Hard Rock Cafe Dubai is a thoroughbred live venue, with cover bands entertaining enthusiastic audiences seven days a week. The original point source PA wasn’t cutting it. The room is acoustically hostile, and the previous design was beleaguered by multiple late arrivals, compromising music punch and vocal intelligibility.
ShowMatch is a new system from Bose [see our overview of the system in the last issue of [[AV Asia Pacific]]. It’s a road-ready, mid-sized compatriot of the well respected RoomMatch PA Bose released around five years ago. The system comprises three full-frequency elements packing three different vertical dispersion patterns (5°, 10° and 20°). From there you have a choice of interchangeable horizontal dispersion waveguides you can fit into the box.
Bose won the day, with the venue being impressed with ShowMatch and asking Bose to spec an appropriate system.
The Hard Rock Café Dubai system comprises six ShowMatch boxes a side. The top two elements are 5° x 55°, the middle elements are 10° x 70°, the fifth is 10° x 100° and the bottom box in the hang is 20° x 120°.
“The bottom box is really for the front row,” explains Bose Senior Design Engineer, Biju Abdul Majeed. “We’ve created the ideal and optimised pattern for the room and the audience to achieve the best possible intelligibility. That first row is sold at a premium and needs the best possible sound. It’s hard to cover though, with the two arrays being 14m apart! But the 120° dispersion waveguide made it possible.”
Tuning the space was the final crucial phase of the commissioning. The room is acoustically asymmetrical, with more reflective surfaces on one side than the other. Biju had to correspondingly tune the room asymmetrically to ensure an apparently even frequency response across the breadth of the space.
Bose PowerMatch amps power the system including the four aside subwoofer arrays. The requirement was for a powerful sound where everyone in the lower floor area could enjoy 100dBA+ and high intelligibility. Up the steps into the bar the desire was for the PA to allow for easy conversation. At around 85dB you still need to raise your voice but the intelligibility is such that conversation is still perfectly manageable.
AVI-SPL took care of the install, in fact, it took only one night to complete the installation, keeping the interruption to the venue’s operations to a minimum.
For Assistant General Manager Katherine Misquith, getting the PA right was absolutely crucial: “We’re one of the premier venues in Dubai and people rightly expect a lot from the experience. And they’re not afraid to tell you when they don’t like the sound — something we found out the hard way with the previous PA! I’m delighted to say, that since getting Bose on board we’ve only had positive feedback from the patrons and the bands — some of which have been with us for years — who are delighted… they’ve never sounded so good.”
— Christopher Holder.
AVI-SPL (installer): avispl.com