Tempest Controls Casino with SymNet
Aug 24, 2006 8:00 AM
Over the last several decades, casinos across the country have become much more than just a place to visit for a day to play poker or slots. Today’s casinos offer a total experience, complete with onsite hotels, spa services, live entertainment, special function halls and, of course, the latest audio technologies.
When Quinault Beach Resort & Casino in Ocean Shores needed to upgrade the processing for its building-wide sound system, they turned to Symetrix’s SymNet Networked Audio Solution and the design/build firm Tempest Technologies in nearby Issaquah, Wash. (located in the greater Seattle area). “The client had called Symetrix looking for a referral. Since we are a reseller for Symetrix in the same geographical area, we got the call,” says Debbie Williamson, Director of Sales and Marketing for Tempest Technologies.
The casino was looking to replace its processing system and mixers that were installed circa 1998 and were no longer supported by the manufacturer. Considering the rapid pace of audio technology advancements, the casino wanted the firm to look at its audio wish list once more with a fresh eye to ensure they were making the proper decision. “Using our recommendation and design process, we were happy to confirm that Symetrix offered the perfect solution for their needs and budget,” Williamson says.
The Tempest Technologies team chose Symetrix’ SymNet platform as a means to both maintain the current functionality, as well as expand the casino’s audio capabilities. “Being analog, the old system was very manual,” says Mark Scuka, Director of Applied Technology for Tempest Technologies. Scuka has completed training with Symetrix and is well-versed in the SymNet product line. “The casino wanted more control points than before and more automation of features.”
The audio processing includes 26 zones of audio across the facility, including the main casino floor, the great hall, the poker room, the lobby, an indoor pool, the grand entry, the bistro, and multiple other indoor and outdoor public areas. For the great hall banquet rooms, there was also the need to room combine, in any configuration, up to six rooms. On top of that, the facility is open seven days per week from 17 to 20 hours a day, so it was imperative that the system was down for as little amount of time as possible. As such, Scuka took advantage of his ability to complete the programming upfront, prior to the installation date. “We installed SymNet hardware mostly at night during off-peak periods. The system was down for less than 48 hours total since the program was designed and tested in our office,” he says.
To handle the casino’s current and future requirements, Tempest Technologies installed three SymNet 8x8 DSP boxes, along with three SymNet BreakIn12 A/D input devices, and three SymNet BreakOut12 D/A output devices. Since the BreakIn/Out boxes have no DSP processing onboard, they are a cost-effective option that can take full advantage of the processing power in the 8x8 DSP box. “The transition of analog to digital was very easy for them. They wanted to be hands-off as much as possible. Therefore, we gave them basic controls using SymNet ARC-2 wall panels and AMX touch panels,” Scuka says.
The thirteen ARC-2 panels were connected in the same places as the old wall plates, with a new Cat-5 cable run to each location. Using the new ARC-2 wall panels, the casino has access to up to 24 menu items, each with 16 sub-menu items to functions like volume, preset recall, and room combining. In addition, Tempest Technologies also set the correct system limits so that a casino employee cannot accidentally max out the system and send it into feedback. One SymNet ARC-MIC wall panel with enclosed condenser microphone and two SymNet ARC-PS rack-mount power supplies for ARC wall panels were also installed.
In the casino games area, visitors can play 350 electronic gaming devices like slots and electronic poker, 15 table games, and Keno—all of which can make for a challenging listening environment. Scuka programmed the SymNet system using the ambient noise compensation features to ensure a harmonious balance between game playing and paging or background music. A microphone with input to the SymNet system was installed on the casino floor to monitor the ambient noise level and adjust the sound system accordingly within preset levels. “Although the microphone input checks SPL levels and adjusts the system, the casino also has individual control over each zone,” Scuka says.
The casino also picked up the CobraLink option so Tempest Technologies could remotely update the programming, if necessary. “Any issues can be addressed quickly rather than waiting for a service technician to arrive onsite,” Williamson says. “Overall, this system is very scalable so it can grow along with them.”