Tag:installed sound

In addition to being an ‘architectural wonder’, Florida’s Hialeah Park played host to some of the world’s finest horse racing until the shifting tides of modern gambling forced its closure in the late 1990s. Constructed in 1932, the venue was frequented by Frank Sinatra, Harry Truman and Winston Churchill, and lent its palm trees and archways to Hollywood films, including The Champ and The Godfather: Part II. In 2013 it joined the gambling community as Hialeah Park Racing & Casino, which pairs quarterly horseracing with a casino in the grandstand.

Hialeah Park

Although it retains the classic architectural motifs of its early days, the facility now boasts 150,000 square-feet of casino floor, multiple restaurants and bars, which are served by A/V systems that provide highly intelligible background music and paging 24/7 using a system of Tannoy loudpeakers networked with SymNets Edge Dante networked audio DSPs.

‘The casino occupies a completely renovated portion of the existing Clubhouse building,’ says David Marsh, President of Marsh/PMK, who became involved with the project in late 2010. ‘The project started out as a major building addition with a larger casino as well as meeting facilities and the owner’s corporate headquarters. We finished A/V design for that version of the project and delivered complete construction documents. Unfortunately, adequate financing could not be obtained and the building addition was shelved.’

Consequently, a smaller casino was designed for incorporation into the existing Clubhouse, which features audio and video systems designed by Stearns & Marsh and integrators NDR Corporation.

In all, 22 Edge DSPs provide the 12 inputs and 300 outputs for nearly 1,000 loudspeakers. ‘The casino has nearly 900 slots, 23 poker tables, and several restaurants and bars located across 150,000 square feet,’ says Byard Hey, Sales Manager for NDR Systems, the integration firm that installed the system. ‘They were very careful to restore all of the architectural motifs that make Hialeah Park such a regal place.’

The Kinsella-Marsh Group had designed the system around a different processing arrangement, but Hey pushed for Symetrix: ‘I’ve been using Symetrix for years, and the installations always go smoothly and the equipment always holds up,’ he says. ‘Moreover, the new SymNet Edge met all of the design requirements – and then some. It has a modular I/O that could easily accommodate the lopsided I/O count of this job. Importantly, the SymNet Edge is based on the future-oriented Dante network, whereas the specified processor was based on the now-fading CobraNet technology.’

Each SymNet Edge frame can be filled by up to four I/O cards. The available I/O cards cover the full range of possible I/O needs, but for Hialeah Park Casino, Hey installed three four-channel analogue input cards and 75 four-channel analogue output cards into 22 SymNet Edge frames. While each Edge frame has its own processing resources, the whole system acts as one integrated whole via the Dante network. Each speaker location includes a five-inch loudspeaker, an eight-inch loudspeaker, and a subwoofer. All the components are Tannoy with the SymNet Edge processing turning each location into a three-way system. Lab.gruppen amplifiers are used for power.

Loudspeaker system

The loudspeaker installation includes around 430 Tannoy CMS 501DC and 125 CMS 801DC ceiling loudspeakers, 175 Di 5DCt and 70 Di 8DCt surface-type loudspeakers and 175 ceiling mounted subwoofers. Tannoy iw 6 and iw 4 in-wall type loudspeakers replaced a few of the originally specified units during construction because of field conditions that obstructed the loudspeaker backbox. While Tannoy’s Dual Concentric design provided substantial benefits in overcoming the sonic clutter of the casino, there were additional challenges that informed the design and the placement of the loudspeakers: ‘Large portions of ceiling are of a Pergola design with wooden lattice sections on 4-ft centres bordered by structural beams that define roughly 30x30-foot areas. ‘explainsDave Stearns of Marsh/PMK International.

‘Loudspeakers were mounted flush with the bottom of the wooden slats in the lattice, and subwoofers were hung above the lattice. We had to coordinate loudspeaker locations with the lattice design and have the architects create wider openings between the wooden slats wherever loudspeakers were to be located. We used the Di 8s and Di 5s in the lattice areas, but when we got into a drywall, or drop ceiling we used CMS 801s and 501s.’

