As the Director of Bands at Harrison High School in Harrison, Ohio, Brian Egan’s primary responsibilities were to expand student participation in the program and increase the musicians’ proficiency. As part of that goal, he was always on the lookout for opportunities to modernize the band’s equipment. “When I started four years ago, all the equipment we had was outdated, but boosters have helped us modernize our technology,” he said.
When Egan learned that the marching band’s pit would be located on the sideline at field level during football season, it posed both an opportunity and a challenge. “I wanted to be able to conduct the band from my tower on the sideline as well, so I needed something portable but high-performance,” he said. “A colleague of mine is a big Soundcraft fan and recommended the Ui Series.”
Deploying HARMAN’s 16-input Soundcraft Ui16 remote-controlled digital mixer was a technological upgrade that gave Egan the freedom to control the sound of the band from any connected device via its integrated, onboard Wi-Fi router. Like Soundcraft’s 12-fader Ui12 mixer and the 24-channel Ui24R digital mixer/recorder, the Ui16 also provides a full complement of dbx, DigiTech and Lexicon signal processing, allowing Egan to effectively hone the band’s sound.
In addition to the marching band, Egan teaches a “Rock Band” class at Harrison High School that includes instruction on audio mixing. “This is a really fun course and one that’s in really high demand. We actually have auditions for the class,” he said. “The Ui16’s ease of use will make it a great educational tool for students who are interested in audio engineering.”
Since integrating the Ui16 into the school’s music program, Egan has already experienced its benefits. “It’s been terrific so far; the ability to mix from a tablet has given us so much flexibility,” he concluded. “And, most importantly, it sounds great.”
Many thanks to Brian Egan for his insights into the music program at Harrison High. Are you a teacher or AV professional who manages remote sound for school bands or sports? If so, share your tips and tricks in the comments.