What’s a pub without good background music? Patrons Brewing in Hamilton, NZ, gets a powerful indoor/outdoor system that’s easy to operate.
Text:/ John O’Brien
Patrons Brewing was setting up a new bar in Hamilton, New Zealand, and wanted some audio to keep its own patrons entertained while eating and drinking. The brewery did a web search and landed on Waikato’s Harmony Tech. Led by Jonathan McMillan, Harmony Tech perform a variety of work for a wide range of sectors – AV, security and automation for residential, houses of worship and commercial clients – they cover it all. Well knowing that “an amplifier is an amplifier, regardless of setting”, Jonathan takes lessons from each sector to inform his installs elsewhere.
This approach appealed to Patrons’ directors and they set up a site meeting with Jonathan to discuss what they were after. A chat onsite with the bar manager and owner gave Harmony Tech enough information to present them with a few options to choose from.
The scope for this job was simple: provide three zones of audio with a couple of inputs and easy control. According to Jonathan, “It was a very brief description. It’s a long skinny bar, so it needed to be able to work in that environment.” Speaker placement and dispersion would be crucial to balanced and even sound coverage.
The other key criteria were volume and impact. “They wanted to be able to crank it if they wanted to. Particularly outside, because they’ve got an outdoor area, where on Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights they run caravan outdoor eateries” says Jonathan.
Installation was relatively easy for the indoor fit out, with a deep ceiling cavity enabling easy access for cabling. The main problem outdoors was “keeping that cabling tidy and hidden” in high visibility public zones.
Jonathan worked with Kelvin Colling of NAS Solutions to design a package that would keep the end user happy with performance and price. The system is based on a Cloud Z8MK4 eight-zone mixer. This then feeds Bluetooth and auxiliary sources to two Cloud CV2500 digital amplifiers. These run 100v to half a dozen inDESIGN BGM6 speakers outside and ten inDESIGN BGM8 speakers indoors.
To round out the indoor sound, they added a WS-12 Kali sub. Jonathan finds that it “brings the depth that can be missed with having a series of smaller speakers in the room and really allows for some great musical playback when wanted for the bar. It is a great sub with plenty of depth and was a great choice for the room.”
Amplifiers, the mixer, and auxiliary gear are all neatly installed into the client-supplied cupboard, keeping everything tidy.
Control is via Cloud RSL wall plates, “with volume control for each of the areas, and then they have a basic ‘turn the dial’ if they want Bluetooth or auxiliary in.” For the most part, the system is “pretty much run as one zone.”
They are probably running it at about half and that’s ample, they could still crank it up
Harmony Tech “does a lot of its commercial work through NAS Solutions, they were the ones that recommended the Cloud amp. We’ve used them a few times and they’ve been very good. The Cloud amps haven’t given me any trouble. At Patrons, it’s been 8-9 months now and we’ve had no issues,” relates Jonathan.
And he reports that the end clients are also “very happy. It’s far exceeded their expectations. Plenty of sound for them. They don’t need any more than what they’ve got. They are probably running it at about half and that’s ample, they could still crank it up.”
As the name suggests, Harmony Tech is about finding the right equilibrium with whatever jobs are on the go. Jonathan enjoys the variety of situations. “Many of the residential ones are great to deal with and we end up in awesome locations. But with commercial, there’s less emotion involved, it’s more just a business decision. Having both types make it balance quite nicely.”
It sounds as if this was a harmonious decision for all concerned with Patrons Brewing Hamilton.