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MIAMI, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 2011: Located just north of its namesake city in Florida, Miami Country Day School (MCDS) is a private, non-denominational institution that serves 1,100 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. With a deep history and a proven record of providing first-rate educations for its students, the prestigious institution attracts the children of Miami’s performing arts and music celebrities, among others. As a result, the performing arts and music departments have an unusually high bar to meet, a fact that influenced decisions surrounding a recently completed multipurpose amphitheater in the school’s quadrangle. To ensure stunning audio performance and the flexibility to handle both simple and involved productions for a few dozen or up to seven-hundred audience members, a Symetrix Automix Matrix 780 processor serves as the brains for the new amphitheater’s audio system.

Initially, MCDS could only find sound

designers and installers who were either too busy to give the system the attention it deserved or, going too far in the other direction, wanted to design sound systems that were so complicated they seemed capable of launching a tactical military strike. In the end, HED South partnered with Michael Chafee Enterprises to meet the school’s needs without going ballistic. “The objectives were clear,” said Jan Vitrofsky, principal at HED South. “The system had to look clean, perform simply yet flexibly, and sound fantastic.”

Chafee specified two One Systems 312CIM full-range loudspeakers for the primary left-right coverage, with support from two One Systems double-18 subwoofers. A single One Systems 112IM serves as center fill in a way that nicely cross fades with the main speakers as one travels away from the stage. Chaffee flew six One Systems 112IM directional boxes from the ceiling to serve as stage monitors. “With the monitors on the ceiling, there is less clutter on the stage,” he said. “That adds to the flexibility of the system and permits a more rapid changeover from one use to another.” QSC ISA 1350 and ISA 750 amplifiers provide power.

“One of the main features that the school asked for was scalable sophistication,” said Chaffee. “When they’re doing something simple, it has to be simple to operate. But it still has to have the capability to pull off more sophisticated productions.” To affect this, Chaffee provided two Symetrix ARC-2 remote controls on stage. It controls up to six mics to be used in what Chaffee termed “no brainer” mode. The ARC-2 provides simple volume control of the mics. In addition, he provided the school with a port to connect their existing sound console for full-scale productions. The second ARC-2 controls configuration and source selection

In a single rack space, the Symetrix Automix Matrix 780 provides all of the assets necessary to condition the input sources, route them logically depending on the preset, and deliver a properly balanced, time-aligned output. “On top of having the right input and output count and all of the customizable user controls we needed, the Symetrix 780 simply sounds great,” said Chaffee. “Symetrix was founded by current CEO Dane Butcher, who got his start as a sound engineer. He has the ears for great audio, and he has always ensured that any product bearing the Symetrix name sounds wonderfully musical, free from distortion or artifacts. Because sound quality was such an important requirement for the school, Symetrix was the right choice.”

“The bottom line is that the folks who actually work with the system, as well as the folks who merely enjoy it during performances, are all very pleased,” concluded Vitrofsky. Chaffee added, “Yes, and the standards are very high at Miami Country Day School. I know a lot of the parents make a very handsome living in the performing arts and music industries. They know the difference between bad, adequate, and great, and this system has received nothing but straight As!”

ABOUT SYMETRIX Sound professionals rely upon the performance, value and reliability of audio mixing, routing and processing products from Symetrix. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit or call +1.425.778.7728.