141st AES Convention, Los Angeles, CA, September 29, 2016 (Booth 105) – One of the flagship venues in the heyday of Nashville’s Printer’s Alley district was Skull’s Rainbow Room, shuttered a few months after owner David "Skull" Schulman was tragically killed there in an attempted robbery in 1998, exactly 50 years after it first opened. Now, “Skull’s” is back, reopened by local restaurateurs who salvaged the venue’s original stage and other architectural treasures and are bringing it into the 21st century with a sound system from Bose Professional that leverages the unique capabilities of the Bose RoomMatch® and Panaray® loudspeakers, PowerMatch® amplifiers, and ControlSpace® DSP user interface.
Skull’s Rainbow Room returns to Nashville’s flowering downtown entertainment district at a time when the city in general is undergoing a boom and Printer’s Alley is being brought back to life with new clubs, restaurants and a boutique hotel. In this revitalized environment, audio quality is critical to keeping the venue, whose legacy includes performances on its stage by the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and other country music greats, competitive with the growing number of entertainment destinations. But, like a lot of the older buildings in downtown Nashville, its long, narrow architecture is implicitly challenging to acoustics. “It’s a typical long layout you see in a lot of restaurants here,” says Kevin Ezzell, Regional Account Manager for South Central AV, the systems integrator on the project. “The stage is in the middle of the room against one of the long walls, and it’s difficult to get the sound distributed evenly to the areas at either side of the stage and not blast the people in front of the stage. That’s where the RoomMatch speakers are a real solution.”
Ezzell’s design placed a RoomMatch Utility RMU208 loudspeaker on either side of the stage in a typical left-right PA design; two RoomMatch Utility RMU108 loudspeakers extend the sound to the areas towards the front and rear of the building, with three RoomMatch Utility RMU105 loudspeakers filling in tight spots. A Panaray 502B bass module is positioned underneath the stage. These are all powered by one PowerMatch PM8500N networked amplifier. The system is managed using a Bose ControlSpace ESP-880 digital signal processor that provides functionality such as EQ and dynamics, allowing for separate settings for several zones within the building. All of this is controlled using a Bose ControlSpace CC-64 Control Center, a programmable, networked controller.
“It’s amazing how much control this gives over a system that has to adapt to different parts of the same room,” says Ezzell. “Each area has the perfect EQ curve for its particular acoustical characteristics. As a result, the system sounds great in every section of the room. The music artists love that, because they’re assured that they sound great no matter where anyone is sitting or standing.” And in a city like Nashville, how you sound means everything.
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Photo Caption: Skull’s Rainbow Room in Nashville, featuring a sound system consisting of components from Bose Professional.