Symetrix Zone Mix Helps To Tame Difficult Acoustics In Washington Area Eatery

Owned by the Heavy Restaurant Group, Purple Café is a well-established wine bar and upscale restaurant in the Seattle, Washington area.

It recently added its fourth location in Bellevue, Washington, with space for two additional Heavy Restaurant Group concepts – Barrio a Mexican restaurant and Lot #3 a cocktail and appetizer establishment.

Because the owners were dissatisfied with many aspects of the sound systems in the earlier locations, they approached things more carefully this time.

They hired local A/V contractor Morgan Sound, who installed a centralized system for all three retail locations based around two Symetrix Zone Mix 760 processors.

“The architecture and interior design of the spaces relies almost exclusively on steel, concrete and glass,” said Stephen Weeks, the Morgan Sound engineer who designed and managed the project.

“Neither of those materials are very hospitable to sound, and the other locations suffer for it. There were too few zones with too few loudspeakers.”

“Additionally, the speakers had very wide coverage patterns. This resulted in a lot of reflections, which diminished the intelligibility of the systems.”

The new system that Weeks designed is decidedly more focused and distributed. Rather than deliver general energy to the room, Weeks delivers energy directly to the patrons.

From a centrally located office location, three computers designated for each restaurant to run iTunes, Roxio, or similar programs. The input source feeds two Symetrix Zone Mix 760s, which provide input processing, routing logic, and four output zones per restaurant.

“I focused quite a bit on the needs and characteristics of each specific zone,” said Weeks. “Each uses different levels, equalization, filtering, and dynamics to tame the acoustical signature of the space.”

The output from the Zone Mix 760s feeds three QSC CX204 four-channel amps and power a host of JBL Control ceiling speakers.

“They [also] wanted to be able to offer space for private parties,” said Weeks. “We integrated some A/V functionality, including microphones, iPod inputs, projectors, DVD players and computer hook-ups. Two AMX touch-panel interfaces allow users to combine rooms, select input sources, control output volume, video devices, and the like.”

The Symetrix Zone Mix 760s provide all of the input processing, logic, and speaker processing for the multi-purpose room, as well.

“As with anything, you have to calculate the benefits relative to the costs, and in that light, the Symetrix Zone Mix 760 was the obvious frontrunner,” said Weeks. “There is nothing else out there with a comparable feature set at such an affordable price.”

“The flexibility is astounding, and I had no trouble creating an ideal system for the Heavy Restaurant Group. In addition, we at Morgan Sound have always enjoyed the bulletproof reliability of the Symetrix and SymNet products.”

Symetrix Website

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