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Learn More about Voice Evacuation & Mass Notification Systems 

Voice Evacuation and Mass Notification Systems

Image of West Edmonton Mall

West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton, AB

Early in 2000, the mall was having problems with their paging system. Customers and employees were having a difficult time understanding the pages and staff often had a challenge getting the page to work. The original speakers were installed approximately 13 feet off of the ground and roughly 30 feet apart, making the sound system unintelligible due to dead spots between speakers. The ceiling speakers were changed to TOA’s popular F Series Ceiling Speakers (F-121). TOA’s Ceiling speakers are unique because they provide wide dispersion making sound more intelligible, without increasing the actual number of speaker locations required. Nearly 800 speakers were replaced throughout the mall in the hallways and common areas, on the upper and lower levels, including some of the public washrooms. Each speaker had to be positioned into a new location within the ceiling because the speakers did not fit into the existing backcans. Installation took several months to complete, but the rewards for the mall were worth the wait.

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West Edmonton Mall
Image of Mic Mac Mall

Mic Mac Mall, Dartmouth, NS

The Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth, NS, is the largest mall in both the maritimes, and east of Montreal. Designing a Public Address and Paging System, that included emergency paging/mass notification that was intelligible throughout the mall, while incorporating additional background music features, into a retro-fit was not going to be an easy task. TOA products were able to deliver the results the facility managers desired. In total 151 F-2352C Ceiling Speakers are placed throughout the mall. Driving the entire system are TOA's M-9000 Mixer plus 4 DA-250 Muli-channel Power Amplifiers. The M-9000 includes several modules including telephone paging modules and Ambient noise modules. The new PA System is now intelligible with pages being heard and understood by the patrons of the mall.

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Mic Mac Mall Amp Rack
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Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, ON

Stratford's Shakespeare Festival is North America's largest classical repertory theatre, presenting the works of William Shakespeare and other great writers. The Stratford Shakespeare Festival aims to set the standard for classical theatre in North America. Embracing their heritage of tradition and innovation, the festival seeks to bring classical and contemporary theatre alive for an increasingly diverse audience. Stratford Shakespeare Festival relies on TOA for their Public Address and Mass Notification needs. Enlisting in the help of TOA's VM-2240 - Multifunctional Amplifer paired with several of TOA's Speaker Lines, including; HX-5 - Varibale Angle Speaker in the auditorium, TOA's HB-1 Subwoofer and H3 Interior Design Speakers and PC-671RV Ceiling speakers surround the lobby, and outdoors TOA's weather-resistant F-240 Speakers can be found.
Image of British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.

British Columbia Ferry Services Inc., BC

Being know as a company that takes safety very seriously, BC Ferries’ was faced with replacing the original paging and alarm system, as the existing system was not suitable for reliable continuous performance. The system had to meet Transport Canada and SOLAS regulations for a fully redundant, self‐monitored paging and emergency announcement system. BC Ferries’ chose to use TOA’s VM‐2000 Series System Management Amplifier. Eighteen VM‐2240 Amplifiers were installed on the Northern Adventure with a nineteenth amplifier being used as back‐up. A total output of 4,320 watts is delivered to a combination of over 440 TOA H‐2 Interior Design Speakers and SC‐615T Paging Horns under speaker line supervision using the optional SV‐200 internal speaker line supervision card. There are ten zones throughout the vessel, each of which can be accessed from one of four RM‐200M S + RM‐210S Remote Microphone Stations, or by the EV‐200 optional internal Digital Message Repeaters. Standard ship alarm bells are played back using the EV‐20R Digital Message Repeaters.

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Image of Milestones

Milestones (Flagship Store), Toronto, ON

Looking for an atmosphere that encompasses the intimacy of a dining experience or the buzz of the bar, Milestones (owned and operated by Cara Operations Ltd.) has under gone a redesign, signifying a new direction for this casual fine-dining restaurant. The new design provides guests with a vibrant and inviting place to enjoy a meal or refreshments. Working with an award winning design firm to create the new Milestones atmosphere, it was essential that Milestones incorporate a sound system that would blend in with the décor while providing the right ambiance to fit in with the dining and bar experience.

Incorporating TOA’s F-122C Wide Dispersion Ceiling Speakers as well as the F-1000B Wide Dispersion Speakers, the sound system was blended into the walls and ceilings, without interfering with the hip and modern new appearance of the restaurant. Powering the speakers are TOA’s reliable amplifiers the D-901 Modular Digital Mixer and the DA-250 Digital Multi-Channel Amplifier.

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UPDATE: A number of audio systems that are installed in buildings that have Fire alarm evacuation systems require that the audio system used for background music be enabled to allow emergency messages to broadcast over the audio system, or have the audio muted for the emergency alarm or broadcast.

Milestone’s Restaurant in downtown Toronto was such a case. The TOA audio equipment was configured to accommodate this voice evacuation feature.

Many TOA mixers and mixer/amps can be configured to mute the audio when an emergency message or alarm is activated. The voice evacuation message can also be set up to override the audio on the TOA background music system and thus make any announcement more noticeable.


Image of Beijing National Stadium

Beijing National Stadium (The Bird’s Nest)

Beijing National Stadium, also popularly known as the “Bird’s Nest,” was the main stadium of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. During the games, football and track and field events were held in this stadium, as well as the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies. The biggest issue in the installation of TOA’s systems was how to provide correct and accurate broadcasting that would allow for smooth game operations in a gigantic stadium boasting a seating capacity of as many as 91,000 spectators.
A combined broadcast system composed of the SX-2000 Series Matrix system and the VX-2000 Series Integrated Emergency Public Address system provides background music and general announcements. It also offers easy selection of multiple sound sources for free broadcast to multiple areas through a combination of HX-5 Series Variable Dispersion speakers and ceiling mounted speakers for smooth sound distribution. In case of fire or other emergencies, the system instantly connects to external public address equipment for evacuation announcement to ensure the safety of both spectators and participants. Additionally, extensive failure detection functions programmed into the system ensure that system troubles and failures can be quickly remedied.
After the Olympic Games were completed, the stadium was remodeled and the installed TOA systems are expected to be used in a wide assortment of future applications ranging from sports to music concerts and other entertainment events.
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Image of Beijing National Stadium Image of Beijing National Stadium Image of Beijing National Stadium
Long Range Horn Array Speaker Technology by TOA

Long Range Horn Array Speaker Technology by TOA

TOA exhibited sample speakers developed using long range horn array speaker technology at Inter BEE 2008 (2008 International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition). The long range horn array speaker technology is technology that enables ultra wideband sound transmission at distances up to 10km by aligning horn speakers lengthwise. The technology controls directional quality using the line array effect and reduces the leakage of sound to areas outside the targeted area. Because the speaker array is compact, it is easy to setup and take down, and because it is powered by 1kW of power, it can be plugged into a portable generator for use during an emergency or such. In addition to use during disasters, the company also anticipates use at large, outdoor events and at beach resorts. Sales are slated to begin in April 2009 on a built-to-order basis.

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