Hialeah Park CasinoRather than a generic distributed layout, Stearns created a frequency shaded design: ‘One problem with a distributed system is that you often set up the speaker spacing for high-frequency coverage, but the lower frequencies overlap each other. You can use EQ to carve out some of the mid-bass, but there is a better way to achieve spectral balance that also improves the system’s transient response. What we did here was use the 8-inch speakers to provide basic full range coverage and then use smaller satellites around them to fill in high frequencies out to the edge of the group.

‘Imagine a Tic Tac Toe board,’ Stearns continues. ‘The loudspeaker in the centre is full range and has a sub beside it – a CMS 801 and the custom Tannoy 1201 sub. In the corners, we have a CMS 501 that’s band-passed with the low-end cut-off at 600Hz because everything below that is covered by the full range 8-inch speaker. The CMS 501s are electronically delayed to synchronize their output with sound arriving from the CMS 801 in the centre of the pattern. As you go up in frequency, you get to about 1800 Hz and start to see holes appearing at the remaining four locations. Here we shade in additional CMS 501s to handle the higher end (with appropriate delay). The result is elimination of the mid-bass buildup that is so typical of distributed systems and the creation of a tighter transient response. This pattern is reproduced across the entire casino floor. A similar approach was also used in circulation spaces and for the outdoor covered walkways.’

The loudspeakers are powered by approximately 55 Lab.gruppen Contractor Series amplifiers with NomadLink monitoring and control; a mix of four-channel amps running voice coil to the subs and eight-channel amps for the 70V systems.

‘Given the sheer number of channels, Lab.gruppen was an obvious amplifier choice,’ Marsh says. ‘When we have a lot of channels we like Lab.gruppen because they’re compact and reliable. The speaker system on this project wasn’t all 70V lines where you can string 30 speakers together, so we had to come up with an amplification package that wouldn’t take up too much rack space.’

‘Dante is great, especially for this type of installation,’ Hey says. ‘It’s a communications protocol of the future, which will make any future requests easy to accommodate. It has a dual network topology, which makes it more robust, and it is so easy simply to wire it all with Cat5 jumpers. The SymNet Composer software is intuitive and allows me to see the entire system or dig down as necessary. The casino has been up 24/7 for several months now without a hiccup.’

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Offering 3,000 slot machines and 144 gaming tables, poker and ‘high-limit’ rooms, as well as several restaurants, a food court and themed bars that host live bands and DJs, the Graton Casino is billed as ‘California’s finest’.

Graton CasinoLocated north of San Francisco, the venue has an ‘open design’ and includes sophisticated A/V systems throughout. AVDB Group, an integrator headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, installed the A/V systems and completed much of the system design work after the original design firm ceased business.

According to AVDB Group CEO Scott Oosthuizen, Graton’s A/V systems’ functionality and programming are comparable to the best casinos in Las Vegas. Graton’s A/V systems communicate over a 254-channel Bluelink fibre-optic network that distributes 48 audio sources and multiple satellite video channels. Source selection, volume control and other functions are available through Crestron control panels allowing managers to fine-tune the audio and video atmosphere for areas as diverse as the casino itself, the sports bar or the invitation-only, high-limit poker room. Graton’s audio systems are also integrated into its security system and voice paging system.

As part of the design work, AVDB Group recommended Community’s Distributed Design Series loudspeaker family for all areas of the casino: ‘We prefer the sound of the Community loudspeakers over the ones originally specified and substituting Community also helped us meet the customer’s budget,’ Oosthuizen says, ‘Dropped ceiling areas use white Community D4, D8, D10 and D10SUB ceiling loudspeakers. The open-ceiling steak house features black DP6 pendant loudspeakers. Other areas, including the outdoor parking lot use white DS5 surface-mount loudspeakers. ‘The DS5s are weather-resistant, so we were able to maintain the same sound quality indoors and outdoors.’

Local newspapers reported long queues of customers waiting to enter Graton on its opening, and reviews have been positive – Oosthuizen reports the casino’s owners as pleased with the sound quality throughout the casino and with the appearance and ease of operation of the A/V systems.

More: www.communitypro.com


One of the first new builds funded by the UK’s National Lottery award (via the Arts Council), the Wiltshire Music Centre has built a solid reputation for the quality of its classical, folk, jazz and world music concerts since being founded in 1998.

