How a Smart IoT-Enabled Audio System Hits the Right Note in a Texas School District

The exterior of James Earl Rudder High School in Texas that turned to LEA professional to amp up its band.
(Image credit: LEA Professional)

Bryan Independent School District (ISD) is a public school district based in Bryan, TX. With a growing music program, yet an unsophisticated audio system, the school district turned to Covenant Communications and LEA Professional (opens in new tab) to orchestrate a system that would hit the right note.

Covenant Communications is a Houston-based AV and lighting company with over 21 years of experience. Since its start in the house-of-worship market sector (opens in new tab), Covenant has widened its client base to include installations within education facilities, live music venues, hospitals, and stadiums. The firm is unique in its offering as it understands the AV needs of the clients it serves; it also understands that the end users often need training so they can get the most of their system. As such, the company often hosts intense training sessions when an install is completed. 

To bolster the school district’s flourishing music program, ISD decided that before the 2022 school year began, they needed a new system across four of their campuses. The music program in one of the districts’ schools had been gradually becoming more successful. In order to take the students to the next level, the school required a sophisticated AV system in its choir rooms and band halls. The system was necessary for two core reasons: First, to empower students with an audio playback system to pinpoint performance improvement opportunities; and secondly, to ensure students could enter music competitions requiring audio recording submissions.

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Covenant got to work and designed a new AV system in twelve identical rooms across four different campuses, the system consisted of one amplifier per room powering Electro-Voice EVF 1122S speakers. Like many integrators, the team faced supply chain issues and the original amplifier provider could not deliver on time. Under pressure to get the school up and running before the new school year began, Covenant turned to LEA Professional.

The company, which has worked hard to avoid supply chain delays for its partners, were able to deliver 12 Connect Series 352D to Bryan ISD on time. The Dante Connect Series amplifiers, with a choice of two, four, and eight-channel systems, feature direct HiZ (70V or 100V) or LoZ, selectable by channel. The Dante Connect Series also features analog inputs and Dante inputs and external I/O control for remote on/off and fault monitoring.

“At a time where we were scrambling to find amplifiers, the Connect Series not only filled a gap but provided us with more features, power and smart tools than we have seen from other amplifiers,” said Kyle Hall, customer support specialist at Covenant. “I’m glad it all happened the way it did so that we could experience the hype for ourselves and understand why they are becoming popular in the industry.”

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To set up the system the team at Covenant used LEA’s Web UI. The Web UI is LEA Professional’s browser-based interface which allows local monitoring of every amplifier connected to the network from any phone, tablet or PC. In addition, it allows users to view the status of every channel on any given amp, where the amps are online or offline, powered on or in a standby mode. The Web UI can even allow for a quick performance status to report any errors or faults and more. This ensures that any system issues are flagged immediately during the install process.

“The Web UI is one of my favorite features about the Connect Series amplifiers,” commented Hall. “With this tool we didn’t need to download any software, instead it was just all on a web browser, allowing a super easy and fast set up.”

Not only that, but the sleek, clever design of the Connect Series ensures all power switches are hidden, removing the worry of students tampering with the amps.

Covenant will soon hold a training session with the educators in this district to ensure faculty is familiar with the system. However, with the intuitive user-centric design and support from LEA Professional, Covenant is confident the system will give the faculty and students everything they need, and more.

“These amplifiers are truly excellent, we have already started to use them in other projects,” commented Hall. “This system is a huge upgrade from where Bryan ISD came from, the teachers and students are now even more excited for the school year.”

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.