Audio for High-energy Restaurant, Part 1

The Game Seven Grill in Phoenix is a loud and raucous place when there’s an Arizona Diamondbacks game going on, and it had to have a sound system that could hide above the crowd and cut through all 3/06/2014 5:46 AM Eastern

Audio for High-energy Restaurant, Part 1

Mar 6, 2014 10:46 AM, With Bennett Liles | Posted by Jessaca Gutierrez

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The Game Seven Grill in Phoenix is a loud and raucous place when there’s an Arizona Diamondbacks game going on, and it had to have a sound system that could hide above the crowd and cut through all the noise. The team called in Parsons Technologies and system designer Mark Schultz is here to tell us about it. That’s coming up right here on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Mark Schultz, it’s great to have you on the SVC Podcast from the Parsons Technologies’ Phoenix office. We’ve got an interesting project to talk about with the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team but before we get going on that, how about telling us a little something about Parsons Technologies.

We have multiple locations. Our corporate office is in Minneapolis and then we have several other offices up in the upper Midwest, and then we also have our office down here in Arizona. We primarily are a local contractor, so we do voice/data, security, audiovisual. Pretty much if it’s mobile then we pretty much take care of it.

Yeah, that’s what it looked like on your website, a lot more than your average AV contractor. You have it spread out over security and lots of other things. The Game Seven Grill looks like a sports bar, and those are pretty noisy places, but this one in particular appears to be an especially high-energy environment. What goes on in there?

Typically it’s a sort of a sports-bar-type of idea that’s open during baseball games. And they have televisions all around and they broadcast the games inside, outside, and pretty much that’s what they’re there for. [Timestamp: 1:59]

And when there’s a Diamondbacks game going on, it has to be a real madhouse in that place with the fans cheering the team or booing the umpire—not your place for quiet reflection. So there’s a lot for the sound system to cut through sometimes.

Yeah, it gets pretty loud, especially with everybody cheering and watching the game. Before the games start, when they’re open, they also have typically some type of a band or something that they’ll bring in with a stage outside, so they’re usually pretty loud too. So that kind of gets the crowd revved up and then once the game starts, things take off and go. [Timestamp: 2:33]

Audio for High-energy Restaurant, Part 1

Mar 6, 2014 10:46 AM, With Bennett Liles | Posted by Jessaca Gutierrez

So they had an AV upgrade last year. I think it was just before the start of the season. What was involved in that one?

What had happened is another restaurant, prior to opening up the Game Seven Grill, the Diamondbacks had been leasing the space to them. When their lease was up and one of the things that had happened is that particular establishment, they weren’t considered fan friendly and family friendly as they would like to have. So the Diamondbacks took it over, basically gutted the whole place, and then came up with their own Game Seven theme. The whole tie-in is the game seven of the 2001 World Series that the Diamondbacks, you know, that was a big game that they won. So all the memorabilia and pictures and whatnot from that is all over the place. [Timestamp: 3:23]

And a major league baseball team is not without some substantial resources. They called in Parsons Technologies and you decided to use the Community Professional CP6 pendant speakers for the interior part of the project.

They brought us in because we had been doing some additional upgrades to Chase Field right next door, which is the baseball stadium. When they knew that they were going to be renovating the facility as a restaurant they brought us over to do the design for that. One of the things they made clear is they didn’t want speakers to be visible and stick out. It was all open ceilings, so the CP6 pendant speakers just kind of fit the bill because they blended right into the painted black ceiling and they kind of go away. You don’t even notice they’re there. [Timestamp: 4:13]

Yes, they’re available in black and they wanted them to pretty much disappear against the black ceiling area above the crowd. What are the acoustics like in the Game Seven Grill? Is it a fairly reverberant area? I know you have to have some kind of real power in that system to compete with the crowd noise.

Yeah. The speakers are tapped up at a pretty high level and they’ve got … a Crown CTS 2000 amp, so there’s 1000W that they can drive that whole lower level, so it can get pretty loud. Acoustic-wise, actually the acoustics are pretty good considering. It’s a lot of brick, so the brick tends to absorb a lot of the sound and with everything else that is up in the ceiling, they’ve got enough banners and a few other things up set there that it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. [Timestamp: 4:59]

I would think that when the place is full of people, you’ve got a lot of pretty good sound-absorbent bodies in there. So maybe it’s a little less reverberant than when it’s empty.

Yeah, no that was one of the things when we were initially setting everything up it was completely empty and we set it all up and it sounded pretty good. Then we went back after they opened and tweaked it a couple of times once it was open and it was full of people. So we were able to get in and make a few adjustments accordingly. [Timestamp: 5:27]

And when the place is going full tilt and the staff is busy, how do they control the sound system in there? Do they have control right there in the bar area or is it all done from a panel in an office somewhere?

Actually it’s got a BSS processor in it and we’ve used one of the BSS BLU-10 touchpanel remotes. It’s actually located in the manager’s office and he can go in there and adjust the volume levels inside and outside and adjust the program selection for both inside and outside right there from his office. Then we’ve put a duplicate touchpanel at the rack, which is a little closet that’s actually out in the restaurant, so if somebody’s in a real hurry—they’ve got to get something—they can just pop into that closet and do the same thing as they can in the manager’s office. But it is all locked up, so that it’s restricted as to who can get to it. [Timestamp: 6:15]

You never know what’s going to happen or if it’s going to be a close game and a really fired-up crowd or if it’s going to be one of those 15-to-nothing things in the ninth inning so they have to be able to make some adjustments to suit what’s going on. You said that it was a complete renovation so did you get in during the actual construction phase or was it more of a retrofit after everybody else was done?

We were actually out there while the construction was going on, so we were able to get up in the ceiling and run the wire out to the speakers ahead of time. It was all done and kind of went along with the construction and renovation work itself. [Timestamp: 6:50]

It’s great being able to get in at that stage and get your stuff run. And with a deadline like opening day you sure don’t want any surprises like when you have to come along behind with the AV stuff.

Yeah, I mean if you really had a deadline of opening day is here and you gotta be done a week ahead of time, so we didn’t have a whole lot of choice. [Timestamp: 7:08]

Thanks for giving us the story on the Game Seven Grill and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Mark Schultz with Parsons Technologies in Phoenix. In part two we’ll get into the outside plaza area, a whole different sound environment and how you did that. We’ll see you then.


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