Nashville’s The Listening Room Cafe moved into its new home downtown in early 2013, with the new location’s size and setup allowing owner Chris Blair to achieve his dream: a songwriter venue with great sound. It’s now a reality with the recent installation of new Bose Professional RoomMatch loudspeakers in time for the city’s annual Tin Pan South festival that was held in late March.
Logan Hanna, the venue’s lead audio engineer who worked closely with Blair to implement the system, states, “Chris and I have always wanted to have the highest possible fidelity for The Listening Room, and we’ve achieved it with this system in our new location. If you want to be ahead of the game, you really have to be on top of the technology that’s coming out. And Bose has allowed us to be at the forefront.
“The response from the performers has been great too – I have only heard positive things since we launched the new system,” he continues. “Everybody has been blown away by it.”
The new system is flexible; with the flip of a switch it can accommodate full band stage performances or intimate acoustic “in-the-round” performances. It his headed by two Bose Professional RM7020 modules, two RM12040 modules, 10 RMU208 modules, one RMS218 subwoofer module and one Panaray MB12-III modular bass loudspeaker, all powered by three PowerMatch PM8500N amplifiers and a single PM4500N amplifier. Processing is handled by a ControlSpace ESP-4120 Engineered Sound Processor and CC-64 Control Center.
All five nights of the festival, The Listening Room was a key venue for Tin Pan South, showcasing award-winning songwriters and artists, who got to experience the system firsthand as performers and audience members.
Artist Craig Campbell, whose notable songs include “Family Man,” “Fish,” “Outta My Head” and “Keep Them Kisses Comin’,” was featured as a performer during a SESAC showcase Wednesday night. He states, “The sound was crystal clear. As an audience member, I walked around the venue, and the coverage is the same everywhere. It’s remarkable. And as a performer, I could feel the sound, warm and clear, resonating through the whole room. I’ve known Chris for several years, and I know this has been his dream. The room deserved a system and sound like this.”
Grammy-winning songwriter Josh Osborne, whose work has rendered hits for Kacey Musgraves (who scored a recent ACM win for Album of the Year), Eli Young Band, The Band Perry, Billy Currington, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney and several others, was similarly impressed: “I performed at The Listening Room on Tuesday night of Tin Pan South. The system was amazing. I could hear everything really great on stage. It seemed like the whole room was just full of sound. I had performed there before the new system was installed, and it is a significant upgrade. You can sense a warm, resonant sound going around the whole room. It’s very powerful as a performer and as a listener.”
“I’m very proud of where we have come in the last several years,” states Blair. “Our new location downtown has been an incredible move and we are so excited for everything that is happening in Nashville right now. I have always loved the sound of Bose, and we used their L1®; portable systems at the old Cummins Station location. The new RoomMatch system can handle the full band drive or acoustic performances with complete clarity. It’s something you truly have to hear for yourself.”