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Beverly Hilton Ballroom Renovation Adds Meyer Sound MICA, M’elodie

Since opening in 1955, the Beverly Hilton has been a classic Southern California landmark, combining the glamour and excitement of Hollywood’s entertainment industry with the opulence of Beverly Hills. The hotel’s renowned International Ballroom has an impressive pedigree of its own right, including hosting such notable events as the annual Golden Globe Awards®, Oscar Nominee Luncheon, and the Milken Institute’s Global Conference. As part of a spectacular three-year, $80 million renovation, the International Ballroom received an audio makeover complete with a compact, yet powerful, Meyer Sound system designed and installed by db Integrated Systems (dbIS) of Chicago, Ill.
The Meyer Sound system at the Beverly Hilton is in a left-center-right configuration; with five Meyer Sound MICA™ line array loudspeakers flown left and right, and four M’elodie™ line array loudspeakers in the center. Two MSL-4 loudspeakers cover sidefill duties, and a pair of UPA-1P loudspeakers fills outer areas. Three UPJ-1P VariO™ loudspeakers supply delay reinforcement, while four 700-HP subwoofers are built into the stage wall, two at each end of the stage, to supply sub-bass.

The impetus for installing a high-end sound system from Meyer Sound came from AVT Event Technology, the highly creative on-site AV production company which services all of the hotel’s in-house production needs. “For a long time, any performer who played here brought in their own system, because the house PA was pretty inadequate,” says Billy Thornton, AVT’s event production manager. “So, we’ve had the opportunity to hear a lot of different systems in this room, and nothing has sounded as good as the MICA.?

The ballroom is reasonably wide but not especially deep, which presented an acoustical conundrum for dbIS. “The challenge was to find a line array that could provide clarity without being too overpowering for the relatively short throw,? says dbIS President James Wicker. Considering that the room’s ceiling height measures only 19 feet at its highest point, choosing the appropriate line array became even more critical. “The MICA and M’elodie combination made an ideal choice,? Wicker states. “It delivers a high degree of clarity, intelligibility, and musicality in a relatively small package.?

The ballroom also required a system that could be used in a variety of configurations, in order to meet the venue’s diverse entertainment and events schedule. “No two events are the same, so accommodating a wide range of production needs was a major part of the design phase,? says Wicker. To meet these requirements, Wicker and his team put a Galileo™ loudspeaker management system under the control of a Crestron touch panel to make reconfiguration of the system easy. DbIS then installed digital tie lines for audio and video, as well as six strands of multimode fiber optic and data cabling, providing data throughput of up to 1 Gigabit per second.

“The Beverly Hilton has a legendary reputation,? Thornton remarks. “The biggest names perform here, and the cream of the industry come here to see them. There are really no speakers, other than Meyer Sound’s, that can deliver the level of pristine audio quality we require. For me as a production manager, it’s great because every engineer who comes through here knows Meyer speakers, and they’re always happy to work with them.?

The Beverly Hilton’s revitalization process kicked off in 2003 when Beny Alagem and Oasis West Realty LLC, purchased the facility from entertainer Merv Griffin. The extensive remodel includes renovations to the hotel’s 570 guest rooms, Registration and Concierge Desks, and the International Collection, the area that houses the International Ballroom. The hotel also added a new lobby bar and restaurant, fitness center, and spa.

About The Beverly Hilton
9876 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, California 90210 (310) 274-7777

Opened in 1955 by distinguished hotelier Conrad Hilton, The Beverly Hilton has combined the excitement and entertainment of Hollywood with the elegance of Beverly Hills for over 50 years. Located at the world-famous intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards, the 570-room hotel features 101 suites including the nine private luxury suites within The Penthouse Collection. With more than 60,000 square feet of upscale indoor and open-air event space all on the lobby level, the hotel’s famed International Ballroom is the centerpiece of the new International Collection. Home of many notable annual events including the Golden Globe Awards(r), Oscar Nominee Luncheon and the Milken Institute’s Global Conference, The Beverly Hilton offers three award winning ballrooms, nine additional meeting rooms, an Executive Meeting Center with unrivaled technology by design to make any meeting a success. Owned by entertainer, Merv Griffin from 1987 to 2003, Beny Alagem and Oasis West Realty LLC purchased The Beverly Hilton in late 2003. Immediately embarking on an $80 million reinvention of the property, Oasis West Realty redefined the luxury hotel to a level of sophistication synonymous with the Beverly Hills. See paragraph ” The Beverly Hilton’s Revitalization process (please refer to it as a “reinvention” so as not to confuse people with the owners forthcoming “revitalization” project.

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May 2008
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