Ft Myers, FL - August 2014... In a career that spans three decades, actor Jim Belushi has appeared in countless movies and television shows, including his hit ABC comedy According to Jim. What many fans may not know is that he has achieved success in another comedic role: that of club owner. The Comedy Bar, Belushi’s club in Chicago, is a popular spot for both tourists and locals alike.
Recently, Belushi got a chance to reprise his role as club owner when his cousin, Chris Karakosta, approached him about becoming a partner in a new restaurant he was opening in Fort Myers, Florida.
“I’d always liked the [Fort Myers] area,” says Belushi. “Then Chris told me the best part: The restaurant was opening in what used to be one of the biggest Irish pubs he'd ever seen. Two floors!” Soon after, Belushi’s Comedy Club, Fort Myers, opened its doors on the second floor above the Tilted Kilt restaurant.
Belushi is also a singer and musician with a demanding ear for superior live sound. His group The Sacred Hearts is the official house band for the House of Blues chain. Not surprisingly, as Belushi’s Comedy Club took shape as a venue where both comedy and live music would be performed, Belushi’s musical heritage influenced his demand that the club have the highest quality audio system anywhere — one versatile enough to handle live comedy, as well as musical performances.
To meet those demands, the club turned to Cape Coral, Florida, consultants Creative Sound and Lighting Solutions. After speaking with the owners regarding their live-sound requirements, Creative Sound and Lighting owner Tony Flammia recommended a PreSonus StudioLive™ AI-series Active Integration™ system for the house sound, including two StudioLive 328AI loudspeakers for the mains, one StudioLive 18sAI subwoofer, and a StudioLive 16.4.2AI 16-channel digital mixing system as the hub for sound throughout the venue.
“Because the 328AI is such a nice slim box, it doesn’t need a lot of space,” says Flammia. “We took the 328s and mounted them sideways and then rotated the horn, rotated the center.”
The StudioLive 16.4.2AI mixer enabled Flammia to set up various zones within the venue and time-align the system to seamlessly integrate them. “The unique thing about this installation is they’ve got the mains, ceiling speakers, a VIP room, and an outdoor area,” says Flammia. “We’ve time-aligned all the different areas of the venue to work alongside the mains. Everything is three milliseconds behind the mains. Your brain tells you that the source is coming from the stage. As the [sound from the] mains comes out, you don’t hear any reflections, even in the bathrooms. All the subgroups are actually set up as zones. The DSP inside the StudioLive AI-series mixer enables us to achieve this level of control.”
The StudioLive 16.4.2AI mixer’s wireless networking capabilities enable Belushi’s house engineer and guest engineers for the venue’s live bands to move around the facility while controlling all setup, tuning, and monitoring functions of the venue’s sound components using an iPad® or laptop. “The really cool thing about this project is the fact that when there is a comedy act, the sound guys literally are sitting there with their iPad,” says Flammia. “They have control over the background music for intros and outros and full control over the comedian’s vocal, and they can actually bring the main speakers up or down, the ceiling speakers, the VIP room, even the bathroom speakers. And because of the time-delay setup, it sounds like one source throughout the entire building.”
If the initial reviews of Belushi’s Comedy Club are any indication, the multi-talented performer has another hit on his hands, with the help of PreSonus’ StudioLive AI Active Integration system. Flammia concludes, “The system sounds great. It is punchy. Aesthetically there is no other speaker that we could have done this installation with that offers the same effect within that price range.”
Founded in 1995, PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc., is a leading designer and manufacturer of audio-recording and live-sound software, hardware, and related accessories. PreSonus's software, microphone preamps, signal processors, digital audio interfaces, digital mixers, control surfaces, loudspeakers, and other products are used worldwide for recording, sound reinforcement, broadcast, sound design, and Internet audio.