- The newly opened Birmingham Ormiston Academy has equipped its studios and theatre with equipment from RTS
- The devices involved include a Zeus III LE+ matrix, MKP-12 and BKP-4 keypanels, MCP-90-12 microphones and a selection of belt-packs, head-sets and ear-sets
- Altered Images of Shepperton performed the installation
In September 2011, Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) admitted its first 325 students. This independent, state-supported school for 14 to 18 -year-olds offers, alongside courses in the creative and performing arts, instruction in the rapidly developing digital arts. Using the most modern digital technology, students are being schooled in all aspects of TV, film and radio production as well as allowed opportunities to work on productions of their own.
The commission posed a challenge for Altered Images of Shepperton, the company charged with the conceptual design, equipment specification and installation of the system, because it was desired that the studio surroundings in which the students worked should offer teaching and training facilities as close as possible to those encountered in reality. "We wanted to build a studio of the kind the students will work in later in their day-to-day professional lives," explains Peter Gibbons, Altered Images' projects and installations manager, "which is why we opted for RTS equipment. RTS is what's standard on the British broadcasting scene – and with good reason! Their systems deliver top-class performance, are unproblematic in their operation, and function reliably."
The nerve-centre of the installation is a RTS Zeus III LE+ digital intercom matrix. Only one rack unit in height, the device is nonetheless armed with an integrated microprocessor, its own power supply, sixteen keypanel/audio ports and two configurable party-line interface channels. The Zeus III LE+ matrix is also connected via Ethernet to a PC. "The ZEUS III LE+ is perfectly adapted to the needs of Ormiston Academy," explains Gibbons, "in respect not only of the working procedures it supports but also of demands placed on the budget." For the keypanels, microphones and belt-packs, too, Gibbons and his team relied on RTS: four MKP-12 keypanels are at the disposal of the director, his assistants, the FOH engineer and the sound director, whilst in the theatre, radio studios and recording studio, four RTS BKP-4 keypanels and TELEX MCP-90-12 microphones ensure flawless communication. TELEX belt-packs, headsets and ear-sets round off the installation.
"BOA's directors are very satisfied with the installation," reports Gibbons, "and the students, too, have taken at once to the systems. That reflects well not only on our work but also on the products themselves."