ORLANDO, FLORIDA: Banfield Funeral Home has been reliably serving the greater Orlando, Florida community in its time of need since it first opened its doors in 1989. But when Hurricane Irma churned up the Florida peninsula in September 2017, Banfield suffered a complete loss. The building that had served its community for so long was beyond ruined. Fortunately, insurance quickly covered the loss and Banfield Funeral Home rebuilt, seizing the opportunity to improve aspects that had been lacking, such as its 1990s-era sound reinforcement system. Local A/V integration firm Xtreme Installations designed and installed a modern sound reinforcement system in the new building, turning to Ashly Audio processing, amplification, and user control for its reliability, performance and value.
“Banfield Funeral Home was hit worse than most buildings in the area,” explained Travis Bilskie, president of Xtreme Installations. “The hurricane ripped the roof off the building – there was some speculation that it may have been a pop-up tornado – and then, as the owner put it, ‘it hurricaned in my building for eight hours.’ It was a total loss.” The funeral home had worked harmoniously with the team at Xtreme Installations for its basic service work for years, and so Banfield’s owner asked the engineering team to design and install an updated system in the new building.
“Banfield went from an old-school, low-fidelity PA system to a super modern system, with all of its conveniences,” Bilskie said. Inputs to the new system include a pair of Shure wireless microphones, music input sources, such as a 1/8-inch jack, and audio-for-video input sources, such as HDMI and VGA. Those inputs feed an 8x8 Ashly ne8800m Protea™ matrix digital processor, which in turn feeds a two-channel Ashly nX1502 multi-mode amplifier (150W per channel) and a four-channel Ashly nX754, rated at 75 Watts per channel into a High-Z or Low-Z speaker. The amplifiers power JBL Control-Series in-ceiling loudspeakers and JBL Control HST-Series surface-mount loudspeakers.
The system covers four zones: two separate zones in the chapel, a zone in the front foyer and hallway, and a zone in the viewing room. Xtreme Installations configured the system with a camera in the chapel and a large-screen television in the viewing room to handle overflow from the chapel during big services. Importantly, he gave Banfield’s non-technical staff an easy way to operate the system: an Ashly FR-8 network 8-channel remote fader pack custom-programmed to provide input volume adjustments on the first four sliders and master volumes for the zones on the other four sliders. In addition, the funeral director asked for a way to pipe audio into his office so that he can monitor the services. If there are any hang-ups during a service, he can respond right away. A simple Ashly WR-1 wall-mounted remote control placed in his office gives him that access.
“We partner with Ashly Audio for several reasons,” said Bilskie. “The quality of their products is excellent. Once we install and program an Ashly system, we never have to go back and touch it. The fact that most of their product line, including the ne- and nX-Series, is manufactured in the USA may be part of the reason. In addition, their technical and purchasing support staff is very thorough and responsive. For example, when I ordered the ne8800 for Banfield Funeral Home, I didn’t realize that I needed an optional card to provide it with mic preamps. When I found out, I called Ashly and they overnighted the correct card so that we could finish our installation and make our deadline!”
ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high-quality & high-performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 42-year-old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A.