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Neighborly Sound

Neighborly Sound

New System Helps Waterfront Venue Keep the Sound off the Water


Community WET W2-2W8 two-way loudspeakers and Community Wet W2-112 Subs installed in the outdoor areas are strategically aimed to contain the sound and direct it inward.

CHESAPEAKE CITY, MD—For more than a decade, the Chesapeake Inn has been a favorite spot for celebrating weddings, graduations, and other memorable events. Its breathtaking, windswept views of the bay provide the perfect backdrop for good food, good friends, and good times. But the Inn’s waterfront location presented an ongoing challenge to their ability to be good neighbors—with the sound reflecting off the water, they received some complaints from homes in the area.

The multi-room facility includes an outdoor deck and Tiki Bar, both of which are quite popular during warmer months. But as design consultant Mike Rapp of Bear, DE-based Sound Solutions explained, sonic issues arose even with many of the more reserved parties.

“For the most part, they only had smaller two and three piece combos playing outside, while the larger and louder bands played indoors, with the music piped outside via the sound system,” he said. “But there are a number of homes just across the narrow channel, and the reflections off the water would actually make the sound seem even louder. They were forced to keep the volume down on the deck to a point where the music just wasn’t enjoyable anymore.”

Rapp’s recommendations included a total of 14 Community WET W2-2W8 two-way loudspeakers and four Community Wet W2-112 Subs for the outdoor areas, strategically aimed to contain the sound and direct it inward. “The WET-Series loudspeakers offered a tight enough focus that we were able to point them in certain directions to keep the sound off the water,” he said.

While the weather resistance of the WET Series was also a factor, Rapp points to their performance as foremost in their selection. “Needless to say, we wanted something that would stand up to the elements, but the sound of the WET Series is just great—very musical, with a lot of punch and good dynamic range. We were able to reduce the outdoor overall volume by 8db and improve the clarity at the same time.” Rapp added that stellar support from Community really helped to seal the deal.

QSC amplification powers the system, and an Allen & Heath GL2800 32-channel console handles the mix. “The GL2800 is flexible enough to handle any band that comes through there, and compact enough to fit into their FOH mix area with room to spare,” Rapp said. Presonus ACP88 compressors, dbx room EQ, and Lexicon reverb fill out the racks. Sennheiser wireless mics complete the signal path.

Inside the restaurant, a series of six Community iBOX i2W8 two-way systems create a party environment for DJ and live music performances. “The indoor system’s pretty powerful,” Rapp observed. “It’s more of an afterhours type of atmosphere, and we had a bit more freedom in terms of not having to worry as much about disturbing the neighbors.”

Rapp reported that the client is more than pleased with the results of both the indoor and outdoor systems. “The coverage is great,” he said. “You can hear the music from pretty much anywhere on the property, and it sounds good no matter where you’re sitting. Now you can actually hear the difference between the good bands and the bad ones.”