Ashly condenses seven feet of processing down to seven inches
WORLD: Erected in 1875, Sage Chapel, a component of Cornell University’s picturesque New York campas, has re-undertaken a project to modernise its increasingly outdated sound system. The church called in Calf Audio – who also performed previous updates almost 20 years ago – to provide updated processing equipment to compliment its Ashly Pema loudspeakers.
‘We put the previous system in over 20 years ago to deal with issues of intelligibility that were plaguing them at the time,’ said Barny Cole, president of Calf Audio. ‘We put in three sets of loudspeakers arrayed in stereo pairs on delays running from the front of the chapel to the back. It delivered great sound quality, but it took a ton of processing to dial in. In those days, that meant a lot of separate rack units to individually equalise and time align each component. That system took seven feet (two metres) of rack space.’
The church, which is expressly non-denominational, has an interior adorned with symbols from all the major and minor religions around the world. For services and other events, the building accommodates over 700 people, and due to past intelligibility issues, has a sound reinforcement system that has evolved gradually with the state of technology over the decades. Aside from the chapel’s two organs, the PA must also provide reinforcement for any musical instruments used.
‘The university approached us recently to ask if we could condense all that processing because the closet was coveted by the janitorial staff,’ added Mr Cole. ‘Of course, they didn’t want to lean their mops against a bunch of electrical equipment, so if we could condense it down and raise it up, everyone would be happy.’
The upgrade saw new Ashly Pema 8250 and ne4250pe processing racks installed, reducing the overall footprint down to just 20cm. The 8250 now takes care of all of the everyday mixing and processing chores, delivering eight 250W amplifier channels within two rack spaces. When feeding the ne4250pe, the complete system provides 12 250W amplifier channels and all of the processing they require. An Ashly neWR-5 wall panel remote control provides selection of several presets facilitating the selection of arrangements for other common event scenarios. For more complicated events, a console can patch in and take control of the inputs.
‘I’m predisposed to choosing Ashly,’ Mr Cole admitted. ‘The company is a close neighbour – just an hour-and-a-half down the road – and I like the individuals who work there. Ashly’s products are famously solid and reliable, and their service is spectacular. Since they deliver all of that at a huge price advantage, it would seem silly to bother with anyone else!”