Wiltshire Music CentreThe centre’s purpose-built 300-seat concert hall recently underwent a major audio systems upgrade through its partnership with Autograph Sales & Installations. Led by New Business Engineer Phil Nicolaou, the project centred on the specification and installation of a new FOH loudspeaker system and included an upgrade to the existing mixing console, new equipment racks and power management.

‘Having assessed the space, the available budget and the intended use of the kit we realised that EM Acoustics’ new Halo-C was just about perfect in every respect,’ says Nicolaou. ‘Our design uses a flown LR design, where each side comprises five EM Acoustics Halo-C line-source elements and one Halo-C Sub. This arrangement provides ample full-frequency coverage for the entire auditorium without needing any delays or side fills  – in fact, the only supplementary audience loudspeakers are five EMS-61s mounted along the front edge of the stage as close-field fills.’

The system, including the six EM Acoustics M10 monitors which are used for on-stage monitoring, uses only eight power amplifiers – Autograph specified Lab.gruppen IPD-Series amplifiers for their combination of audio quality, reliability, pricing and feature set. At the heart of the IPD platform is a latest-generation DSP engine equipped with up to 40 real-time, multi-slope parametric EQs, along with adjustable gain, input and output delay, and both high- and low-pass filters adjustable to any frequency.

The DSP also provides extensive protection for a loudspeaker system, in the form of the innovative software-controlled Speaker Protect Limiter, configured from within IntelliDrive Controller software. Harnessing all of this power is the IPD LoadLibrary, a collection of Lab.gruppen released presets – for quick configuration and optimisation of a wide range of loudspeaker systems, both generic and popular brand models.

‘The IPDs make this kind of installation easier, more versatile and cost-effective,’ Nicolaou reports. ‘No outboard controllers are needed because all the processing for the loudspeakers is done within the amplifiers, and because they also provide Ethernet-based networking we can tune and control the whole system remotely if necessary.

‘The centre already owned an Allen & Heath GLD-80 digital mixing console, and to expand the system and deliver a new level of control we specified and supplied a new multimedia card, plus two iDR Out digital expanders/audio breakout modules. Along with an iPad and a Wi-Fi access point, which we also supplied, this allows the desk and PA to be controlled via an app on the iPad from anywhere in the room, so the house engineer can move freely around the auditorium and tune the system to suit the circumstances and type of performance.

‘The advances we’ve seen in modern audio technology over recent years has made a huge difference to projects like this,’ Nicolaou  concludes. ‘Being able to network discrete items of the system together so the whole thing can be effectively controlled from a mobile device is such an advantage for busy venues, while products like the new Halo-C deliver high-class audio performance in an unobtrusive and cost-effective package. It’s now possible for regional venues to deliver the kind of quality one would have previously expected only in the West End by working with fantastic products like these – and with the Autograph team of course.’

‘We asked Autograph to tender for this project and we were immediately impressed with their attention to detail and thorough and clear proposals,’ says Centre Technician, Daniel Thomason. ‘From design to completion we were kept well informed and had all our requirements met. As a result the finished product has exceeded our expectations and enabled the Wiltshire Music Centre to continue to offer the very highest production values.’


E&E Systems (India) has designed and installed a Community loudspeaker system at the Puma Social Club in Indiranagar, Bangalore, operated by the Puma sports brand.

Puma Social ClubLocated above the Puma store on Indiranagar’s busiest street, the club provides the local community with a unique venue, incorporating restaurants, bars and a venue for the country’s DJs and artists to perform. With indoor and outdoor spaces, the multi-storey club’s open areas take full advantage of the region’s climate to provide entertainment an atmospheric evening environment.

In the main dance and bar areas, E&E Systems chose a combination of Community Veris 1596, two-way 15-inch and Veris 8, two-way 8-inch loudspeakers, and S-218S dual 18-inch subs. The Veris Series was chosen as it provided a consistent sound quality throughout the venue, while accommodating the significantly different sound levels required for dancefloor and bar. The well-defined dispersion patterns provided by the Veris Series were also a benefit in controlling sound for the various zones, with minimum spill to adjacent areas.

