Ucluelet Community Centre Sound and Lighting installation – August 2017

The Ucluelet Community Centre on the West Coast of Vancouver Island was constructed in 2010. The main multipurpose room measures approximately 70’ x 80’ with a sloped ceiling, This space has one main stage, and one smaller side stage that is used for smaller meetings and weddings. While conduit had been run for the sound and lighting system, no equipment had been installed.  The sound system consisted of a small mixer and two speakers on a roll-around cart.

In May of  2017 an RFP came out to supply a sound and lighting system for this multipurpose facility, and Sound Solutions was awarded the contract after doing an on-site demo of a Xilica DSP based sound system with Ipad control. Quotes for an LED theatrical lighting system was also in the RFP, which was subsequently awarded to us as well.


The sound system was to be used by several operators without any appreciable technical skills.  Therefore we elected to use a Xilica DSP based sound system, with Ipad control and  a touch screen that would be  located on the stage. A small rack housed the sound equipment on the stage, including a CD/Bluetooth receiver. Three wireless mics were also supplied, as most of the activities in the community center will make use of them.  In addition, six Factor mic and music input plates were provided so that the centre could plug into any music source, as well as a wired microphone. The mic jacks were located around the gym so that a mic or music source could be plugged in without running long cables across the floor.

Two handheld and one lavalier Audio Technica 2000 series of wireless mics were installed in the sound system rack, along with an antenna signal booster to distribute the wall mounted antennae to all three wireless mic systems. The Xilica DSP unit is also located in the rack, and the touch panel was installed stage right on the front wall, for easy access to the end users. There are several pages on the touch screen, one to control the volume level of the music sources ,and the other to control the volume levels of the microphone. The third screen is used to select which of the speakers are being used, all depending on the type of event taking place.

While the hall has significant amounts of acoustic treatment, there was still some reverberation present in the  room. We therefore chose to go with Community line array speakers, on either side of the main stage as well as the side stage. The  design of a line array speaker is such that it projects the sound over a wide horizontal dispersion, with a long throw, but sound is kept off the floor and ceiling. This reduces the amount of sound reflections, thereby increasing intelligibility. Despite their small size, the two line arrays on each side of the stages provided full sound for background music and speeches. For larger events, a subwoofer on casters can be wheeled in and connected at either stage, providing more bass for aerobics classes and large events.

          Full size Community line arrays for the main stage


         1/2 size Community line array with subwoofer shown

A touch screen and IPad were set up to control the entire sound system.  The Ucluelet logo was set as a background for the home page.

Several intuitive pages provide the end user with level controls of the microphone and music sources. The volume levels were set in such a way that at maximum volume, the point of microphone feedback was just reached.  This meant that at any level below maximum, a user could walk in front of the speakers with plenty of volume on the microphone, but without that annoying feedback squeal.

 A single Wifi router located above the sound rack in the multipurpose room provides seamless coverage throughout the room with no dead spots. The  IPad touch screens mirrored the pages on the stage touch screen, as duplicating the operation makes  operation more intuitive for a non technical operator.

Finally, a speaker on/off page allowed users to select which stage speakers were being used, and for large events, all speakers including the subwoofer could be turned on.

We are returning to Ucluelet in November of 2017 to add two choir mics, as several concerts are held yearly in the community centre that require sound reinforcement for the 70+person choir.


Posted on

October 26, 2017