DSP Opens Doors At Cuba Libre

In the Quarter at Tropicana, the newest dining, entertainment and shopping addition to the luxurious Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, NJ, an almost constant flurry of activity is par for the course. The theme that ties everything together is all the unique sights, sounds and flavors that distinguish the nonstop, "wide-open" era of 1950s Old Havana, Cuba.

The Quarter's anchor is the Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar. After dinner hours on weekend nights, it is transformed into an entertainment venue pulsating with the sounds of Latin music, complete with salsa dancing, DJs and dazzling floorshows.

While the brawn of the system may reside in powerful loudspeakers and amplifiers, its brains and finesse reside in SymNet, a modular digital audio mixing, routing and processing system from Symetrix.
With Symetrix's new SymNet Express, a scaled-down version of the company's SymNet product, Cuba Libre is transformed into a multi-zoned venue in which multiple audio sources can be readily directed to different areas as needed, and easily controlled via user-friendly, remote-control interfaces. Moreover, the extension of SymNet to the Quarter's newest venue, an upscale lounge dubbed 32°, will allow both properties to share the audio excitement that originate in both, providing a seamless linkage between the two.
SymNet was tapped for the job of managing a big part of the Quarter's audio by Powerhouse Sound, a Cherry Hill, NJ-based systems integrator. Scott Kemly, principal of the firm, said SymNet Express was the right choice because of its user-friendliness, functionality and its ability to be easily networked via CobraNet, a system for routing audio over an Ethernet connection. The latter capability makes the audio link between Cuba Libre and 32° possible.

With two DJ stations and two bar areas-one on each level-as well as a main dining area that's transformed into a dance floor on weekend nights, and areas that can be sealed off for special events such as corporate meetings, Cuba Libre can quickly become a demanding audio environment. To manage it, Powerhouse Sound split the facility up into 10 distinct audio zones spread over two floors, and specified two SymNet units-an Express 8x8 Cobra and an Express 4x12 Cobra-to manage the complex task of mixing, processing and routing audio from sources such as DMX programmed music, a CD changer, and a wireless microphone system used in live entertainment or meeting settings.

"With all of the zones, we needed more outputs than inputs, and that dictated our choice of the 4x12 and the 8x8," Kemly said.

In each of the 10 zones, an Adaptive Remote Control (ARC) unit included with the SymNet package, provides ready control over audio volume. Housed in easily accessible areas like behind bars, at hostess stations and at DJ booths, the ARCs allow staff to change volume as needed. The main SymNet units, however, provide some of the key volume control over the DMX system.

"The Automatic Gain Control feature of SymNet comes in handy with the pre-programmed Cuban music, all of which can come in at different volume levels," Kemly explained. "The system also offers presets that enable the programmed music sources to be changed throughout the day at specified times."

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