System processing is handled by a Symetrix Jupiter 8 and the Community loudspeakers are driven by Prym Audio and Ashley amplifiers.

‘The Puma Social Club in an innovative and exciting new venue and we have provided a system that delivers the quality sound it required,’ says E&E Systems Project Manager, Jesmon Kunjmon.


A new art space London’ Serpentine Sackler Gallery has called on RG Jones to provide a QSC Q-Sys Core 250i network audio management system.

Serpentine Sackler GalleryA team led by Jake Miller installed the Core 250i, along with a QSC TSC-8 touchpanel to manage an array of amplifiers driving flat-panel loudspeakers around the outside of the gallery, and several K-Array loudspeakers and subwoofers in the gallery’s twin central chambers.

‘The Core 250i’s onboard DSP was very useful in allowing us to get the best possible sound out of the K-Array and Amina speakers; the KZ10s in particular, due to their very compact dimensions,’ Miller explains. ‘In an installation like this, the aesthetics of the system are key; you don’t want lots of equipment visible everywhere, so the speakers had to be very tiny, but that can have a knock-on effect on the sound. This system now sounds great.’

The new Serpentine Sackler Gallery consists of a continuous corridor arranged in a square around two barrel-vaulted powder stores. Arup Associates was engaged to specify the audio systems, the requirements being to provide PA/VA for visitor announcements, paging calls and emergency messages, as well as sound reinforcement for visiting artists and exhibitions that incorporate an audio element.

Serpentine Sackler GalleryThe TSC-8 touchpanel is mounted in a bespoke paging station with a gooseneck announcement microphone, which can be plugged into either of two connection points around the gallery (it currently resides in the administration office).

Audio playback in the gallery can now be divided into six zones via Q-Sys if needed, and there are six input points around the gallery to allow the connection of a radio mic for sound reinforcement of exhibition guide commentary or visiting artist speeches as required. A mini-jack input on the custom paging station also allows the connection of an iPod or other audio source for exhibitions that require audio or atmospheres.

This was RG Jones’ first installation using Q-Sys: ‘Arup had suggested it on the list of possible equipment, and although we have tended to use other systems for audio management in the past, we had heard a lot about Q-Sys and become very keen to learn more about what it could do,’ Miller says.

‘I was interested in using the virtual paging in Q-Sys Manager to create the multiple zones and DSP front end on the paging station, and that proved very easy to do. I also like the QLAN concept of having audio and control capability available on the same standard network cable.’

More: www.rgjones.co.uk 
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While the Gwynedd-Mercy Academy – a Roman Catholic elementary (K-8) school in Springhouse, Pennsylvania – has won awards, the sound system in its extensive gym has been unsatisfactory for a while.

Gwynedd-Mercy AcademyDesigned to support physical education classes and sports events, drama and musical performances, worship services and other school activities, the gymnasium has a theatrical stage and versatile activity and seating space. The school’s activities had outgrown the capabilities of the system, however, and its coverage and sound quality were poor.

To compensate, users would turn up the volume causing feedback and intensifying reverberation. Because of these issues, the school often rented a sound system. The scheduling and cost of these rentals complicated event planning.

In mid-2013, school principal, Sister Anne Crampsie, asked music teacher Sal Scinto to research and propose a new sound system. Through a referral from another school, Scinto contacted Tony Albano of Naaman’s A/V who proposed a versatile new sound system using Community Veris2 and R-Series loudspeakers. The system uses two rows of R.5 loudspeakers distributed over the bleachers and the gym floor and a pair of V2-35 three-way loudspeakers above the stage opening for front fill. A V2-215S subwoofer can be quickly connected to the system for musical events.

For theatrical and musical performances, Albano provided a Soundcraft digital mixer and Shure wireless microphones. He added a Community dSPEC processor for system equalisation and configuration. For less complex events, users can bypass the digital mixer and operate the system from simple controls in the equipment rack. In addition, the system can be subdivided. For sports and other events that do not use the stage, the front loudspeakers and subwoofer are turned off. For on-screen presentations and similar events, the distributed loudspeakers are turned off and the system uses only the front loudspeakers and sub.

Because of this versatility, Scinto says Gwynedd-Mercy Academy no longer needs to rent a system for theatrical or musical performances and everyone’s expectations were met: ‘The sound quality is excellent, and the response from the speakers is very full and clear.’

