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Leighton Park School Install

SFL supply L-Acoustics to leading local school.

The main hall at Leighton Park School, Reading, is used for musical and drama performances, school assemblies, and hired for public events. The school’s music, music technology, and drama departments are all busy and well subscribed, so the school needed a performance space that supported learning and practice as well as offering a high quality solution for external hirers.

The venue presented some unique design challenges. Built as a Quaker meeting hall, it has a hexagonal layout and school assemblies take place in the round. One side of the venue extends onto the stage, and a more typical forward facing setup can be deployed for concerts and performances. The venue also features a significant vertical profile, with a balcony across three edges of the building.

SFL utilised a central cluster consisting of a single L-Acoustics SB18i sub and three 8XTi’s, suspended directly above the centre of the room. A custom rigging frame was designed and manufactured to fix the 8XT’s underneath the sub in the desired orientation.

The school required that the system be accesible for users of various levels of ability. SFL supplied a PreSonus StudioLive24 digital mixing console, this offers a fully featured digital mixing platform which is intuitive and easy to learn, ideal for operation by students. For smaller functions the school wanted to simplify the system further, implementing a plug-n-play concept. SFL’s solution was the Allen & Heath iDR4 matrix processor. A handheld radio mic and iPod/laptop connection are routed directly through the iDR so for assemblies and other small meetings non-technical users can operate the system using a simple wall panel control to select preconfigured settings.

Sometimes the venue is used almost in the round, with roughly 270 degrees of seating, so a traditional left/right system would not have worked. By flying a single cluster high above the centre of the room we managed to acheive wide coverage and even level - within 6dB - making sure the speaker system was equidistant to almost every seat in the house. We setup two amplifier preset configurations so events in a more typical layout can still be mixed in stereo, whilst mono is standard for the events in the round. I've been to a few events at the school since we completed the installation and it works really well.