LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 2010: Located in the San Fernando Valley on the northern edge of Los Angeles, the Warner Center Marriott has been catering a wide range of events – including corporate meetings, Hollywood parties, large galas, sweet sixteens and weddings – in its 11,000 square-foot, 1,500-seat ballroom for quite some time. The space is extremely flexible and, with the capacity to subdivide into ten smaller meeting rooms, can be configured up to twenty different ways to meet the needs of any particular event. But for over a decade, the hotel had suffered with a ballroom sound system that was not nearly so flexible, ever-threatening embarrassing technical glitches unbecoming of so posh a setting. Fed up, the Warner Center Marriott cut its losses and replaced the uncooperative system with an exceptionally versatile and utterly intuitive sound system centered on Symetrix’ SymNet open-architecture DSP and Symetrix wall panels.
Marriott hired national powerhouse KVL Audio Visual Services to design and install the replacement system, relying on KVL’s thirty-plus years in the business working with corporations, trade shows, and conventions, as well as the hotels – such as Warner Center Marriott – that host these events! KVL design engineer, Virgil Reyes, oversaw the project, taking care to understand the frustrations of the hotel management and staff with the old system and their hopes for the new system. Those aspirations boiled down to a simple plea for a system that works reliably and intuitively: easy to imagine for the user, but potentially challenging to implement for the designer!
The global inputs to the system didn’t change much: a CD player, an MP3 player, and a decoder unit for the hotel’s subscription background music service reside in a head-end rack. But now each of the ten potential meeting rooms contains multiple microphone- and line-level inputs for voice reinforcement and device (e.g. computer) amplification. Two SymNet 8×8 DSP units buttressed by four SymNet BreakIn12 units provide a total of 64 inputs and ample DSP horsepower to provide input conditioning, routing logic, and output conditioning.
“We had a total of twenty different room configurations, and each of them needed different equalization and dynamics settings,” said Reyes. “The capacity to do that comfortably and at a reasonable price were important considerations in selecting SymNet.” Symetrix’ long history of building effective auto-mixing algorithms has culminated in the best-of-the-best in its SymNet DSP set. KVL used this extensively to allow all line and mic inputs to be available at all times without running the risk of annoyingly low or dangerously loud inputs compromising the smooth flow of an event. Limiters protect the amps and speakers from overzealous operators and yet still give the system plenty of gain and power.
Users select room combinations, input sources, and output volume using each of ten SymNet ARC-2 wall panels located at each of the ten potential meeting rooms. Its simple menu, up and down buttons, combined with its installer-configurable, eight-character backlit readout makes operation intuitive and trainings for day-to-day use unnecessary. Two QSC CX204V four-channel amps and one QSC CX304V two-channel amp together deliver a channel to each of the ten spaces. Sixty-six Atlas Sound FAP62T ceiling-mounted coaxial speakers reproduce the processed inputs with convincing transparency.
“SymNet allows us to recall presets that we built for previous projects, making settings such as equalization, input counts, etc. instantly up and active,” recalled Reyes. “In the end SymNet easily gave us the processing power and flexibility to make the audio system as versatile as the meeting space itself.”
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PHOTO CAPTION KVL Audio Visual Services selected Symetrix SymNet DSP and Symetrix wall panels to handle the L.A. Warner Center Marriott’s 11,000 square-ft. ballroom to deliver flexible audio when the room is subdivided into multiple meeting and/or banquet configurations.