Sure, there are exceptions, but most people love dogs, pizza, and Shriners. Yes, Shriners, as in the members of the mystical fraternity best known for the fezzes they wear, the scooters and go-karts they commandeer in parades and the hospitals for children they administer. Beyond being associated with all of the above, the Azan Shriners of Melbourne, Florida own and operate the Azan Shrine Center, a multipurpose facility that hosts everything from festivals and corporate affairs to weddings, and was outfitted recently with an audio system featuring a Qu-16 digital mixing system from Allen & Heath.
“In terms of the events, this room hosts,” says Kris Johnson of Colorado Springs-based Sight and Sound Technologies (SST), the firm taking charge of the recent upgrade, “they are about as wide-ranging as you can get. Those who rent out the hall have audio needs that are just as varied. They want sound for video, to play music, have a full complement of mics, and even do small theatrical productions—and they want it all in a package that anyone can just walk up to and operate.”
With ease-of-use vital to the success of the design, Johnson added the compact Qu-16 digital mixer from Allen & Heath to the system’s front-end after distributing ceiling-mounted loudspeakers throughout the 5,600+ square foot main hall and its ancillary rooms. The rest of the system’s supporting electronics were assembled and housed in a lockdown rack behind the stage.
To meet the system’s requirements for a simple, yet comprehensive control interface that even the non-technical would find totally friendly, Johnson implemented Allen & Heath’s Qu-Control iOS app. Offering up to five screens with 15 control “widgets” on each, the app was configured with custom-made pages controlling zone levels, sources, scenes, and microphone selections. Starting at the top with a page of primary functions such as a pushbutton for on/off and sliding volume controls, more specialized functions follow beneath, such as individual mic control. A default scene was also created that can be used to quickly restore normal functions if they are ever lost.
“The system has surpassed everyone’s expectations,” Johnson happily reports. “We installed a number of safeguards as well, so even if someone accidentally turns a microphone up all the way it won’t feedback. Everything about this design is simple and robust. This was one of those jobs that you know you’ll walk away from and never get a phone call for help. The only thing the Shriners have said is that they love it.”