21 January 2013, NORTHRIDGE, California
In a unique and compelling installation, World of Beer, Inc., a national franchise that offers craft beers and live music in a casual setting, decided to go all out in supporting its live entertainment by equipping its Arlington, Virginia location and corporate headquarters with all-HARMAN audio systems that include JBL, Crown, BSS Audio, Soundcraft and AKG products. Orlando, Florida-based American Audio Visual (AAV) performed the installation.
The system had to be high-performance yet cost-effective. It was also critical that it would be easy to use by the tavern’s staff without having to bring in an outside audio engineer every time they had live music. Finally, it also needed to be able to easily transition from background music to live music, sometimes more than once a day. The system, once accepted, would be adopted as the standard sound reinforcement system for all World of Beer franchises moving forward.
“We worked closely with our rep Jason Bethune of Dobbs Stanford to propose an all-HARMAN system,” explained Sean Reish, Director, Capital Projects for AAV. “World of Beer had been working with different companies and vendors previously, and a big part of winning the bid was that HARMAN was the only company that offered everything from microphones to loudspeakers in a system that met their requirements and was also flexible enough to adapt to the needs of individual locations.”
“For the Arlington location we went with two JBL PRX415M 2-way 15-inch speakers flown above the stage because they’re unobtrusive yet deliver plenty of volume, and their 90 x 50-degree coverage is ideal for this type of space,” Reish said. The system also includes a JBL PRX418S subwoofer and a pair of JBL JRX112M loudspeakers serve as stage monitors. Thirteen JBL Control 65 P/T pendant speakers cover the main tavern area and four Control 26CT ceiling speakers cover the VIP section, all on a 70-volt background music distributed audio system. Crown DSi 4000 and DSi 2000 amplifiers power the main speakers, subwoofer and stage monitors, with a Crown CTs 4200 for the distributed audio system.
The live sound console is a Soundcraft GB-2R 16 compact 16-channel analog board. “We chose the GB-2R 16 because it had the right combination of features at the right price point,” Reish added. “We didn’t want to go digital just yet, and the GB-2R 16 is perfect for the size of the venue, the performers that come in and the board is also easy to use for people who aren’t professional sound mixers.” House mics are AKG, including a WMS 470 wireless microphone system.
A BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-100 processor provides system control, in conjunction with HARMAN HiQnet London Architect™ software. “The BLU-100 is an open architecture device that lets us scale an audio system to meet the requirements of each particular location and the number of zones it has,” Reish pointed out. “It operates in conjunction with a standardized GUI interface we’ve created that will go in every franchise.”
AAV also has future plans to set up a system as a demonstration and training facility in World of Beer’s Tampa, Florida corporate headquarters and the system is standardized down to the touch panel interface. “Managers and employees will be able to come in, learn the system and be able to operate it in any franchise,” Reish said.
According to Reisch, HARMAN HiQnet System Architect™ software is the key to setting these systems up consistently in every World of Beer location. “Working with HARMAN, we spent a lot of time getting the system just right, and now we not only have a template for future franchises, but also the ability to monitor and diagnose a system in any World of Beer location and make changes remotely,” Reisch said. “One night a performer in Arlington lost a microphone and were able to reset the EQ, gain structure and routing for a different mic from 2,000 miles away in a couple of minutes while live on the phone.”
“Having a high-quality audio system in each of our locations is central to the experience that our customers have at World of Beer. We are looking to expand aggressively in the next 18 months and having a partner like HARMAN that can provide us with an all-in-one solution at a highly competitive price made it very clear that they are the manufacturer that we want to be working with moving forward,” explained Dave Bearce, Music Program Director, World of Beer Franchising, Inc.