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Adapt, Adopt, Improve - Autograph At Corby Business Academy

Many of Autograph’s installations are ‘from scratch’ projects where the company is commissioned to provide a whole new audio infrastructure to the performance specifications of the client. Quite frequently however, Autograph are called upon to upgrade or adapt an existing system that, for whatever reason, is no longer suitable for purpose. These cases in particular highlight the full range of skills, experience and products that Autograph and its engineers provide.

Corby Business Academy is a co-educational secondary school in Northamptonshire, catering for students between 11 and 18 years in addition to offering a sixth form for 16-19 year olds. It is also a perfect recent example of how Autograph are able to repurpose existing items and deliver an integrated, future-proofed and flexible audio solution within a strict budget.

Project-managed by Autograph’s Adam Broom, the requirements of Corby Business Academy determined that as much of the existing A/V infrastructure as possible should be retained to enhance project cost-efficiency. Following a site visit and acoustic evaluation of the space, Autograph submitted a proposal that met both the budgetary and performance needs of the school.

In the main theatre the existing Martin Audio loudspeakers were relocated and then supplemented with additional CDD6 and CDD8 units from the same manufacturer to achieve the desired coverage, in addition to a QSC CXD4.2Q power amplifier which drives all the new loudspeakers and an Allen & Heath GLD80 compact digital mixing console which provides ample connectivity for all possible uses of the audio system. Autograph also supplied and installed a new 4.8m Draper ‘Screen Premiere’ motorised screen and a Panasonic RZ970 projector.

The core of the new system is a custom-programmed QSC Q-Sys 110F processor, replacing two previous units and which provides centralised control over the entire audio-visual system, both in the main theatre and in the smaller lecture theatre. In each space Autograph installed a 7” touch screen, both of which provide two levels of access to the A/V system depending on user login - teaching staff can access a range of basic controls to set the system as they require for various scenarios while the school’s technicians have access to much more in-depth parameters.

The Q-Sys device additionally provides wireless remote access to the A/V system via iPads and Autograph’s engineers also have remote access to it via an internet connection which gives them visibility of all aspects of the system and thus the ability to provide real-time telephone support if necessary. Its flexibility allowed Autograph to seamlessly integrate both new and existing equipment in two separate locations into a single, centrally-controlled audio-visual suite that easily meets the foreseeable needs of the school.

Once the engineering works were complete, the new A/V system was fully tested, commissioned and tuned by Adam and Autograph’s Technical Sales Manager Chris Austin, who also conducted training on its use and maintenance for school staff.

Autograph Sales & Installations extend their gratitude to Fern Gibson for the photography.

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