Leeds-based integrator Definition Audio Visual has upgraded the ballroom at the city's Marriott Hotel, adding local control and input options for the installed audio system, in addition to a centralised system located in the control room.
The ballroom is a multi-functional space, which can be used as a single room or divided into three separate rooms –Ambler 1, Ambler 2 and Ambler 3 – with the use of partitions. The division of the room requires the ability to treat the rooms as one single, three separate, or any combination of audio zones, in terms of both audio control and localised inputs of audio sources and radio microphones.
Mark Blackwell of Definition Audio Visual explained: “The existing system provided quite a few limitations. The events team at the Marriott Hotel asked us to integrate with the legacy system as much as we could but also provide additional flexibility for the audio systems and for the radio microphone systems.
“Initially the only way to adjust volume levels, select audio sources or control radio microphone levels was for someone to have to run up to the control room on the next floor. On a day to day basis this was just proving impractical.
“After some consideration”, continued Blackwell, “we decided to install a Cloud DCM-1 audio zone mixer in the main control room and utilised separate DCM-1 wall controllers for each zone of the ballroom. This means that when the ballroom is partitioned off into separate zones, utilising the group functions within the DCM-1 (accessed via the wall controllers), we are able to provide control for individual rooms or groups of rooms.
“Lots of companies lean towards using DSP products and sometimes over-complex solutions, whereas the Cloud DCM-1 provides contractors with ‘user-friendly’ analogue signal paths but with the added flexibility of digital control. The user-interface is also simple to use and this is important for staff at the hotel, as they need to be able to operate the system without referring to a manual”.
“We used Cat5 cabling from the DCM-1 mixer to each of the LE-1 wall input plates and DCM-1 volume controls which allowed us to reduce the installation time required as there was no need to run separate audio cables to each wall input plate.”
“We connected the hotel’s existing Crest amplifiers to newly installed Electrovoice ZX1i loudspeakers and housed a portable Yamaha mixer, CD player and four existing TOA radio microphone systems in a portable rack. This is all plugged directly into the installed house system via the Cloud BE-1 wall input plate located in the ballroom. The Cloud LE-1 Wall Input Plate modules provide localised inputs for laptop/MP3 players”.
Often the hotel hires the ballroom out as a single room for conference events for up to 200 people, but at night this may be required to be used as three individual delegate zones. The newly installed system allows instant flexibility and for the audio system for the room to be configured as the hotel requires. The Group functionality of the DCM-1 allows simple switching from the CDR-1 Remote Wall panels. This allows the staff at the hotel to combine audio zones into a group of zones at the touch of a button and back again.
“We have also localised the control of the radio microphone systems via the portable rack in the ballroom and at the same time provided a much more flexible control system, as users are able to adjust individual volume levels and select audio sources in each zone of the ballroom if required, rather than having to run upstairs,” summarised Blackwell.