How the Right Sound System Brought a Storytelling Experience to Chasing Rabbits

The arcade, lit up in 80s neon flare, at Chasing Rabbits in Vail, CO.
(Image credit: 1 SOUND)

Chasing Rabbits is a nightlife and entertainment venue in Vail, CO.  The 13,000-square-foot concept comprises four spaces—the Restaurant; the Library; Moon Rabbit, an intimate speakeasy cocktail bar featuring live jazz and international DJs; and Rabbit Hole a sophisticated arcade with karaoke during the week and DJs on the weekends. Anthem Productions was contracted to take on the entire venue’s installed audio integration and chose 1 SOUND for all of the rooms.

The maze-like interior makes it seem as if you are chasing the renowned hopper down the rabbit hole, moving from one distinct experience to another. The Restaurant utilized the smallest model in the Cannon Series, the C4i which has a 4-inch coaxial and is special for its extended low-frequency down to 100 Hz with high-fidelity sound quality. The C4i’s were distributed throughout the restaurant utilizing the C-Clamp to mount to the walls and ceilings. For bass, 1 SOUND’s Floor Subwoofer FSUB45’s, were distributed underneath the booths, resulting in a consistent distributed sound design and hidden subwoofers for easy listening in the space.

The Library, a more elevated dining room for special reservations or versatile space used for private events, utilized Cannon C4is and Tower LCC44 because of their controlled narrow on the vertical but wide horizontal dispersion pattern and also because of their SPL output in the case of private parties. These loudspeakers were hidden on the bookshelves in the room. SUB310s were used for bass coverage.

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Moon Rabbit, a sophisticated intimate cocktail lounge with weekly live jazz nights and  international DJs, utilized Tower LCC44’s that were mounted and aimed with the Tower Wall Bracket and SUB310s hidden in the room. Chasing Rabbits also invested in a portable Contour System that is used as a PA in Moon Rabbit for DJ performances and that is shared for headlining DJ monitors that perform in Rabbit Hole. 

“From our live jazz nights in the Moon Rabbit to our DJs in the Rabbit Hole, Lou [Mannarino, founder and designer of 1 SOUND] and Angelo [Poulos, CEO of Anthem Productions] have created a uniquely detailed integration concept for an emotional audiophile experience that inspires our guests and musical artists,” said Todd Scheurich, director of AV and IT for the Solaris Plaza, where Chasing Rabbits is located.

As for the Rabbit Hole, the livelier space in Chasing Rabbits that features an arcade, the Solaris Group has gone through a few evolutions discussing with 1 SOUND and Anthem. At first, the goal behind the audio design was to engage a high-energy bar environment focusing on background music and hosting DJ sets.

“Within hours of commissioning and tuning this initial buildout in the Rabbit Hole with Tower LCC44’s and SUB310’s, that instantly set us apart from every business with “music” in the Vail Valley,” stated Scheurich.

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After the quick success of this bar, Anthem and 1 SOUND proposed upgrading the sound system to support hosting bigger parties and to have an impressive system for the newly earned opportunity to host performances by headliner DJs, which they did with Contour CT28s and SUB2112s. When the venue had its first headlining DJ, John Summit, book to perform, Anthem made sure to level up the DJ monitors to a portable CT28 and SUB215 Contour system, in the expectation that this wouldn’t be the last big event. This portable system doubles in the cocktail lounge, Moon Rabbit.

The main challenge in designing the audio for Chasing Rabbits was due to the four main rooms all having independent feels and goals while being situated close in proximity to each other and being connected by short hallways that were meant to transition an attendee into each new space. The audio design had to consider the positioning of loudspeakers and their dispersion patterns so that unwanted sound didn’t bleed into outside spaces as well as their sonic quality and tonality to create a smooth transition as attendees are likely to experience more than one space in a night. Anthem and 1 SOUND even spent time doing acoustical measurements and designing for the auditory experience of people walking through the hallways that were meant to transition people into each space.

“Angelo has the innate ability to foresee ownership expectations and explain the technical integration details that developers and designers do not visually or conceptually understand when building an entertainment venue dedicated to an auditory experience,” said Scheurich, “Integrating world-class audiophile technology and one-off entertainment architecture is the hardest concept to coordinate with designers and architects. We have been able to push through those detailed design evolutions with Rockwell, 1 SOUND, and Anthem.” 

The overall success is due in part to the open communication and collaboration between all parties during the design process and even after, enabling the most intentional experience for visitors, “I find myself giving a storytelling tour to guests and artists surrounding the 1 SOUND platform and how each room in the venue was crafted for specific audio engagement to the soul,” concluded Scheurich.

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.