Orlando Forum Dinner Theatre is a brand new entertainment hub that was converted from a sit-down chain restaurant in the heart of the International Drive tourist area. With its high-energy, Vegas-style rock impersonator show, the client envisioned all-new audio, video, and lighting systems. But the project also had to meet an opening budget that had to cover the entire guest experience, from building renovation to food to show systems. Considering the rock content of the show, and the professional audio experience of the in-house FOH engineer, it was inevitable that audio would be prioritized.
Forum principals were clear they wanted a line array approach and were considering premium brands. Audio consultant John Teer of Teer Audio Visual put the NEXO GEO M10 line array in front of the team and they were sold. That choice became critical to getting maximum return on the audio system investment.
There was another consideration: the existing roof. Forum principals wanted to put all the money on the stage, and into the guest experience, not into renovating a roof. Teer says the passive aspect of the NEXO boxes was key for keeping the speaker cluster weights under the limit of what the existing roof could support.
The NEXO system consists of twelve M10 line array speakers (6 per side L/R), 4 LS18 subs, 4x1 and 4x1 NXAMP Mk2 amps. NEXO NS1 software was used for the design. The client plans to add more subs and front fills as a phase two plan although the system sounds great the way it is.
“With his background, the engineer likes a lot of subwoofer punch,” Teer recalls of the design discussions. But, Teer says, the team was also committed to a line array. Through listening tests they achieved the right opening balance and have headroom for more boom in the future, as the venue hits its stride. “The idea was to start with quality at the core of the system,” Teer says.
When it came to the console, the FOH engineer was again a key decision maker; the Yamaha CL5 was on his very short list of acceptable consoles. When taking the power and I/O count into consideration, the client was again able to take advantage of comparative value for the price, and also reap the benefits of an integrated Dante system; the design also included NEXO amps and Rio interfaces and there is plenty of IO left for those future subs.
In the end, all the planned video was designed to the phase two budget because it was obvious that the right audio platform was going to make or break the show experience. Teer says getting to this understanding was a process of trading out priorities, and he believes the team got to the right place to support the intent of their business and the intended guest experience.
“Where they are on I-drive, they are competing with world-class entertainment,” Teer says. “People expect a high level of quality.”