When Professor CS Deshpande founded the Vidyalankar Dyanapeeth Trust and started coaching students in 1960, using just a single classroom in Dadar to do so, little did he know that it would grow into one of the finest engineering teaching establishments in India.
Now situated in Wadala (East), a central suburb of Mumbai, the campus of the Vidyalankar Institute of Technology stretches over 11 acres (45,000 sq-m) of land, and currently has around 7,000 students enjoying some of the best teaching and recreational facilities the country has to offer.
‘At Vidyalankar, we understand the needs of the students, and we go that extra mile to make sure that we fulfil them,’ says Vishwas Deshpande, managing trustee of the Vidyalankar Dyanapeeth Trust. ‘God has been kind to us, so we must always do our best and provide the very best for them that we can,’ he adds.
With that ethos in mind, the Institute recently decided that the latest addition to the campus would be a vibrant and modern auditorium space perfect for the myriad of learning and social activities offered at this modern institution. ‘We want our students to feel equally at home in the campus facilities or open spaces as they do in the classrooms, so we are always trying to improve,’ explains Mr Deshpande. ‘We encourage regular social and recreational activities in tandem with our academic timetables too. For this building, it was felt that what we really needed was a good auditorium that could be used for lectures, movie screenings, events and more. We wanted something that was attractive, simple to use and flexible enough to cope with a variety of events and end users.’
As with any project of this scale, the process from conception to starting the build was challenging, as Mr Deshpande testifies: ‘Initially we tried a few companies, and many different solutions were proposed, but it left everyone very confused as many of the proposals were over what had been budgeted for the project. Expectations were low by that point, but then we managed to find the right architect who understood our needs perfectly, which then led us to the just the right A/V consultant, who understood our budgetary concerns as well as our need for a simple, reliable and flexible solution.’
The right consultant for the job turned out to be Hewshott, a leading A/V and acoustic design consultancy firm in India and part of a global A/V and acoustics consulting group, Hewshott International. In working to balance the client’s budget and provide a system that was fit-for-purpose, the consultant recommended using TANNOY within the design.
‘We have known TANNOY as a brand for many years, so we were already familiar with the products,’ says Hewshott A/V consultant Abhijeet Khedkar. ‘We selected TANNOY for this installation because we knew the quality and reliability of the loudspeakers was very good and well proven, and the solution we proposed was within budget. We really just kept it simple with end user in mind.’
For the auditorium, two TANNOY VXP 15HP loudspeakers have been mounted on the ceiling as the main front of house system. VXP is TANNOY’s line of self-powered sound reinforcement loudspeakers based on the passive VX Series products, and featuring the IDEEA power module from Lab.gruppen. Two further VXP 8 loudspeakers are positioned on the floor as monitor wedges, with two VSX 15DR subwoofers, powered by a Lab.gruppen C 48:4 amplifier, installed under the stage to provide extra LF support should it be required. Also in the amp rack are four LAB.GRUPPEN E 8.2 amplifiers, which provide the power for the TANNOY Di6 loudspeakers installed on each side of the auditorium to act as side fills and delays.
The front of house position offers control via a Soundcraft console, while beyerdynamic mics are used throughout the auditorium.
With building work not limited to the auditorium itself, Hewshott also selected a number of TANNOY CVS ceiling speakers for the reception areas, DVS on-wall speakers for the boardrooms, and CMS dual concentric ceiling speakers for the dining areas, allowing for a signature sound throughout the building. The systems integration portion of the project was completed by project contractor Sigma-Byte A/V, whose own previous experience with TANNOY products made for a smooth installation.
With the project now completed, Mr Khedkar of Hewshott is enthusiastic about the results and the teamwork that went into making it a reality. ‘The support offered by TC Group’s Krishna Singh and Binny Sharma throughout the process has been excellent,’ he declares. ‘We really couldn’t ask for anything more. Since the installation was finished, the client has been 100 per cent happy with the work we have done and the equipment we have installed.’
Back in 1960, Professor Deshpande may not have known what he was creating, but now his efforts have grown not just into one of India’s finest educational establishments, but also one of its best equipped.