Case Study: Macquarie University

Leading the way into scientific AV innovation

Formally known as the Australian School of Advanced Medicine, the now newly upgraded Surgical Skills Lab in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University, is leading the way in scientific AV innovation by providing world class technology and support. The upgraded workspace can be described as having ten operating theatres in one large room, where the medical education community can collaborate and explore human anatomy.  

Rethinking what is possible

Managing the project in-house from start to finish, Iain Brew – Clinical AV & IT Coordinator, worked with faculty staff to conduct a full audit of all AV and technical systems, to establish what they would require in order to facilitate transforming the faculty to the highest standard. Numerous products were used to provide a range of solutions; The most significant piece of equipment regarding audio control and processing was the Behringer X32 RACK.

Changing the game entirely

Iain Brew had previously used a Behringer X32 console for live events at the university, including multimedia presentations and student music and dance functions. When looking at refreshing the AV system in the Surgical Skills Lab, Iain stated “the Behringer X32 was the logical choice as it offered plenty of I/O at a competitive price point, including tonnes of processing power. The system is now the heart of our audio solution for the Surgical Skills Lab and we couldn’t be happier”. With a tight budget of $75,000 for the whole renovation and a constricted time frame of 6 weeks, Iain wanted to make sure himself and his faculty members could undertake the installation as efficiently as possible.

Powerful & Intuitive

Utilizing 32 channels in and 16 channels out with complete control via OSC commands over UDP, the X32 demonstrates an incredible amount of processing power, for such a compact size. Primarily used for DSP and routing, the Macquarie faculty team showed great excitement knowing that the Behringer X32 is relatively future proofed and can accommodate their requirements as they grow and expand. Iain commented “We now have total control and flexibility over our audio setup, and are especially happy about being able to breathe more life into our existing amplifiers and speakers by using the Behringer X32 RACK as our DSP. Another aspect we are especially happy about, is that it gives us the ability to cost effectively expand in the future by using a Behringer S16 or S32 stage box via AES50 for additional I/O.”

Enhancing creative expression

With copious amounts of positive feedback, the busy lab that is also used on weekends has had great support of the new AV system. With technicians not always on site, the new installation provides surgeons in the lab with a user-friendly interface via iPad control. The improvements to the system have also seen rapid progress for teaching purposes. Iain divulged “We have found that educators have less fatigue now during teaching, and students are happier as they can clearly hear their educators, wherever they are standing in the lab. Our other lab users also enjoy pumping music through the system while they work, and we often say we have the best sounding lab on campus now as a result!” The Surgical Skills Lab has won several awards for their recent installation, including the “iRidium Mobile Awards 2017” award for ‘Commercial Automation,’ and the “Commercial Integrator Integration Awards 2017” award for ‘Best Health Care Project.’

Thinking outside the Box!

With this particular use of the Behringer X32-RACK, being a unique and unlikely installation application, we are reminded of the wide range of potential for installed audio purposes.

To find out more on the Behringer X32, click here.

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