Community and Symetrix upgrade for Manhattan’s Soho Grand

Essential Communications of East Hanover, New Jersey has recently completed a major upgrade to the audio systems at Manhattan’s Soho Grand Hotel.

The upgrade includes a Symetrix Radius 12×8 EX DSP to integrate management of the audio systems throughout the entire property, and a new Community loudspeaker system for the Salon, the hotel’s main lounge area.

Opened in August 1996, the Soho Grand Hotel was Manhattan’s first luxury downtown boutique hotel, delivering a level of service and style that earned it a place on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” as one of the world’s best places to stay.

Presenting a variety of musical events and other programs – including contemporary DJs – the Soho Grand Hotel has completed four major sound system upgrades over the past 17 years, all designed and installed by Essential Communications.

David Schwartz, Essential Communications’ president and designer of the latest system, explained, “For greater flexibility and partly reflecting an increased emphasis on DJs, the Soho Grand’s latest sound system is based on a Dante network. The Symetrix Radius controls all of the common areas, including the Harbor Room, which is divisible into three separate meeting rooms. To provide sufficient outputs, the Radius 12×8 EX has an xOut 4 expansion card as well as an xOut 12 output expander, giving the system 24 analogue outputs.”

In the Salon main lounge the hotel wanted a more powerful multi-purpose system and Schwartz chose Community’s I SERIES for its audio quality, high output and discreet styling. Fourteen custom-coloured IC6-1082 8-inch two-way loudspeakers provide coverage, with two IS6-112 12-inch subwoofers and two IS6-212 dual 12-inch subwoofers adding bass extension and impact. The Community loudspeakers are powered by QSC amplifiers.

Providing easy-to-use control for the new system was an important part of Essential Communications’ design. “We customised the user interface because end users want simple control,” said Schwartz. “They want to push a button, and the volume goes up or the source changes, and that’s it. We were able to provide exactly that with Symetrix ARC-WEB virtual interface.”

ARC-3 wall panels provide appropriate fixed location control in the divisible Harbor Rooms and the Chart Room, while another ARC-3 serves as a common area backup at the main audio racks. Elsewhere, ARC-WEB enables wireless control from a web browser or mobile phone. “For an establishment of the caliber of the Soho Grand Hotel it’s all about audio quality, flexibility and ease of use,” concluded Schwartz. “With Community and Symetrix, that’s what this system delivers.”