More: www.communitypro.com


A £2m upgrade to the Amble Links ‘owners-only’ holiday park on the UK’s Northumberland coast saw A/V integrator Promotiontime NE busy with the technology design and fit-out of its main entertainment area, The Links Owners Only Bar & Entertainment Lounge, as well as the refurbished Old Storehouse restaurant/bar. The move has made the venue exclusively into a Martin Audio AQ house.

Amble Links Brian Graham – who took control of Promotiontime NE ten years ago – is a frequent user of Martin Audio systems over the years, and in particular the Blackline series. And the compact AQ architectural range has opened up a number of new opportunities for him: ‘Martin Audio is generally our go-to brand for most requirements above a basic bar, and I would probably have specified Blackline again for the entertainment room,’ he says. ‘But when we heard the AQ series demoed we knew this would be equal to the demands of the room.’

Part of the Granary Leisure Complex, Amble Links required a stage system for small acts, a resident DJ and karaoke, but this also needed to be suited to larger performances when required. After sampling the AQ series, Graham chose a pair of AQ28s, one each side of the stage, as the main front-facing PA with an AQ10 on each wing for out fill. Recessed into the stage on each side is an AQ215 bass enclosure, and Promotiontime NE have incorporated a 42-way patch so that incoming productions carrying their own mixing console can plug straight in and override the house desk.

Amble LinksThe Old Storehouse is divided into two areas – a restaurant and bar, with background music fed to eight AQ6 in the main restaurant, with its colour changing walls, and a pair of AQ5s in the overspill/annex area, while the dedicated bar area is served by a further combination of AQ8, AQ6 and pair of AQ112 subwoofer.

The music extends to the outside patio area where Graham has specified four Martin Audio C115 surface-mount weather-resistant speakers – designed with the same elegance as the AQ range. The entire system is powered by Martin Audio MA5.2K, MA4.8Q and MA2.8Q amplifiers, and fed by a 16 x 16 audio routing matrix, which allows any sound source to be switched to any zone via the Martin Audio Engineer 818 DSP. Limiting and EQ settings are also stored in the Engineer, with inputs recalled and switched between the different operating modes via the Control4 audio and lighting environmental control platform (linked to Mode dimming packs for the lighting).

The installation needed to offer ease-of-use, and the site is configured so that all audio and vision can be switched and controlled from two touchscreens, one located in the main bar and the other in the performance area, to allow intuitive use throughout the complex.

‘In addition to raising the performance level, we had to make the installation look sleek which the AQ certainly does,’ Graham reports. ‘And with only around 3m ceiling height in the entertainment room, we were able to run the AQ28s in landscape orientation, flush against the ceiling. It was the perfect solution.

‘Everything works seamlessly,’ he adds. ‘The client is delighted, the feedback has been great and we have had nothing but positive comments.’

More: www.martin-audio.com

A flagship of the Hyatt International Hotel Group in Asia, the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong has undertaken an audio refit that places a QSC Q-Sys Core 250i Integrated Core as its backbone.

Grand Hyatt Hong Kong BallroomLocated directly behind the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Grand Ballroom is often used for convention centre events during trade fairs and exhibitions. ‘The entire audio system is managed and configured via a PC in the control room loaded with the Q-Sys Designer software,’ explains Tommy Ho, Senior Sales Manager at Audio System Consultants (Asia) Ltd, the QSC distributor in Hong Kong. ‘In addition to providing delay and dynamics processing, and controlling meters, crossovers, filters and EQ, the centralised architecture provides complete flexibility, in which any input can be routed to any output without confusion.’

To further expand the flexibility of the Core 250i, two Q-Sys I/O Frames aid in routing and controlling audio in the ballroom, a pre-function hospitality area outside the ballroom and a number of nearby meeting rooms. In addition to these, the overhaul of the A/V systems in the Grand Hyatt ballroom included QSC loudspeakers and amplifiers, new stage lighting systems and additional sound reinforcement equipment, all supplied by ASCL. The Grand Hyatt’s hospitality area and meeting rooms feature QSC AD-CI52ST 5.25-inch ceiling speakers, driven by QSC CX302V and CX108V amplifiers, while AD-C42T loudspeakers provide audio in the back-of-house areas. All of the loudspeakers integrate seamlessly with Q-Sys.

