Setting boundaries

Setting boundaries

Published: ASIA

The Miranda Hotel recently completed an A$3 million renovation, and its outdoor bar and nightclub needed to adhere to strict noise restrictions. Alice Gustafson reports

Nestled within the Sutherland Shire area in New South Wales, and boasting the results of a recent A$3 million renovation is the newly refurbished Miranda Hotel. Aiming to entice more guests to its premises, the hotel re-opened with a new outdoor garden cocktail bar – laden with brightly coloured booths and a fully retractable roof – as well as a totally refurbished Carmen’s Nightclub. The latter can be hired out as anything from a private nightclub, a presentation dinner space, or a venue for a cabaret show. In addition, it fulfils its nightclub duties every Saturday night with a range of top DJs taking to the decks.

Naturally, the hotel was keen to invest in a powerful and flexible sound reinforcement system to accommodate its multiple functions. But due to noise complaints received from its neighbours in the past, the client was insistent upon obtaining a solution that would contain the audio without compromising the performance.

‘Two years ago the Miranda Hotel was under threat from the council as local residents were complaining regarding the excessive noise,’ explains Rod McKinnon from local Harman distributor Jands. ‘So Jands recommended a solution, which was then executed by Compact Monitor Systems Australia. We have worked together on many varied projects, and have found the synergy of our products, design solutions and support, combined with the outstanding execution by Compact Monitor Systems, to present a cost effective and high value proposition for our customers.’

Compact Monitor Systems Australia was subsequently commissioned to design and install a new audio system throughout the venue, opting for a JBL speaker solution. Having been affiliated with the speaker brand since the 1970s, Compact Monitor Systems Australia’s choice was an easy one.

Various factors, including the noise complaints meant that Carmen’s nightclub proved to be particularly challenging for the audio team. However, close liaisons between the builder, Infinity, and an acoustic consultant resulted in acceptable sound proofing for the venue.

‘The venue is adjacent to a large retail shopping centre as well as residential apartments,’ comments Bill Richardson, managing director of Compact Monitor Systems Australia. ‘The regulations by the local government authority vary depending on the time of day. With the renovation project, the venue had significant boundary noise restrictions put in place by the local council. We had to design and construct a leading edge audio system capable of catering for all the hotel’s requirements, while working with the architects and designers on containing all of the ambient noise within the venue,’ he reflects.

The team needed to work together to create a system that would accommodate live bands, a nightclub, a DJ, and Sunday afternoon beer garden patrons – whilst keeping the neighbours happy. 

Acting as a consultant for the project, the design and construct A/V company prepared a brief for the tender, and found that Harman brands were the only choice for the client. ‘Some of the tenders received specified other brands, but the only tenders considered featured JBL, Crown and BSS control,’ states Mr Richardson.

‘The primary concern was containing the audio without compromising the performance of the audio system,’ he elaborates. ‘Meanwhile, the roof angle was high at the stage end, about 2m lower at the opposite end of the venue. In addition, the weight limitations were quite restrictive. Our design dictated four flown clusters of JBL line array cabinets. Ideally, we wanted these all at identical heights, angles, and distance from listeners’ ears.’

Stacks of three JBL VRX constant curvature line arrays were hung in each corner of the venue. ‘The acoustic consultant asked me what I wanted the reverb time in the room to be, and I answered, “zero”,’ he asserts. ‘I asked them to make it as dead as possible, and then we’d control what came out of the speaker boxes. Each stack gives us 45-degrees of coverage in the vertical and 100-degrees in the horizontal. It basically does everything it is supposed to do!’

Meanwhile, three JBL ASB6125 dual-15-inch subwoofers, configured in 2.6-ohm resistance, were installed under the stage in a centre cluster. ‘The coupling we get out of the three boxes is incredible,’ enthuses Mr Richardson. ‘We configured it using the control system so that we have several modes. The DJ mode is fairly obvious with two-way stereo, but when a band is onstage the rear boxes get turned off and the subs get wound back to match the top boxes, and you have a normal band PA. Plus it’s very simple to switch between the two via the DJ’s touch screen.’

Two BSS Blu-100 12 x 8 processors were chosen for audio control and signal processing. One acts as the signal processor for the main PA in the nightclub, and the other as DSP and control for the balance of the venue.

‘The entire signal processing is done using this box,’ points out Mr Richardson. ‘There is little or no interface for the visiting users of the system other than what is presented on their mixing consoles. This provides full protection and maintains the integrity of the audio system – no matter who is using it.’

In addition, 17 JBL Control 24CT in-ceiling speakers are used in the bar, TAB, and dining audio zones, while 10 of the more powerful Control 47LPs and two Control 40CST subwoofers are used in the VIP area.

‘The client had a bad experience with the former ceiling speakers in the VIP area as they were too light and too few for the job,’ Mr Richardson elaborates. ‘However, I convinced them that we could get it right. The ceiling is pretty low so we had to have good distributed audio, and the end result with the Control 47LP speakers was great.’

The revitalisation of any venue is vastly dependant on the quality and ease of use of the sound system and other technologies. With the audio quality taken care of, Compact Monitor Systems Australia promptly installed a remote management system, allowing staff to operate all of the A/V systems from an iPad.

‘The client was thrilled,’ smiles Mr Richardson. ‘They love the results and subsequently have hired Compact on other projects. We were extremely pleased with the results and the client couldn’t be happier. It’s a great venue, it appeals to multiple demographics, and they have had an excellent result with the renovation.’

Mr Richardson is equally enthusiastic about Compact Monitor Systems Australia’s long-standing working relationship with Jands, citing that the relationship is ‘more than supplier – it really is a partnership. We have been working with Jands for almost 20 years and the synergy couldn’t be better. Jands want to work with professionals that deliver excellent results and showcase their products in the best possible light in our industry and marketplace. Compact is that partner. It helps that they represent the best audio products in the world, and I love those very same products,’ he concludes.

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