Swinging with a New Level of Clarity

North Allegheny High School Jazz Ensemble scores a PreSonus Sound System

Jazz continues to thrive, while its place in music education does the same. Over time, finding solutions to improve the delivery of this musical art form have evolved, and PreSonus is thrilled to offer products that help bring jazz to life. 

In the spring of 2020, with the help of a grant from the Ryan McCutcheon Rhythm 19 Fund, the North Allegheny High School band program brought home a new portable jazz sound system for their four jazz ensembles to use for both for concerts and recording. Consulting with their local retailer and PreSonus Education Manager Evan Brown, they were able to identify their needs, selecting the StudioLive 16R digital rack mixer and AIR series loudspeakers for the project.

Shortly after delivery, the pandemic arrived, delaying the first concert for the groups for over a year. In May of 2021, the system was finally put to use, and the accolades started coming in on how it changed the band!

By selecting the StudioLive 16R, North Allegheny got 16 mic preamps at their disposal to accommodate their input list of clip-on mics for the saxes, solo mics in the trombone section, and direct input lines for bass, guitar, and keyboard. Since the 16R is a rack mixer, all that was required to mix was a basic wireless router and a tablet. Additionally, the 16R allows for onboard stereo recording to an SD card, and multitrack recording via PreSonus Capture software. This gave them the flexibility to perform while recording everything in real time for review and post-production. 


Equally crucial, the AIR series loudspeakers were selected due to their powerful and lightweight design. Utilizing two AIR15s as mains and an additional AIR10 for a vocalist monitor, the speakers provide plenty of volume and coverage for North Allegheny’s needs, which demanded the wide spread of 90 degrees from the horns. Furthermore, the AIR series are also lightweight enough to make the frequent relocation of the entire system less of a chore; venues include indoor auditoriums, cafeterias, outdoor parks, and amphitheatres.  While the system is well-suited to these environments, there are plenty of possibilities for expansion down the road via AIR subwoofers or additional monitors.


“Hearing the difference in the clarity of each ensemble was a total game changer. It made me a believer that technology can improve and enhance the work we do with our student ensembles in the classroom,” said Steve Baldanzi, Associate Director of Bands at North Allegheny. 

Baldanzi co-directs the jazz programs, sharing the duties and splitting the ensembles with head director Todd Stefan.


For more information on the North Allegheny Band Programs, visit www.naband.org

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