When all is said and done at the Downtown Chicago Marriott, the dental association convention in the main ballroom won't have to compete with the Roffman-Barkley wedding in the salon next door—and guests in the restroom can enjoy Frank Sinatra cooing from the speakers overhead.
Cutting-edge acoustics and AV technology consulting firm TALASKE is about to complete the integration of a Biamp AudiaFLEX® digital audio system at Marriott International's flagship property, the Downtown Chicago Marriott. The installation, a close collaboration between TALASKE and installation contractor, Plus One AV, is central to a major overhaul of the music and audio delivery systems at the hotel.
Marriott International standards require digital audio signal processing in all its major function spaces. The Downtown Chicago property has multiple discrete zones, from the lobby to the reception area to the restaurant, bar and ballrooms—each with different audio requirements and levels of complexity. TALASKE Audio Consultant Ryan O'Halloran specified Biamp Systems' AudiaFLEX for the job.
"We chose the AudiaFLEX because it excelled in the two areas we needed most – scalability and CobraNet® distribution," says O'Halloran, "Scalability was essential because there are several functions of audio systems in the building, from small background music systems to a fully-flexible ballroom system on the meeting room floor, and we required different types of controls for different areas. The second important thing AudiaFLEX delivered was CobraNet — providing an easy and economical way to offer multiple background music channels throughout a facility."
Audia's Digital Audio Platform provides an ultra-reliable backbone for systems design and integration. TALASKE designed Downtown Chicago Marriott's system around six AudiaFLEX units installed with two AudiaEXPO output expanders and a single AudiaEXPI input expander. The system also includes Volume/Select 8 devices for local control of basic room functions—such as volume control, source selects and room combining. Feedback elimination, automixing and background music distribution are all controlled by the AudiaFLEX units. With AudiaFLEX's unique networking capability, the six 'discrete' zones and systems throughout the hotel were easily networked together, providing centralized control and monitoring by Marriott's AV staff — and essentially handling all of the system requirements. By locating Biamp Volume/Select 8 locally in the individual zones, TALASKE was able to provide the non-technical user intuitive, local control of the background music volume.
The eight meeting rooms and ballroom require more complex systems including equalization for sound reinforcement and playback. The parameters for these systems can be set using a combination of centralized touch-panel controls in the AV control room or traditional patching at the rack and TALASKE also installed more sophisticated control options via local touch-panels in each room.
TALASKE's design called for an easy way to distribute background music from the hotel's central server to all the newly renovated spaces. CobraNet presented a cost-efficient and practical way for Marriott to use the existing infrastructure for transporting digital audio and to eliminate the need to pull more expensive cable through conduit.
Commenting on the project, Ron Camden, Vice President of North American Sales at Biamp Systems notes, "TALASKE and Plus One AV have clearly applied technology and provided their customer with a multi-functional, high-performing AV system to complement the customers' business. We're pleased to be associated with this project — and with this excellent team of consultants and integrators."