Systems integrator Alchemy Sound & Vision outfitted Minneapolis bar and venue Pourhouse Uptown with a complete networked audio and lighting system by HARMAN Professional Solutions.
First opened in downtown Minneapolis in 2012, Pourhouse offers an atmosphere that combines live bands, DJ dance parties, and screenings of major sports games. With its recent opening of Pourhouse Uptown, there are now three Pourhouse locations in the Minneapolis area. In order to facilitate a range of entertainment and ensure consistent performance across all locations, Pourhouse hired local systems integrator Alchemy Sound & Vision to install a networked audio and lighting system in their recently opened uptown facility. Alchemy selected a range of JBL speakers, Crown amplification, BSS audio processing and Martin lighting solutions to provide Pourhouse Uptown with audio, immersive lighting, and intuitive system control.
“The owners loved the HARMAN Professional systems we installed at the first two Pourhouse locations, and they specifically asked us to use the same JBL speakers and Martin fixtures at Pourhouse Uptown,” said Andrew Stewart, project lead and sound system designer, Alchemy Sound & Vision. “The house bands and DJ rotate performances between all three locations, so it’s critical that each system operates the same from venue to venue. As a company, we strive to provide well-thought-out systems with a focus on the user control experience. There’s no way we could provide a system with this level of quality and control without HARMAN products.”
One of the biggest challenges the Alchemy team faced was distributing powerful sound throughout the venue without disturbing residents in condos above the venue. The HARMAN system at Pourhouse Uptown features two JBL PD6322/95 precision three-way speakers and two JBL STX828S dual 18-inch subwoofers. Alchemy also included six JBL AC299 and four AC895 compact two-way loudspeakers to deliver uniform clarity and coverage to the far side of the room and balcony level.
Crown CDi DriveCore Series, DCi DriveCore Install Series and MacroTech I Series amplifiers supply transparent and reliable power to the entire system. Stewart utilized the built-in all-pass filters on the CDi Series amps to match the phase response of the AC299 and AC895 fill speakers to the mains, delivering consistent balance and tonality throughout the venue. This combination of speaker selection, placement, and tuning provides a powerful and focused audio experience for the audience without bothering the upstairs neighbors.
“The owners wanted big, bold and powerful audio coverage, but not so loud it upsets the residents above the venue,” said Stewart. “The JBL PD6322/95 speakers allowed us to find a perfect compromise and deliver adequate coverage in a controlled manner—it’s a really great sounding box. We used JBL AC299 speakers as balcony fills, which are rock-solid and provide excellent 90 by 90-degree coverage. I used the Crown CDi DriveCore amplifiers built-in processing to delay and augment the phase response of the speakers. I’m really proud of the sound quality we were able to produce with this HARMAN system.”
For stage lighting, Alchemy installed a range of Martin lighting fixtures, including the new RUSH MH 10 Beam FX, to deliver high-intensity lighting on the stage. The team also included a Martin Magnum 2500 Hazer, THRILL Mini Profile and Compact PAR 64 fixtures.
“We were excited to finally get our hands on the new Martin RUSH MH 10 Beam FX fixtures,” said Stewart. “They’re really unique looking fixtures, so we put them right up front for everyone to see. I love that they can spin a full 360 degrees without stopping. The THRILL Mini Profile and Compact PAR 64 are both ten times better than any other fixtures in their price range.”
Alchemy’s goal was to supply Pourhouse with a completely integrated and networked system that would deliver an optimized audio experience in a range of scenarios without requiring a trained technician to operate during all open hours. To achieve this, Alchemy designed the system around the BSS Soundweb London BLU-100 signal processor to provide simple network control over all audio inputs and system volume. This allows Pourhouse staff to easily switch between audio signals from satellite radio, the DJ booth or live band stage. Alchemy also included a BSS BLU-BOB1 break-out box to provide additional analog outputs to the JBL speakers.