The Sutler, opened in 1976 by former country music DJ Johnny Potts, has a special place in Nashville’s history, having hosted performances by numerous top artists, and it’s now resurrected in a new facility with a house sound system headed by Bose Professional RoomMatch arrays.
“It’s a unique music venue and sounds amazing,” states DeWayne Rains, vice president of operations at Audio Electronics of Nashville, which designed and installed the revitalized Sutler’s AV systems. Ownership also budgeted for acoustic treatment, complemented by velvet drapes, leather banquettes and wood floors, in the live music room.
Because the upstairs restaurant and music venue is a long, narrow space, Rains notes that, “The Bose RoomMatch asymmetrical arrays were perfect and really allowed us to tighten the coverage along the sides of the room.”
The system, flown above the stage, comprises one each of RoomMatch RM284520, RM286040, RM452820 and RM602840 modules, plus a single RoomMatch RMS218 subwoofer. Four Bose PowerMatch PM8500N configurable, networked amplifiers power the system, which is driven by an Allen & Heath analog mixing console.
Audio Electronics also installed background music systems in both the upstairs restaurant and The Cellar bar downstairs, each comprising nine Bose DS 100F flush-mount loudspeakers in pendant kits. The system in The Cellar additionally accommodates an intimate performance area that hosts songwriters and also includes a single Bose Panaray 402 Series II loudspeaker for artist foldback.
A Bose ControlSpace ESP00-II engineered sound processor provides optimization and management of the installed background music systems. The processor is fitted with additional mic/line input cards to support The Cellar, which also houses a digital projector and screen.
“We put in a 4×1 switcher that also de-embeds the audio, so no matter what you run into the projector, we run that into an audio channel,” explains Rains. “There are a couple of options for music inputs that are always running, so they can choose either one—upstairs or downstairs—and they can also choose the live audio feed from upstairs and play it downstairs.”
Austin Ray, owner of Sutler Saloon, states, “The Bose RoomMatch system takes every element of the space into account, which makes it a system legitimately customized for The Sutler. The reclaimed wood floors, the fabric on the curtains, the dishes on the tables, and even the bodies in the seats all factor in to how the sound is projected in the room. This is an ideal option for us, as we offer a variety of Nashville’s best acts and genres.
“Acoustic bluegrass performances hit the perfect audio level to allow guests to enjoy both music and conversation, while fully plugged in acts can fill the room with an incredible sound during bigger shows. Same goes down in the Cellar; the flexibility of the system has allowed us to provide private event clients with endless options for a perfect event. No matter who’s playing at The Sutler, we know that the sound will fill up the room in the best way possible.”
The ABC TV series Nashville utilized the new venue during a recent third season episode, “I’m Coming Home to You,” with Layla Grant (actress Aubrey Peeples) performing on Sutler Saloon stage.