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Author Topic: speakers and lighting in high school hallways  (Read 12757 times)

Kyle Malenfant

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speakers and lighting in high school hallways
« on: January 08, 2014, 09:07:39 pm »

I have an opportunity to bid on an install at a local high school that wants to play music throughout the hallways for the 5 minutes between classes.  The system would have to be loud enough to be heard over the commotion of high schoolers yelling at each other in hallways but not at the levels of what you'd hear at a high school dance.

The principle would like to keep things in perspective and asked use to place speakers approx ever 35 feet or so in the hallways.  The corridors are in the shape of a U, and total 450' linear feet if you straightened out the hallway. 

We have already installed video screens in multiple locations on each floor using coax cable carry HD-SDI with embedded audio.  At each screen we used an AJA converter to output HDMI to each screen, and the converter allows us to break out the audio through stereo RCA out.  It is from these outs that each floor will get its audio signal.

In the past I've set up plenty out audio installs using powered 15" speakers and separate amps and boxes.  Would it be suggested that I look into a 70v system for each floor?

A recommendation on speakers to get over the noise of high schoolers would be helpful too. Thanks!
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: speakers and lighting in high school hallways
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 09:21:11 pm »

I have an opportunity to bid on an install at a local high school that wants to play music throughout the hallways for the 5 minutes between classes.  The system would have to be loud enough to be heard over the commotion of high schoolers yelling at each other in hallways but not at the levels of what you'd hear at a high school dance.

The principle would like to keep things in perspective and asked use to place speakers approx ever 35 feet or so in the hallways.  The corridors are in the shape of a U, and total 450' linear feet if you straightened out the hallway. 

We have already installed video screens in multiple locations on each floor using coax cable carry HD-SDI with embedded audio.  At each screen we used an AJA converter to output HDMI to each screen, and the converter allows us to break out the audio through stereo RCA out.  It is from these outs that each floor will get its audio signal.

In the past I've set up plenty out audio installs using powered 15" speakers and separate amps and boxes.  Would it be suggested that I look into a 70v system for each floor?

A recommendation on speakers to get over the noise of high schoolers would be helpful too. Thanks!
Unless you have very high ceiling-and strong speakers-you will have some issues getting over the ambient levels.

They will have to be closer together.

Also consider this.  If you add the music-the ambient level will go up-requiring more level to "get over them".  And it will continue.

And what type of music would be played?  Not all students like the same music.  That can be a whole new can of worms.

Personally I think you will run into a number of problems/issues.
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Ivan Beaver
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Kyle Malenfant

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Re: speakers and lighting in high school hallways
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 09:52:55 pm »

Unless you have very high ceiling-and strong speakers-you will have some issues getting over the ambient levels.

They will have to be closer together.

Also consider this.  If you add the music-the ambient level will go up-requiring more level to "get over them".  And it will continue.


That's a really good point.  Given the 10' high ceiling, I'd like to space the speakers closer to 20 ft apart, alternating on the left and right side of the hallway.

Increasing the volume of music over the commotion will, as you pointed out, only increase the amount of noise the kids generate.  Certainly something to consider and monitor when the system is implemented.

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Ivan Beaver

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Re: speakers and lighting in high school hallways
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 09:59:02 pm »

That's a really good point.  Given the 10' high ceiling, I'd like to space the speakers closer to 20 ft apart, alternating on the left and right side of the hallway.

Increasing the volume of music over the commotion will, as you pointed out, only increase the amount of noise the kids generate.  Certainly something to consider and monitor when the system is implemented.
It depends on how even you want the coverage/level.  With a 10' ceiling  you will need to space the speakers closer together than 20'.

There are all sorts of calculators from the manufacturers of ceiling speakers.  Use them and find a number for a level/quality you want.

Yes it means a lot of speakers-but you need to ask the buyer if they want to do it right or live with the consequences of not (lower levels in between speakers).

Of course budget may be a driving force-but just something to consider.
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Ryan Kucharo

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Re: speakers and lighting in high school hallways
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2014, 11:10:31 pm »

I would highly recommend a 70v system, and in particular I have been very happy with Atlas Sound FAP40T Speakers. We have installed hundreds of these and I have only had 1 bad one.  As others have mentioned, for a perfect coverage, you would want to alternate sides of the hallway, but have them as close to 8' apart (45 degree dispersion, a person is 6' tall on average).  But, since you are really just providing “ambient noise” and not listening to a presentation, I would think you could get away with installing them centered in the hall at 15’-20’ intervals, it just have a perfectly consistent volume as you walk through the hall.  If you really wanted to get into it you could put each area on a seperate zone and use a Biamp AudiaFlex to route to different zones and even tie it in as an intercom with a phone interface that allows for paging and will duck the music.  But even without zones, that can be done easily with some RDL products.
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Kyle Malenfant

