We recently had a job to upgrade a school gym to be a more multipurpose venue. It was the Tolaga Bay Area School up on the east coast of the North Island, servicing a community of around 2,000, with the hall the only infrastructure of its type in the area. Tolaga Bay is a five hour drive for us, so anything we put in needed to be reliable!
The architect’s design for the refresh has seen retractable bleachers installed in the venue for basketball. The stage is effectively on the other side, running down the shorter side of the room. This means we needed two sets of speakers; one to address the bleachers, one to address an audience.
There was an audio system already installed, but I’m pretty sure Noah used it to summon the animals onto the Ark!
We were brought in when the refurbishment was nearly finished. There were strict guidelines that there was not to be any conduit, nor should any cables be visible, so it was a bit of a challenge!
The most important requirement for the end-users was that any sound system must be easy enough for anyone to use, and there be no accessible system controls for anyone to play with.
Our design divided the room in to two zones; ‘stage mode’ and ‘basketball mode’, with the ability to have both sets of speakers turned on if they desired.
We included two new radio mics, and a Bluetooth receiver and input for playback. With such broad usage across different community events, including kapa haka or band performances, we included patch panels to connect an external mixing desk. A mandatory hearing loop was also part of the design.
Using the Jupiter 8 was so easy, we’ll be using the platform on every job where it’s applicable from now on
For the DSP at the heart of the system, we chose a Symetrix Jupiter 8. This was our first time using the Symetrix platform. I first saw it at InfoComm two years ago, then at Integrate last year. I like the simplicity of its drag and drop interface.
It’s a hybrid of fixed and open architecture, with 85 fixed processing ‘apps’ for you to choose from. The idea is that you figure out which app suits your application, drop it in, and it does all the routing for you. We wanted a matrix mixer, and this was the simplest way for us to provide that.
We also installed two Symetrix ARC-K1e (push button rotary encoder) and one ARC-EX4e (four button) control panels. The control panels are smart, but not over-complicated. They cable back via Cat5 to the Jupiter, and we set them up to switch between the speaker setups, and control the mic, Bluetooth and overall system volume.
Using the Jupiter 8 was so easy, we’ll be using the platform on every job where it’s applicable from now on. The whole system was built in 1 ½ hours, with the whole project going out to 2 ½ if you include the testing. The Symetrix Jupiter platform is smart, simple, and clean.
I’ve worked with a lot of other brands of DSP, and Symetrix Jupiter is just really easy to use. It’s perfect for jobs like the Tolaga Bay hall.
The Jupiter platform’s use of ‘Apps’ is a very different approach than other manufacturers. I’d describe it as a “semi-open architecture platform”. When you design for it, you start with the concept of the system – is it multizone? or a mixer? or paging override? – and you populate from that as your starting point.
For the Tolaga hall, we used the Zone Mixer app. We were only using one zone, but wanted the mix function to handle the inputs, microphones, and its multi-use requirements.
After you’ve dropped in the app, the routing is done and you just turn on functions you need, like the feedback exterminator, EQ, compressors, or limiters.
I did all of the configuration and control panel set-up off site, which was all a lot quicker than I’m used to, because it was so much simpler. When we got on site, we wired it up, turned it on, and it all worked perfectly.
The wall panel controllers worked straight away with no issues. The wall panels are totally “community-use proof”; we ran 20 local people through some simple system training, and it took five minutes. Most of that time was spent on the radio mic’s mute function.
Tim Lambert from NZ Symetrix distributor PAVT really supported us through this job. He went beyond the call of duty and did all he could to help, from getting the equipment in quickly, to giving some programming pointers where needed.
Without Tim’s help, we would have struggled to meet the client’s deadlines.
Symetrix’s Jupiter platform is just really good value. You don’t always need an open architecture DSP, and if you have a simple solution with a level of control that doesn’t need a separate control system, its perfect.
Jupiter is easy to deploy, and you don’t have to allocate a lot of labour for programming. It’s perfect for its purpose, and we will absolutely use it again.
Jupiter is easy to deploy, and you don’t have to allocate a lot of labour for programming. It’s perfect for its purpose, and we will absolutely use it again
Symetrix Jupiter 8 – The Specs
85 Downloadable Apps
Turn-key designs cover a wide range of applications
Near zero programming time for rapid deployment
Number of Inputs: eight, switchable balanced mic or line level
Number of Outputs: eight
Connectors: 3.81 mm terminal blocks.
Sample Rate: 48 kHz.
Latency: < 1.6 ms, input to output with all DSP inactive.
Space Required: 1U (WDH: 48.02 cm x 19.05 cm x 4.37), depth is specified from front panel to back of connectors. Allow at least 7.6 cms additional clearance for rear panel connections. Additional depth may be required depending upon your specific wiring and connections.
Distributor Australia and New Zealand:
Jonathan Harry and Stephen Pether both work at Intense Sound and Vision in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.
CX Magazine – September 2020
LIGHTING | AUDIO | VIDEO | STAGING | INTEGRATION
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