Clockhouse Primary School, Collier Row – School Hall PA System and Lockdown System Installation

A lovely old primary school in Collier Row, Essex, we were asked to supply and fit a multi-purpose sound system with microphones to the main hall, which is the real hub of events and performances throughout the year.

We also installed a background music and emergency announcement ‘lockdown’ system into the corridors of both the schools main buildings.

Sound System for School

A decent sized hall at 25m x 15m, and used for everything from morning assembly to drama and dance performances, music rehearsals and school discos, to Christmas shows and open days.

Though the school wasn’t looking for nightclub levels of performance, they did require a system that could be turned up on occasion, with reasonable bass and good overall sound quality.

With the shape of the space, and classic high ceiling, it was an obvious decision to go with wall mount speakers for the system, as this also allows for a speaker of much higher performance than one designed just for background audio.

School PA System

It was decided to go with an all Amate system for the hall, with four of the powerful B8 wall speakers mounted at opposite sides to provide even coverage. 

Featuring 8 inch main woofers and titanium tweeter units, the Amate B8 model provides incredible audio performance, with several of them being more than enough for most halls and larger rooms, giving surprising levels of bass and midrange for a speaker of this size, and a crystal clear top end that’s perfect for both music and vocal reproduction.

To ensure the very best performance from the B8 speakers, a quality power amplifier is required, so the Amate HD800 was an obvious choice to fully exploit their potential.

This immensely capable amplifier allowed us to have the four speakers split into pairs, each with its own volume control to allow a selectable front and back of hall setup. With its built in protection electronics and fan cooling, the HD800 can be used all day everyday with no issues.

School Public Address System

For an easy to use interface and all the modern input options, the Mackie ProFX8 mixer was chosen as the source control, allowing easy connection of anything from CD player to smartphones and tablets.

A big reason for using the Mackie was its inbuilt USB sound card feature, which provides the huge benefit of allowing a digital audio connection to the hall’s laptop, which is used to play videos via its HDMI to several large display screens. Routing the audio digitally removes any unwanted interference, and helps to keep the audio and image in sync. 

In addition to the mixer, our trusted QWM 1960 wireless microphone system gives the teachers and students fantastic quality with both general speaking and for performances, with its UHF diversity reception ensuring zero signal drop, and its comfortable handheld mics giving a long battery life and are tough enough for daily use.

For those added production values, the Mackie mixer has a selection of sound effects assignable to its channels, allowing vocal effects such as echo and reverb to be added to the microphone signals.

School Lockdown Audio System

Our school lockdown audio security systems are tailored to each school, with specifics of what exactly was supplied and installed to Clockhouse Primary being between us and them for privacy reasons.

However, these systems as standard utilise a 100V line amplifier and either wall speaker or ceiling speaker system, with zoned control if needed, volume attenuation controls where needed, and emergency push button triggering.

Running through the amplifier is a pre-recorded message or series of messages from a unit such as the Fonestar MP-121P, which also allows programmable weekly automated announcements, and full playback of background music from USB and SD or any analog source device.

With microphone talkover when required, these cost effective and extremely functional audio systems are a great asset to any school, or any other location really where this type of automated and emergency audio announcing can help with relaying important information without the need for an operator to always be present.  

Professional Audio Installation

Our fully DBS checked installation team were at the school for a day, fitting the main halls Amate audio system, with the mixer and wireless microphone units being housed in a lockable cupboard along with the hall’s laptop and other presentation equipment.

The lockdown system, which is a totally separate audio system from the hall, was installed into the main reception office, with a series of discreet wall speakers and emergency push button units for both the schools main buildings, providing complete coverage to the hallways and staff areas.

Both audio systems were fully demonstrated to staff, with the Amate hall system being quite the star attraction when it stretched its legs with some music.

The head staff were very impressed with the automated announcing features of the lockdown system, with new messages being extremely simple to record and use, and the weekly programmer allowing school wide reminders on specific dates to never be forgotten.

The Supplied Equipment list:

  • 4 x Amate B8 Black wall mounts – high performance 8” speakers
  • 1 x Amate HD800 amp – high performance amp
  • 1 x QWM 1960 wireless handheld mics
  • 1 x Mackie ProFX8 Mixer
  • 1 x Complete School Lockdown Package with automated message system, 100V line audio system, and emergency push button control.

Plus all required Speaker Cable and Audio Interconnects.

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