Concert Sound Applications – Sistrum Apprentice XLPlatforms
Sistrum Apprentice XL Platforms used in a concert reinforcement sound event featuring the band Bonerama at Harlow’s NYC 1/24/2015. Mr. Lundy’s Testimonial is posted below the events description:
Star Sound Technologies partnered with LAW Sound Company of Eastern Pennsylvania as part of an experiment in live sound reproduction at Harlow’s in New York City.
Harlow is a five-star restaurant located in the heart of Manhattan. On occasion, they rent the facility to Wall Street businesses and artists such as Madonna and Bruce Willis for private events. Harlow’s is known for luxurious services, fine food, and a building layout suited for private parties, dancing, and star-studded events.
The restaurant is part of the Lombardy Hotel. The businesses are run separately from each other however the Hotel governs all that goes on within the structure including volume and noise violations.
Like most Manhattan locations, Harlow’s management has problems with loud volume and sound systems. They have been financially fined by the parent hotel for disturbing guests and on many occasions City noise violations that prematurely stopped the entertainment portion of the evenings.
A New York business rented Harlow’s for an event that featured a band privately flown in from New Orleans named Bonerama. The group consisted of three trombones and vocalists upfront, backed by electric guitar, bass tuba, and drums. Not your average brass band or lounge presentation, this band combines the sounds of New Orleans, rock and roll classics coupled with the songs from heavy metal bands such as Led Zeppelin. In other words, a full-blown power-driven concert experience.
From the personal side of music, I got to work with my first bass tuba player in my career. He literally blew bass runs that were previously experienced by some of the finest bass guitar players in music. He was that good and hit notes with a speed and depth that literally blew my shorts off!. I never thought a horn player could replace the bass guitarist. R Maicks – Star Sound President
Star Sound was hired to produce the show and contracted LAW Sound to provide the PA system. Our principal role was to achieve what everyone involved thought was an impossible task of confining the volume to the restaurant and not disrupt hotel business or guests. Enter Sistrum Platforms™ and Live-Vibe Technology™ for the first time managing a state-of-the-art 5,600 watt Meyer concert reinforcement speaker system using a 48channel Yamaha M7cl digital mixing console with a host of outboard audio effects racks coupled with a live powerhouse band to perform in an NYC restaurant environment.
The restaurant is located on the first floor “suspended hardwood flooring” (street level) and has an open basement used for storage. There is a bearing wall separating the hotel lobby from the restaurant with hotel guest rooms located on the second floor immediately above the stage and dance floor area.
The key to maximizing the live concert human experience in any venue (residential or commercial) while simultaneously minimizing collateral vibration and sound pollution throughout the balance of the structure is “control”.
Control lies not within the volume adjustments on the mixer, but rather in successfully transferring resonance caused by vibration into the floor from the loudspeaker array and floor monitors at high speed.
Producing the sound pressure levels associated with a small concert while maintaining the live dynamics of the vocals and instrumentation was paramount; however, limiting the unnecessary transfer of resonant energy into the surrounding structure of this hotel establishment was truly the challenge with which we were tasked. L Highleyman, Star Sound Executive VP, Mechanical Engineer
Hotel management visited with us during stage setup, saw the sound system, and promptly provided us with their opinion “by 11:00 PM the hotel would shut down the band”. This was the largest sound system compared to what the restaurant is normally exposed to, so it was easy to see why management came up with their estimates.
When Mr. Lundy (Harlow production manager) stepped in and showed the hotel manager the Sistrum Platforms stating that these would help with the volume concerns – the hotel manager looked at us and promptly told us “we were crazy”!
We are extremely pleased to state this event was a complete success.
The music room volume was loud, exceeding 100 db which is that of a typical thousand-seat theater concert. The room adjoining the stage was quiet enough to converse in normal voice tones, order drinks at the bar, and relax in the confines of soft furniture whereas the room containing the band was filled with dancing and the partying hardy guests. The band played continuously from 10:30 PM to 1:00 AM without taking a break.
The hotel registered zero complaints from guests and more importantly, no police and no fines for excessive noise volumes were levied against the restaurant.
For the first time, Harlow presented a larger concert type musical production that went the total distance of time. Band members stated the floor monitors continued to gain in volume and quality to the point where they requested lowering the volume three times over the course of the three-hour show. This was totally opposite their experiences working with other sound companies.
The Sistrum Platforms were generating higher levels of operational efficiency over the course of time similar to how they break in and perform in listening rooms and recording studios.
The bass tuba player stated that for the first time in his life he experienced no acoustic feedback from his instrument that used a bell attached microphone pickup and stage amplifier. Much the same response came from the guitarist and bone section.
The FOH sound engineer told us he “was extremely skeptical at first then stated he never experienced such control over the system and his mix before tonight”. It was one of those magical nights where everything from food, service, and music all came together with spectacular results.
Testimonial Letter From Matt Lundy, Events Manager, Harlow 02/14/2015:
Good morning, your assistance with Stephen Sander’s Birthday was above reproach. I was very happy to book Stephen’s event but at the initial point of providing the proposal I was told he was having a fun jazz band from New Orleans.
We have hosted a lot of different events here at Harlow that involved entertainment ranging from DJ’s to 5 piece jazz bands so I was not concerned with the effect it would have on the hotel. In the months between the initial contract signing and the event itself I came to understand the extravagant accommodations of audio set up the band would need for their performance. I was concerned but I figured any offense to the Hotel would be worth the exposure of having such a great event.
On the night of the event I was blown away by Bonerama, during sound check the hotel manager mentioned he could hear it clear as day in the lobby of the Lombardy Hotel. I apologized that my team had not relayed the information about the event sooner but said I would accept the responsibility of any complaints.
Cut to 11:00pm the same manager mentioned he could hear the horns up on floor five but he had not received any complaints. I was overjoyed but still felt nervous about the outcome.
The event wrapped up by 1am with the crowd dancing all over the restaurant to the hypnotizing thunderous bass of the band. I noticed you could hear the bass but it wasn’t vibrating any of the physical space. The platforms took away the most offensive quality of four foot tall subwoofers and made the experience enjoyable for all involved including the hotel guests and residents.
To date I have not received any complaint from anyone in the building. I know that I would be knee deep in citations if the platforms hadn’t been part of the evening.
Thank you for going out of your way to ensure they were part of the event, I am not sure what I would have done without them.
I hope you have a great day and hope to work with you on another rocking event.
Harlow 111 East 56TH Street New York, NY 10022
Additional Information – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAoJ_-Bl2Ig
If you know of any facility having difficulty with sound and volume, please feel free to contact Star Sound. We are always up to the task in solving issues related to sound reproduction at any level.
By: Matt Lundy, Harlow, NYC