‘We needed something simple but powerful,’ explains a representative of the management at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. ‘Q-Sys was the only solution that met these criteria.’

More: http://qsc.com


With both its indoor and outdoor pool areas as well as general communal spaces addressed by a new audio system, the popular Álftaneslaug swimming pool in Garðabær, Iceland, has become the latest exercise and relaxation destination to use a Symetrix processing system.

Álftaneslaug The installation – which was designed by Bjarni Friðriksson in collaboration with Reykjavík-based systems supplier Pfaff hf – uses a Zone Mix 761 fixed-architecture DSP in combination with ARC-SW4e wall panels, for flexible mixing and paging across the multi-zone site.

With a team featuring Sales Manager Bragi Kort, long-term Symetrix user Pfaff hf was also responsible for installing the new equipment: ‘The Zone Mix 761’s plug-and-play design and its high input and output count made this an ideal choice for the project,’ says Kort. ‘Along with the ARC-SW4 wall panels – which provide very straightforward control over source selection and preset triggering – Álftaneslaug now has a highly effective paging configuration covering multiple zones.’

The installation also includes equipment loudspeakers APart Audio, Soundtube and Tannoy, and the Kort reports the pool’s operator is ‘very happy with the easy operation of the system – I think they regard it as idiot proof’.

Increasingly finding its way into theme parks, entertainment venues and other high-density public spaces, the Zone Mix 761 adds ARC-Web browser-based interfacing capability to the functionality of its predecessor, the Zone Mix 760.

‘The 761 is popular because it’s optimised for the specification of zone mixing and paging, and features a beautiful and intuitive user interface,’ says Mark Ullrich, Symetrix International Sales Manager. ‘Year after year, we’re seeing marked growth even with a relatively mature product which really goes to underline the enduring popularity of this solution.’

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Part of London’s Southbank complex, the Topolski Bar & Café has recently completed a refit, including the installation of a Martin Audio AQ loudspeaker system.

Topolski BarCTS Productions carried out the technical upgrade at the venue – previously the studio and gallery of Polish artist Feliks Topolski, whose works are featured throughout. The venue is constructed around the two arches and a smaller more intimate space to the rear, with Martin Audio AQ enclosures specified throughout to ensure comprehensive coverage.

CTS Productions owner, Carl Broadhurst has given each space a different ‘feel’ – Arch 1 features the main system, comprising a pair of Martin Audio AQ10, three AQ8 and five AQ5 for fills, augmented by a single WS218X sub. This room packs a punch, while remaining visually minimal. This area was specified not only to reproduce upbeat background music, but also provide sufficient power for a band and deliver clear audio for the DJs who work the booth.

In Arch 2, the system is more subdued, comprising eight AQ5 with a single AQ212 sub to provide the clean, dynamic music that can ramp up to mid club levels if required. The final space features four AQ5 with a single AQ112 sub to provide a discrete system that is capable of running as an independent space, complete with its own DJ inputs.

Additional inputs are situated in Areas 1 and 3 to accommodate any kind of audio source – from DJs to laptops to bands – while each area has its own BSS Blu-6 remote control to allow local control of input and level. A manager’s touch screen control is located in the rear office space, with a Blu-10, programmed to allow finer controls, full system muting and also an engineer log-in when required.

The system is powered by Martin MA-Q series amps; an MA6.8Q drives the main system, while a pair of MA4.8Q powers all the additional cabinets and another amplifier for the additional channel required to drive the AQ112 sub. All control and processing is handled via a single Soundweb fixed format Blu-100 DSP with a Blu-Bob output expander, programmed and tuned by Carl Broadhurst.

LMC Audio Systems supplied the equipment, with Will Hinkly managing the logistics and ensuring everything arrived on-site at the right times to meet the tight installation schedule. CTS Productions’ installation team of Broadhurst, Tadeusz Zebrowski, Daniel Burt and Matt Rehm fitted the system in four late night shifts to ensure other contractors would be free to work in the same spaces during daylight hours.

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