Expressions Performing Arts Academy

In 2022, we carried out a site visit to improve Studio 1’s audio at Expressions Performing Arts Academy (EPA) in Mansfield as the venue was experiencing issues with the system.

After a site visit, we recommended a number of system points to evaluate options to upgrade:

  • Speaker Cabinets
  • Power Amplifier & DSP
  • System Control

After fine tuning the system functionalities, the client confirmed the design was suitable and we proceeded with the installation.

The Installation

Components for the installation where purchased during 2022 when we had a global supply shortage.  We only used suppliers that could get stock within a 30 day time frame, compared with others that had 90 day lead times.

The installation was completed within 1.5 days by two engineers.

Speaker Cabinets

The existing speaker cabinets provided a limited amount of frequency response and power.  The client requires a full range system with headroom suitable for pumping dance anthems.

We supplied a JBL PRX system which consists of (3) PRX412m High-Mid cabinets and (2) PRX418S subwoofers. 

The High-Mid cabinets are mounted to the walls at calculated points across the rear wall of the Studio.  All 412m cabling was run discreetly with plastic D Trunking, painted to the colour of the wall or ran within the roof space.

The subwoofers are located at ground, one in each section of the room creating great bass coverage.  The cabinets are connected through speakon to wall plates, giving the client the option to move or remove the speaker.

Power Amplifier & DSP

Due to supply chain issues, most well known power amplifier brands where not in stock at the time of this installation.  After searching for a reliable company that had stock, we concluded DAD from Italy was the way forward for this project. 

The system is based around a DAD DP4004 Power Amplifier with a DAD DXZ26 Audio Management System.  This management system enables an admin user that can be locked to avoid tampering once the installation is completed.

System Control

Previously, the system was controlled through a fairly complicated 12 channel mixing desk which caused problems for different users changing the settings.  The client only requires a one or two stereo 3.5mm TRS Jack for playback of music so it’s essential we simplified the setup to “dummy proof” the control.

We installed a Denon DN-312X Rack Mixer that provides a simplified way of controlling audio.  The mixer is linked to a patch panel for simple cable connectivity for the user, the patch also includes (2) XLR inputs for any additional microphones or mixers. 

The result is a single rotary knob to turn the playback audio up or down. Perfect!

System Tuning

Acoustic properties of a room change how a PA system reacts and sounds.  Effectively, this could define a great sounding PA or not.

EPA’s studio I is a fairly open space with no acoustic treatment.  The dropped roof provides some dampening properties but the wooden floor and studio mirrors create un-wanted reflections.

Once the new system had been installed, we tuned the system to the room using the audio management unit.  This process implemented filters and EQ that help remove problem frequencies that the room creates itself.