"A multi-million pound upgrade of the former Abercorn Arms public house in Stanmore has given owners, Red Klove, a luxurious bar/restaurant, serving up top quality pan-Indian cuisine and end-to-end audio visual entertainment. At the hub of its audio are multiples of JBL ceiling speakers and a BSS Soundweb London digital matrix. The design and installation was undertaken by The Sound Division Group.
The venue has been designed into nine zones, with a lounge and circular bar at front of house, a 280-cover restaurant at the rear, a separate 120-cover banqueting area upstairs and two glass encased private VIP dining areas.
The fit-out meets the owner’s requirement for cutting edge audio and visual technology to route multiple sources — all accessed from a large, cleverly designed (and extremely intuitive) GUI. Designed in Harman’s London Architect the 19” Samsung touch screen — which even allows for onscreen EQ adjustment — is mimicked up in the manager’s office on the second floor.
Sound Division’s task was to ensure that the BSS Audio environment interfaced with the Kramer HDMI video matrix switcher via serial command.
“BSS and Kramer provided most of the design support and I worked out how to integrate the two, making it work as one system in the simplest and most cost-effective way possible,” said Sound Division’s network engineer Dean Osborne. “Kramer provided all serial codes for each command, and these were dialed in as a parameter preset in Soundweb.”
Having worked with the BSS platform for many years, he believes, “Soundweb London does so much more than the original Green boxes. Whereas you would once tend to run out of processing power, with Soundweb London BLU you are never likely to hit that brick wall. It has four times the power, and a lot of the processing objects are more efficient.”
At The Abercorn, two Soundweb London BLU-100 fixed 12-in/8-out digital DSP’s interface with two 6-way HDMI switchers to provide all zoning, EQ, presets and system protection — with a series of BLU-BOB and BLU-BIB I/O expanders increasing the size of the audio matrix in the most cost-effective manner.
The system being protected is largely a JBL Control distributed 100V (and low-voltage) ceiling speaker set-up. The brief to David Graham’s team was that the loudspeakers should be unobtrusive — and recessed white cans into a white background is about as invisible as you can get. Playlists programmed by 8-Track Music Solutions are pumped around the venue, evenly and transparently.
In the front lounge this comprises largely of JBL Control 24CT Micro Plus and 26CT, with further multiples of Control 24CT Micro Plus (and Control 24CT) in the main restaurant and a similar solution in the two private dining booths. The added bonus for private guests in the VIP booths is the local BLU-3 wall controller which allows them to manage their own level control locally.
The function room and ancillary areas upstairs (including a self-contained private bar) adopt a similar approach (with additional JBL Control 19CS 8in bass ceiling speakers providing some low-frequency extension for private clients bringing their own music). At the food dispense area there is also a BSS Soundweb London BLU-8 for local source select and level control of the upstairs private bar and banqueting suite.
The visual stimulus has been given equal priority. With retractable drop-down screens (including 3D capability), the latest LED thin plasma screens, HDMI cabling over Cat6 at the top end to VGA for simple computer presentations, David Graham’s team has thought of every eventuality. And for the private banqueting suite the company has provided iPod and DJ plug-in facilities as well as a portable PA system for live entertainment.
“Sound Division have done an excellent job and have been very responsive,” stated owner, Mitul. “I knew what I wanted in the way of signal sources and David Graham’s project designer worked out the system that I needed. The GUI is fantastic — a lot of work has clearly gone into it but it’s easy to operate.”"