A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor



MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 2010: Ideally located on the most happening strip in Miami Beach, the Gansevoort Miami Beach hotel, spa and resort exudes luxury and high living, with a 55,000 square-foot beach club, an infinity pool, and an eighteen-story rooftop oasis and lounge. Celebrity sightings at Gansevoort Miami Beach are so common that they have become, in a sense, part of the aesthetic. Gansevoort Miami Beach is also surrounded by businesses and homes, and there has long been a tension between the parties on the roof and consideration for the neighbors. Three years ago, Systems Design & Integration (SDI) built a sound system for the hotel commensurate with its clientele based on Symetrix’ SymNet open-architecture DSP, together with SymNet and Crestron user interfaces. Apart from delivering stunning audio that meshes magically with the décor, the system also reigns in over-exuberance on the volume knob in order to comply with local noise ordinances. David Lynn, principal at SDI, was recently called back to reinstall SymNet equipment for the rooftop area, which had been surreptitiously replaced in order to allow for greater SPLs. The unauthorized replacement had resulted, predictably, in noise ordinance violations.

“There were two overarching goals in the original installation at Gansevoort Miami Beach,” said Lynn. “First, the management wanted a way to seamlessly deliver multiple customized music playlists to different zones in the hotel in full fidelity, with control over content and volume available from their business PCs at a host of locations throughout the hotel. Second, the system had to be fully code-compliant, meaning both that it coordinated appropriately with the emergency management systems and that it regulated output so as not to violate local noise laws.”


The initial integration proved especially challenging, as the building provided very little in the way of infrastructure. Lynn, working together with Michael Chafee of Michael Chafee Enterprises, selected SymNet Express Cobra DSP hardware to facilitate audio distribution using only CAT-5 cable. “Symetrix and the SymNet brand build seamless products that are straightforward to program and backed by reliable manufacturing practices and faultless technical support,” said Lynn. “The technology is easy and fast for me, and building customized wall panels for the end users is simple. At Gansevoort Miami Beach, we use a combination of SymNet ARC push-button wall panels and Crestron touch-screen displays.”

Four equipment racks, with five SymNet Express 8×8 Cobra DSPs and one Express 12×4 Cobra DSP between them, form the sonic heart of Gansevoort Miami Beach. One rack covers the ballrooms and the mezzanine. A second rack located in the security area delivers music to the main lobby, the common areas, and the entrance. The third rack feeds the pool deck and mezzanine-level deck. Finally, a fourth rack – the rack that was replaced – covers the roof deck, the roof lobby, and the elevators. EV, ADA, and Bi-Amp amplifiers provide power to JBL, Bogen-Near and EV loudspeakers. Crestron touch-panels at the main lobby desk, elevator control room, outdoor pool deck, and general managers’ area provide redundant control over every aspect of the entire system. Strategically located SymNet ARC push-button wall panels allow users to select program material and adjust volume within specific zones.

Lynn had even integrated the monitor for the rooftop portable DJ booth so as to remain on the right side of the law. The SymNet hardware put a reliable ceiling on how loud the DJ could push the monitor. All was well until someone (who was more concerned with the vibe of the rooftop parties than with the ordinances the hotel must abide by) replaced the rooftop system to circumvent the careful controls that Lynn and Chafee had so carefully engineered. Not surprisingly, Gansevoort Miami Beach received complaints and citations. Credit Suisse, the hotel’s current owner, brought in new management and called Lynn back to undo the damage.

Lynn, in turn, called back Chafee along with Don Washburn of The Audio Bug (Hollywood, Florida). He reinstalled SymNet components so that the entire hotel would come back under unified control – again from any of the hotel’s business PCs. The team then undertook measurements, limiting and conditioning the outdoor output so as to minimize the impact on neighbors while still delivering as much perceived volume as possible to the hotel’s hard-partying guests.

ABOUT SYMETRIX Sound professionals rely upon the performance, value and reliability of audio mixing, routing and processing products from Symetrix. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1.425.778.7728.

PHOTO CAPTION Systems Design and Integration (SDI), Miami Beach, Florida installs Symetrix SymNet to control noise levels at the stunning rooftop at South Beach’s Gansevoort Beach Hotel.

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December 2010
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