Langley, B.C. | July 2012
Aging equipment was starting to show signs of wear.
New digital signal processor, updated connections.
The solution: Replace the existing system with one designed for use in a harsh pool environment.
Sound Solutions was awarded the contract to redo the entire sound system for the pool, public areas, workout room and aerobics area at the Walnut Grove Community Centre in the Township of Langley.
The decade-old sound system had numerous problems, mostly exasperated by a hostile pool environment. Chlorine and moisture will shorten the life of sound system equipment if not carefully chosen to suit the installation.
The workout and aerobics areas had two sound system racks with an AM/FM tuner, a cassette deck and a CD player, along with associated controls. Over time, the AM/FM tuner had become intermittent, the cassette decks had long since stopped working (and were no longer required), and the CD player had been changed several times, as it was used heavily every day. The rotary controls on the preamplifier were intermittent, and sound would cut in and out at random in both the workout and aerobics areas. Finally, the wireless headset mics were falling apart due to heavy use, and reception of the mic was intermittent and noisy.
The speakers in both the aerobics and workout areas were powered Mackie speakers. While of excellent quality, these powered studio speakers were not designed for a workout environment, and the speakers were not designed to be hung via brackets. With no grille cloths to protect the speaker cones, several were damaged, and the sound was intermittent as well due to corrosion in the switches within the speakers.
The pool area sound system consisted of one six-foot tall rack that was loaded with sound equipment for various areas of the pool. Originally, the pool system was separated into several zones, and touch panels were used to select music sources and volume levels. The problem was the touch panels were not water resistant and broke in short order due to corrosion and moisture. By now the entire pool sound system was controlled as one large area by a small preamplifier that had been installed as a stopgap measure.
The speakers in the pool area consisted of 14 Mackie 12-inch two-way powered speakers, which meant that the amplifiers driving the speakers were mounted right in the back of the speakers where they were exposed to chlorine and moisture 24/7. Also of note is that the Mackie speakers were not water/weather resistant. While all of the speakers worked, all horns were defective, and this resulted in a very muffled sound, for both paging and music. Also, all speakers had been painted, and the paint had started to crack and peel off the speakers.
Pool Sound System
Sound Solutions designed a new sound system that would be both reliable and intelligible for music and paging, and be simple to use.
The head end of the sound system consisted of new sound sources, including an Iphone/Ipod dock, a new Denon CD player with pitch control, and room for future expansion. A paging mic was installed in the guard room, along with one on the pool deck for emergency paging. A mic jack was installed at the pool deck as well for a wired mic, as the Walnut Grove Pool hosts numerous swim meets. Finally, an Evo rechargeable wireless mic was installed with two headsets and a charger for use throughout the pool area.
The Denon rack-mountable CD player is rugged, designed for continuous use, and incorporates a pitch control, necessary for aerobics and workout classes. An IPod dock was mounted to a shelf, and a secondary audio cable was provided so that non-Apple players could be used with the sound system.
The Evo wireless mic is a water resistant wireless headset system, where the transmitter portion of the mic is built right into the headband. No more cables to break, become intermittent or snag. The headset system is rechargeable, so there’s no more battery contacts to wear out, and you’re never without a headset mic due someone not having spare batteries. We installed a dual headset system, so that one headset can be charging while the other is in use:
The two paging mics automatically shut down all music, so that pages may clearly be heard.
The control of the entire pool sound system centers around the Lectrosonic DM 1612 digital signal processor (DSP). This processor features 16 inputs and 12 output zones with custom programming controlling the functions of the sound system:
The control of the music selection and master volume levels is done via two types of keypads. We installed two sets of Lectrosonic eight-button keypads in the guard room sound system rack, along with waterproof Xantech keypads for music source functions. These included CD player play, stop, track forward and reverse skip, along with the same functions for any player plugged into the MP3 dock.
The Xantech Waterpad is completely programmable, and can be reconfigured if the music sources change. The Waterpads are exceptionally water resistant, and have an expected lifespan of over eight years. A third Waterpad is installed in the deep area of the pool so that music and mic functions and levels can be controlled from that area of the pool deck.
The pool is separated into three zones, the kids’ leisure pool area, the lap pool where swim meets are held, and the public change room areas. Paging from the two paging mics goes into all areas, and overrides all other functions of the sound system, but the headset and pool deck microphones may be selected independently into the leisure or lap pool areas depending on the event occurring in the pool. The change room areas have an independent volume control, so that the music level in the change rooms may be adjusted separately from the pool areas.
The outputs of the DSP are fed to two TOA 1000 watt four-channel amplifiers. These amplifiers feed the lap and leisure pool and the change room areas. The TOA amplifiers are very efficient, and consume significantly less power than the original analog amplifiers
Since the old speakers had all failed at the Walnut Grove Pool, the new speakers had to withstand rigorous use under adverse conditions. We have successfully installed the Community R series all weather speakers in other pools and arenas, so they were a natural choice for this installation.
The all-weather R-series speakers allowed us to separate the pool into two distinct areas, with minimal spillage of sound from the adjacent areas. All hardware to hang the speakers is either stainless steel or painted Unistrut, to prevent corrosion issues.
Professional riggers were hired to remove all of the old Mackie speakers
The new Community speakers were installed using the same lifts, and all speaker cables were replaced with new wiring running the perimeter of the pool.