AV integration, design and engineering firm National Technology Associates (NTA) recently equipped Todd English’s Olives, a new fine-dining venue at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, with a Waves Commercial Audio CA1000 DSP engine as well as a range of plugins in a multi-zone audio system serving the restaurant and lounge areas.
“As this installation was a relatively small area in a fine-dining venue, we needed an intelligent way to automate audio processing for the performer without physically having an engineer in the space,” says Joe Garcia Miranda, senior design engineer at Las Vegas-based NTA. “Small designs such as the restaurant and lounge at Todd English’s Olives will often have smaller budgets than some of the larger venues we design. It’s always important that we spec products that have the best performance and versatility to fit within the specified budget.”
The CA1000 DSP engine processes the microphone, instrument, and playback audio sources in the venue, and it also allowed NTA to adapt quickly to changes requested during the deployment. Garcia explains that the system needed to be versatile to support a variety of performers and instruments: “The venue had initially asked to support only an acoustic piano and a singer in the lounge. The entertainment that was eventually hired turned out to be more complex, however, with a varying cast performing everything from standards to modern pop. The typical setup is a digital piano in a baby grand shell, backing tracks, and two singers; but this setup can vary. The versatility of the Waves CA1000 platform made it easy to adapt to all the variations thrown at us for successful deployment.”
The installation was implemented using a Dante network architecture, and Garcia was able to integrate the CA1000 within that network. “I love the simplicity of using Waves with Dante without having to incorporate additional hardware,” he adds. “Dante is the standard AoIP transport we use as designers working in a hybrid industry that merges commercial, hospitality and entertainment requirements. The CA1000’s easy integration with Dante was therefore a must-have feature for us.”
NTA has also been using Waves plugins for recording and production as well as including Waves SuperRack in designs for larger installation projects. This experience helped Garcia adjust the factory-installed Waves CA presets and customize them to the needs of the venue.
“When you mention Waves is ‘under the hood,’ many musicians just light up,” he explains, “because they know it guarantees top audio quality for the venue. For this installation, I created my own processing chains using the presets as a starting point. On vocal mics I set up a plugin chain with the Primary Source Expander (PSE), Vocal Rider, F6 Floating Band Dynamic EQ, Sibilance, C6 Multiband Compressor and IR-Live Convolution Reverb. For keys I set up a chain with the F6 and MV2 plugins, and on the entertainer’s playback track I use the Playlist Rider and F6 plugins.
“What’s most important,” Garcia concludes, “is that with the CA1000 in place, our client is always happy with the quality of the sound, night after night.”