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Case Study: Hutton Hotel, Nashville

Nashville’s iconic Hutton Hotel recently completed work on a new live music venue, alongside “Writers Studios” production rooms conceived by acclaimed musicians Dierks Bentley and Ryan Tedder.

The 5,000 square-foot Analog music venue and cocktail lounge is two stories high in the center section; it usually seats 160 and has a maximum capacity of 300. The hotel wanted the venue to reflect that intimate vibe, says British acoustician Michael Cronin who was brought in by LA-based design lead GreenLight Media. “It’s like being in your living room. The stage is 18 inches high and you can sit on a couch two feet away. It was a challenging space. Then you have upper VIP areas overlooking the stage with a bar under one and seating under the other. You have so many different reverberation times within the same space.”

Cronin acoustically treated all surfaces in the space, drawing on his long experience with 200 music production facilities, including The Church in London, Blackbird Studios in Nashville and Mutt Lange and Shania Twain’s private studio in Switzerland. The new construction is acoustically isolated from the hotel floors above.

Clair Solutions integrated the sound and lighting systems. “The goal was a vintage-style speakeasy,” says Daniel Heins, Regional Vice President, Clair Solutions, Nashville. The lighting system included some vintage fixtures from the ‘20s, and it was important to keep the many speakers inconspicuous.

The main sound rig comprises eight BoseProfessional ShowMatch line array modules with seven RoomMatch Utility RMU208 and six RMU105 loudspeakers providing under-over-balcony coverage. Six Bose PowerMatch PM8500N and PM4250N Dante-networked amplifiers drive the system, which is managed by a Bose ControlSpace ESP-880 processor. Four Bose MB24 dual-12-inch subwoofers are hidden from view. “We worked with the architects to incorporate the subs into the wall and keep them inside the acoustic envelope. Clair Solutions also installed a background music system consisting of 11 Bose Professional FreeSpace DS100F coaxial in-ceiling speakers, PowerMatch PM8500N amplifiers and an ESP-880 processor. Bose Modeler was used to predict the speaker coverage in the room.

“I was extremely happy with the outcome,” Cronin says. “There isn’t another live venue like it in Nashville.” Cronin adds, “My hat’s off to Executive Project Director Tom Williams at GreenLight; he put a great team of people together.” The venue’s entertainment is programmed in collaboration with GreenLight partners Red Light Management, whose diverse artist roster includes the Dave Matthews Band, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.

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