The right mix
Hotel systems always seem to have an interesting blend of brands chosen to get the best results for the various facilities. While all manufacturers would like to own the signal chain in an installation, the truth is that this rarely happens. Consultants and system designers have their own preferences for the equipment they like to specify and tend to select certain products which they have confidence in for each part of the project.
This ensures that the life of a systems integrator is never dull. While the challenges faced and the facilities that are being installed can regularly be very similar, it is often the case that integrators get to work with a real variety of equipment.
The recently opened Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach certainly fits into this category. The system was designed by Zahid Abbas Mir of Dubai-based consultancy Mediatech Design Group (MDG) and installed by local systems integrator Omnix Promedia in an 18-month plus project.
Omnix has developed a reputation for delivering large-scale projects such as this having installed a number of Dubai’s high-profile hotels. As such, it is not a surprise to see it enlisted for multiple systems at the Four Seasons. ‘Omnix have undertaken the installation of various ELV systems, we took the complete ELV package on this project,’ explains ELV project manager Tom Beatty. ‘With my team, we installed, integrated, tested and commissioned the digital signage, the A/V, the BGM, the structured cabling network – fibre and Cat-6, and the security systems – access control and CCTV.’
The equipment list for the BGM, A/V and DIDS elements of the project shows a system that has been designed with the different needs of each space clearly in mind. From the ballroom to the rooftop bar and the meeting rooms to the hotel-wide BGM, each component has been selected to meet specific needs – even the swimming pools feature their own dedicated Electro-Voice UW-30 underwater speakers.
The biggest system to consider is the hotel wide BGM. The BGM distributed throughout the hotel is achieved with 10 major A/V rack locations, with multiple A/V racks in many cases, around the hotel each featuring largely similar equipment. The backbone of the system is the digital signal processing from BSS and a PC based digital audio system. This streams eight individually designed audio channels via primary and secondary CobraNet on the BSS Blu equipment to ensure redundancy and continuity in the unlikely event of network cabling issues. Each zone features either a Blu 80 or Blu 800 DSP as well as a variety of input and output cards. Staying with the Harman brands, another common feature is the Crown amplifiers running through the BGM zones. The manufacturer’s CTS 4200 A and CTS 8200 A amplifiers can be found in each of the rack rooms spread around the property.
Completing the BGM system are the loudspeakers, which in the majority are from Electro-Voice. Evid C4.2 and C8.2 ceiling speakers are a common sight throughout the hotel, as are the manufacturer’s Evid 10.1 ceiling mounted subs and external Evid 4.2T weatherproof wall mounted speakers. The only area where this differs is around the pools. These have the added benefit of the EV underwater speakers plus Bose Free Space 360P II in-ground external weatherproof loudspeakers.
The spa features its own BGM system, again with a PC based digital audio server streaming eight individual channels of audio throughout the Spa. Several individual local inputs and a Pioneer multi CD player complete the input sources. Processing is again courtesy of BSS, this time in the form of a pair of Blu 160 DSPs while user control is offered by AMX touch screens. Speakers are again Evid C4.2 in the washrooms and 8.2 ceiling speakers as the main solution with power from Crown CTS 8200 A and CDi1000 amplifiers.
Away from the BGM, the rooftop bar sees a completely different style of setup. ‘MDG’s design has it as the hotel’s main nightspot,’ states Mr Mir. Understandably the focus here shifts to put music in the foreground. The bar system is centred on the DJ. A pair of Pioneer CDJ-2000 players and a DJM-2000 Nexus mixer supply the venue’s Meyer Sound solution. Twenty Meyer Sound MM-4XP speakers are joined by 18 UP-4XP and are controlled via a Galileo 616 processor. A pair of KRK RP 8 G2 monitors complete the setup.
A completely different style of system has been installed for the more business focused meeting rooms, boardroom, training rooms and business centre. The meeting rooms all feature Infocus projectors and Draper screens with Extron XTP handling the video over Cat-6 cabling. On the audio side, Electro-Voice Evid 8.2 celling speakers are again put to use as are a variety of Shure microphone options and the familiar BSS processing. As with the spa system, user control is courtesy of AMX.
Perhaps the most eye-catching part of the project has been the ballroom installation. Here Renkus-Heinz ICX7 line array speakers form the main system, supported by Evid 8.2 and 10.1 ceiling speakers.
‘The Renkus-Heinz ICX7 were consultant specified. Mediatech Design Group specified these as line arrays for the programme audio,’ explains Mr Beatty. ‘The ICX7s are a good piece of kit. It is not a product historically Omnix would normally install but they worked very well. The ICX7s were, installed in their designated positions and aligned as required. The consultant-based design placed them either side of the main screen which allows the ICX7s to target the audience and fill the areas accordingly, depending on ballroom configuration.’
The dividable room also features numerous wall panels and AMX control panels. ‘We have inputs and outputs on wall facility panels, floor boxes and niches throughout the ballroom and similarly in the meeting rooms for ins and outs to patch back to the main control rooms,’ explains the project manager. ‘Additionally the Ballroom combines three projectors depending on the ballroom configuration. The ballroom is divisible to allow flexibility for guest use, the two side projectors are Infocus and the main projector is a Christie L2K1000. Canford meeting in progress lights are positioned outside the ballroom, controlled by the AMX control panel, which inform BOH staff of occupancy.’
The ballroom has its own separate control room featuring Extron XTP CrossPoint matrix switchers, Samsung screens, BSS processing and KRK monitors. ‘Omnix installed a Soundcraft 32-channel Si Compact audio desk for the ballroom,’ adds Mr Beatty. ‘This operates as a mixing station in the ballroom control room for live music or presentations.’
With other spaces such as the lobby bar, children’s area and staff canteen also covered, as well as the FWI DIDS system with Samsung digital signage monitors and a number of portable JBL systems provided, this has been a large and varied job for Omnix. However, Mr Beatty insists the challenges the SI has faced are fairly standard.
It is clear that each individual element of the system at the Four Seasons has been considered to meet the specific needs of each space. While that means that there was a variety of different brands for Omnix to install, it also leads to a holistic BGM, AV and DIDS solution where these elements combine to ensure the best end results for the client.