Sligh Middle Magnet School in Tampa, Florida has an audio system worthy of a superstar performance thanks to professional wrestler Thaddeus Bullard’s charitable organization, the Bullard Family Foundation.
Bullard’s foundation supports programs that provide opportunities to those in struggling communities to achieve more than what statistics might imply of them. His website states that he avoided the reach of statistics because teachers and local leaders took an interest in his success and “his community began investing in him.”
Now it’s Bullard who is investing in the community, and a critical part of that outreach sees him supporting schools. Thus, thanks to funding from The Bullard Family Foundation, Sligh Middle Magnet School – a premier Medical Studies and Explorations program in Hillsborough County Public Schools – now has one of the most impressive audio setups in the Tampa area located in its gymnasium. And at the heart of the installation is Ashly Audio.
“The school district’s budgeting doesn’t ordinarily allow for this caliber of sound system in public middle school athletic facilities,” said Joey Donovan, Vice President of Audio at Donovan Audio Designs (pro audio division of ACCI). “But Thaddeus’s vision for this gymnasium included its use for performing arts, dances and other social events, appearances by his celebrity friends – Dave Bautista is a frequent visitor – and speeches. When I pointed out to him that it was a gym, and it wasn’t acoustically feasible to use it for such demanding uses, he asked me what it would take to make it work. Ultimately, we installed more than four times the normal amount of acoustical treatment you would normally find in a gymnasium in order to accommodate a high-performance sound reinforcement system in the space.”
The system relies on five Ashly Audio KLR-5000 High Performance Power Amplifiers and one KLR-2000 High Performance Amplifier to power the custom Ramsdell Pro Audio stereo line array loudspeaker system. The KLR Series is a high-efficiency, high-power amplifier offering that is an ideal choice for high-output speaker systems, line arrays, dual 18” subwoofers and much more. The KLR line is also versatile, as each unit provides a 3-position gain switch for both channels, a 3-position mode switch (bridged, stereo or parallel mono) and a 3-position 12dB/oct HPF switch (30Hz, 50Hz or off).
The system also makes use of the Ashly Audio Protēa™ ne24.24m Series DSP Matrix Processor, which uses modular expansion cards to provide up to 24-channels of audio matrixing and processing. Each input and output expansion card has an individual DSP processor. Matrixing allows you to route any input to any output and control individual levels once they have been assigned. Donovan called the ne24.24m “the absolute brains of the system.”
Further, Ashly Audio neWR-5 Programmable Multi-Function Network Decora Wall Remotes were installed to offer an intuitive level of control to those at the school. The neWR-5 offers integrators flexibility in what settings are offered to the end user, ensuring they control only what is necessary to effectively use the system.
“It’s designed to be as easy as possible,” Donovan said. “You can go in there, grab a microphone, and with one press of the control panel your system has come to life.”
“At the start of this there was a discussion of what it would take to really make a gym sound amazing,” Donovan said. “And with the support from the Bullard Family Foundation we were able to do what was needed to make that happen. You can see by what we put in there which brands we trust at this level, and Ashly is obviously incredibly important in that equation.”