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The Big Kahuna

Professional Audio Designs of Milwaukee, WI has created a networked, zoned AV environment with selectable EQ and delay presets for audio at the Kahunaville restaurant in the Kalahari Resort at Wisconsin Dells.

The Kahunaville Restaurant and Bar offers upscale, but informal dining combined with Las Vegas-style entertainment. Professional Audio Designs had the opportunity in this installation to coordinate house background/foreground music and video, as well as dance floor music, into a truly seamless sound environment. "We treated this venue like a performance space," said sound systems designer and consultant, Scott Leonard, one of the principals of Professional Audio Designs. "Juggling bartenders, dancing and singing waitresses, a DJ, and a dance floor-this was not going to be your average restaurant, so we took a different approach to the sound design."

Major manufacturers' equipment woven together in Leonard's system design are: more than 60 Community loudspeakers throughout the restaurant and EAW loudspeakers on the dance floor, powered by eight QSC CX Series amplifiers and running on a Biamp AudiaFLEX digital audio platform and a CobraNet system for digital audio distribution over an ethernet network. A Crestron system and touchpanels provide system integration and interface. In addition, an Altinex MultiTasker AV distribution/switching system was used. Five Sanyo video projectors, a Draper motorized screen at the back of the band stage, and Philips plasmas (five 50-inch and one 42-inch) are the main components of the restaurant's video entertainment system, with all projectors and plasmas individually addressable. Lighting and lighting control was supplied by Main Stage Theatrical Supply.

"Very few people think about the art of creating a space that sounds alive when it's only a half or a quarter full," Leonard noted. "But at the same time, when the place is really full, making it something less than deafening." In the restaurant business, food covers overhead, but the bar is all profit. "When you sit at a bar, you should be in the music. But you should also be able to hear the person next to you, and the bartender should be able to hear your drink order perfectly."

Leonard and Robb Peters, Kahunaville project manager from concept to commissioning, programmed various EQ presets into the restaurant sound system: "Lunch," "Dinner," "Bar Flare" (for the performance occurring nightly behind the bar) and "Night." The "Lunch," "Dinner" and "Night" presets change not only overall volume, but the overall EQ curve, boosting the frequencies that are noise-masked so that patrons experience full-range music reproduction while maintaining voice intelligibility.

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