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Re: speakers and lighting in high school hallways
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 09:19:14 am »

I would highly recommend a 70v system, and in particular I have been very happy with Atlas Sound FAP40T Speakers. We have installed hundreds of these and I have only had 1 bad one.  As others have mentioned, for a perfect coverage, you would want to alternate sides of the hallway, but have them as close to 8' apart (45 degree dispersion, a person is 6' tall on average).  But, since you are really just providing “ambient noise” and not listening to a presentation, I would think you could get away with installing them centered in the hall at 15’-20’ intervals, it just have a perfectly consistent volume as you walk through the hall.  If you really wanted to get into it you could put each area on a seperate zone and use a Biamp AudiaFlex to route to different zones and even tie it in as an intercom with a phone interface that allows for paging and will duck the music.  But even without zones, that can be done easily with some RDL products.

On the note of 70v systems I'm a bit confused: the JBl control 23 is rated at 50 watts, yet only comes with a 5W tap for 70v wiring. How does the tap wattage compare to the rated speaker wattage?
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: speakers and lighting in high school hallways
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2014, 08:53:34 am »

On the note of 70v systems I'm a bit confused: the JBl control 23 is rated at 50 watts, yet only comes with a 5W tap for 70v wiring. How does the tap wattage compare to the rated speaker wattage?
A larger wattage transformer would require a  physically larger transformer-more size-higher price etc.

What the transformer rating simply means is that with a 70V input there would be a 5 watt into rated impedance output.  SO about 6V if the speaker is 8 ohms.

If the input signal is higher than 70V more power/voltage would be going to the speaker-HOWEVER there will start to be more distortion/transformer saturation and so forth-so the sound quality would go down.
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Scott Carneval

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Re: speakers and lighting in high school hallways
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2014, 10:29:08 am »

On the note of 70v systems I'm a bit confused: the JBl control 23 is rated at 50 watts, yet only comes with a 5W tap for 70v wiring. How does the tap wattage compare to the rated speaker wattage?

You'd be surprised how loud a speaker will get with 5 watts.  However, the Control 23t is only rated down to 100hz (-10db), so it really needs to be used with an external subwoofer, especially where younger people/modern music is involved.  An improvement would be the Control 25t, which is rated down to 80hz and also has taps up to 30 watts.  These are going to look kind of funky hanging in the hallway, plus their coverage pattern is less than ideal for a long narrow hallway.  I would advise an in-ceiling speaker if at all possible.  6.5" or even 8" would be the size I would go for, unless you plan to use a few external subs. 
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: speakers and lighting in high school hallways
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2014, 10:50:16 am »

I have an opportunity to bid on an install at a local high school that wants to play music throughout the hallways for the 5 minutes between classes.  The system would have to be loud enough to be heard over the commotion of high schoolers yelling at each other in hallways but not at the levels of what you'd hear at a high school dance.

The principle would like to keep things in perspective and asked use to place speakers approx ever 35 feet or so in the hallways.  The corridors are in the shape of a U, and total 450' linear feet if you straightened out the hallway. 

We have already installed video screens in multiple locations on each floor using coax cable carry HD-SDI with embedded audio.  At each screen we used an AJA converter to output HDMI to each screen, and the converter allows us to break out the audio through stereo RCA out.  It is from these outs that each floor will get its audio signal.

In the past I've set up plenty out audio installs using powered 15" speakers and separate amps and boxes.  Would it be suggested that I look into a 70v system for each floor?

A recommendation on speakers to get over the noise of high schoolers would be helpful too. Thanks!

To be a bit of a curmudgeon, this sounds like are "Really Bad Fucking Idea."

Any system that gets loud enough to be heard over changing period kids will also be loud enough to mask any audible alarm or voice warning system.  I submit for that reason alone this project be reconsidered.

It also sounds like a private school with more money than sense.  Any public school principal that wanted this would be sacked for wasting funds that should go into the classroom.  Is it really necessary to entertain children for 5 minutes?
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Kyle Malenfant

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Re: speakers and lighting in high school hallways
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2014, 11:20:34 am »

To be a bit of a curmudgeon, this sounds like are "Really Bad Fucking Idea."

Any system that gets loud enough to be heard over changing period kids will also be loud enough to mask any audible alarm or voice warning system.  I submit for that reason alone this project be reconsidered.

It also sounds like a private school with more money than sense.  Any public school principal that wanted this would be sacked for wasting funds that should go into the classroom.  Is it really necessary to entertain children for 5 minutes?

The intention is to liven up the mood of the school, and help project it is as forward thinking and such.  The music should be played at a volume loud enough to hear, but not to overpower the halls in any way.

That being said, right now I'm looking at the Control 24 CT..the 130 degree pattern is appealing.
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