5 Jan 2023


by John O’Brien

Soho Sound Design install Meyer Sound in James St, Brisbane

Once renowned as part of the seedy Fortitude Valley, James St Brisbane is now a pretty funky space. Long gone is the underbelly and high end is all the rage there. So much so that the street even has its own website Fashion, health and eateries feature in a very glamorous and busy area.

The outfit behind this restaurant didn’t spare much expense. According to AV installer Jason Roesler of Soho Sound Design, “They spent a fortune on the fitout, including the foyer. They wanted a lot of umbrellas out in an open area immediately beside the street. We had to do a fairly complicated install where we installed all the speakers and light fixtures on these umbrella poles.”

Installation into features like these is not some easy retrofit. Jason was fortunate that; “these guys do it properly. They had an architectural firm who we worked with from the ground up. All those umbrellas were rendered in 3D with the speakers and the lights. We already knew exactly what it would look like and exactly where everything would go. That meant we could plan our conduit and cabling properly.”

Jason chose Meyer Sound for the speakers. “It’s hands down my preference for every job. Because the 48V stuff is really key. I much prefer a self-powered loudspeaker, for all the obvious advantages, being able to wire them with low voltage wiring means that it’s pretty cheap and easy. And then you don’t end up with a rack full of amplifiers for multiple channels.”

Soho Sound Design security bolted an MM-4XP to each of six umbrellas, two more to custom poles, and a further five inside the venue. Each is individually addressable, IP rated as required, and hued to suit its location in the venue. These latter options are requestable features for all Meyer Sound speakers. Four MM-10 subs give some bottom end, with two located under outdoor benches, one in the wait station, and one inside at the serving table.

For customers like Soho, “The outdoor durability of the products is amazing. The colour matching is fantastic and, size for performance, those MM-4XPs and MM-10 s are just unbelievable. For anything short of a dancefloor, those products are all you need.”

To make it all work well, Jason designed a system with a BSS Soundweb for DSP and signal distribution, Dynalite for easy DALI lighting control and RTI as the overarching layer to tie it all together. The Dynalite also controls a couple of Epson EV 110 digital signage projectors that display drinks menus on the walls. To make it easy for the venue to operate, a custom interface is provided on iPads and iPhones using RTI Panel. Further control options are one touch macros triggered from Dynalite button plates.

This top layer is very important for Jason. “That interface is big part of our offering. There’s no point selling someone a really nice Meyer Sound system if it’s not user friendly.”

Programmed and laid out by Ash Bennett of Benno Technology Solutions, “the interface that we put in is so user friendly – we don’t even need to show the staff how to use it.”

Sunshine Eatery is but one project for Jason and Soho in James St. Having fitted extensive AV systems into the 5-star Calile Hotel directly across the road, he is also in planning with the trader’s group to install and wire up audio along the whole avenue. “The main drivers for wanting to do this is that they do three or four big festivals in the street each year. And there are 10s of 1000s of people in that street at that time. It’s mayhem. As the street has grown so much in the last few years, the reality is that a permanent audio system with distribution is required to keep up with the scale and complexity of events.”

Current goals look at covering about 300m of the road with a networked series of Meyer Sound ULTRA-X20XP point source self-powered speakers. They’ve started with five of these mounted outside the Calile and plan to add up to 50 along several blocks.

Wiring between different tenancies is a tricky proposition but Jason specifically chose the ULTRA-X20XP to tackle this problem. Linked between buildings with 48VDC (class 2 ELV) wiring, multiple; “legal or safety issues associated with higher voltage cable or connections are avoided”. Further, integrated M8 rigging points and multiple mounting options for the ULTRA-X series will help allow easy installation across the many different facades and street frontages involved.

Soho Sound Design do all their own design work, commissioning, and tuning. “We do explain our methods to Meyer Sound, and they are pretty happy about them.” Jason continues: “They will help every time I ask, but we don’t need to ask that much. They’ve been good with spare parts and always come to the party. If we have a problem, they are always very helpful.”

This helpfulness leads Jason to state; “We only use Meyer Sound these days. Especially with being able to deal with them directly. It’s so much better to speak direct to the manufacturer and get the info straight away, get help when you need it. It’s a good relationship.”

As James St continues its expansion plans, and Jason’s Soho Sound Design picks up even more customers, this relationship with Meyer Sound will only get stronger.


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