QSC Audio K Series and AcousticDesign Series loudspeakers are delivering tunes to the gamers at EightyTwo, a new 4,000-square-foot classic video arcade and pinball bar that recently opened in LA’s Downtown Arts District.
EightyTwo—a reference to 1982, the peak year of the golden age of arcade games—offers a DJ, a dance floor and video games in one room with pinball machines in another room, with the sound system controlled by a Q-Sys Core 250i integrated platform.
EightyTwo features more than 40 period arcade games from the 1980s, such as Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man, and Space Invaders from the personal collection of Scott Davids, who co-owns the venue with Noah Sutcliffe. Across the 1,700-square-foot outdoor patio is a roomful of vintage pinball machines supplied by “Pinball Molly” Atkinson, owner of the Pins and Needles arcade in Echo Park.
Design and installation services for the project were completed by Gridworks, a professional AVL company located in Torrance, CA at the recommendation of Ben Frederick from Audio Geer.
According to Christopher Johnson, VP of sales for Gridworks, the sound design focused on adding power to the dance floor: “We have two K8s and a KW181 sub local to the dance floor and there are two K8s along the wall where the patio is, shooting into the venue and providing support for the back of the room.
“We also added a KSub for low frequency response in the back of the room and all of the full range speakers are at the ceiling line, including the ones fixed on the wall,” he adds.
A pair of AcousticDesign AD-S52 five-inch, two-way surface-mount speakers provide fill along the side wall by the bar. “We added the AcousticDesign speakers because we wanted to fill in the space so there wasn’t a dead spot and maintain the sound quality, but keep the sound levels lower so that people could actually talk and order at the bar,” Johnson explains.
In the pinball room at the rear of the venue, Gridworks installed two K8s at opposite ends of the room, hung from the ceiling facing downwards, with a KSub for low end response. “It’s a smaller room, so one KSub for that area was fine,” says Johnson. “That room is kept at about 85% of the volume of the main room.”
“We installed a Q-Sys Core 250i as the brains of the operation; that gave us a couple of different options,” he adds. “We could scale the project if they want us to, and it allowed us to use a wireless router connected to Q-Sys to give them control of the system from their iPad. They are able to adjust the levels independently in each area or for the whole system.”
Gridworks provided several level presets with programmed crossfades that can be selected according to the number of customers and time of day.
In addition to the main input from the DJ booth there is also an audio input in the staff room that allows different music to be played in the back room or just in the restrooms. “We added a parametric EQ for both of the inputs that will allow Scott and Noah to fine tune each input to their liking.” says Johnson.
Gridworks also installed an Extron Electronics MAV 84 AV 8x4 Video & Stereo Audio switcher that allows video feeds from some of the games to be projected onto the wall above the bar. This switcher is controlled by Lua script sending command codes via the RS-232 out of the Core 250i. “They’ve even had a DJ doing some video mixing use the system,” Johnson notes, “A video feed from the DJ booth allows connection to the projectors for just this purpose.”
Johnson says the response to the new audio system has been great. “The comments that we’ve gotten back, both from the owners and from guests are that they really like the fact that the music can be loud, and clear enough that you can still have a conversation.”