has grown into one of the leading producers of clay, paint and modelling materials for the educational and hobbyist markets, both under their premium Creall brand and via their private label production services for clients across the globe.

When it became clear that the matrix mixer at their factory headquarters in the town of Ermelo was reaching the end of its life, Havo reached out to Dutch installation experts Quality AV to specify and install a new system with specific criteria that needed to be satisfied.

“Havo’s factory is situated in a residential area with strict anti-noise pollution regulations in place,” explains Ronald Guliker, owner of Quality AV. “We wanted to implement a system capable of time-triggered events, automating changes to the maximum volume of the system at various times of the day. We also needed a system that could integrate with an existing network of Dante cabling and PoE amplifiers, the ability to run over 40 discrete zones throughout the facility, and of course simple endpoint control for Havo’s staff in the factory and offices.”

To meet current requirements while allowing headroom for expansion, Quality AV opted for a pair of Allen & Heath AHM-64 audio matrix processors to manage the audio requirements of the facility. “The AHM-64 was the logical choice thanks to the flexibility of the system, the Dante capabilities, ease of programming and deployment, plus the price-to-performance ratio," Guliker says.

The AHM-64 is a 64x64 audio matrix processor featuring 12x12 local analogue I/O that can be expanded via an ecosystem of remote audio expanders via the AHM’s integrated SLink port. The onboard digital audio networking port can be fitted with a Dante card for 64 channels of Dante audio in and out of the system with DDM compatibility for complex multi-domain enterprise scenarios.

For end-user control, a total of forty-three Allen & Heath IP-1 remote controllers were deployed throughout the site. The IP-1 is a programmable wallplate controller focused on ease of use for non-technical operators, with PoE compatibility and a high-quality colour LCD screen for visual feedback. “For the users, the control has to be easy” Guliker notes. “The IP-1 is simply perfect for this; turn for volume, push-turn to change a radio station or source. That’s it!”

To adhere to the neighbourhood's strict noise regulations, Guliker utilized the AHM's Scheduled Event feature to perform several automated changes to the system’s output volume throughout the day. “Automatic recalling of Presets on specific times and days allows for automatic level setting in the zones and configuration changes on the IP-1 controllers, setting different max levels for the user,” he says. “At the start of each working day the output level is unmuted and set to –20dB at 05:30 before increasing to 0dB at 08:30. In the evening, the volume is reduced by –10dB at 21:00 before the entire system is muted at 23:00.”

“With the automated volume changes crucial to meeting the noise regulations, the stability of the system is critical” concludes Guliker. “I'm pleased to say that the system has been completely solid since the installation with no issues at all, and the staff are delighted with the ease of use. In short, everyone is happy!”