Atlanta (November 23, 2009)—Thanks to Communications & Entertainment, Inc. (CEI), an Atlanta-based design/build firm, equipment from Ashly Audio has been installed in a number of Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants.
In CEI’s hospitality division, veteran designer Troy Riner delivers an adaptable template for clients such as the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group that almost always relies on an Ashly ne24.24M matrix processor and the Ashly WR-5 wall panel. The ne24.24M provides horsepower behind the scenes to bend the system to Riner’s will, while the WR-5 presents a simple interface so that restaurant managers can, in Riner’s words, “focus on their jobs without distraction.”
Riner began working with CEI eleven years ago, when DSP was just starting to become a centerpiece of most installations. When his early “go to” box began clogging up for lack of processing overhead, Riner turned to Ashly. These days, the ne24.24M forms the digital heart of most of his systems. “Twenty-four seems to be a magic number,” he said. “Twenty-four combinations of inputs and outputs will fit just about any design in the hospitality industry.”
Take, for example, the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants (GBBR), which has over 45 restaurants nationwide. Unlike many sports establishments, a GBBR operation is never an uncontrolled riot of TV screens, and so the audio plays a greater role in its brand identity. Riner divides each GBBR establishment up into between seven and 12 zones, depending on its size. “As an engineer, I get to tweak the speakers and subwoofers in each zone with separate and ample dynamics and equalization so that the system sounds smooth and continuous,” said Riner. “But from the user’s perspective, the WR-5 interface is the real beauty of the system.”
The Ashly WR-5 is a microprocessor-based wall-mounted remote control unit with six designer-assignable function buttons, up/down keys, and an alphanumeric display. “For Gordon Biersch, I almost always use the function buttons to select different input sources, such as satellite receivers or background music services, and the up/down keys for volume,” Riner said. “When I commission a system, I do a training with the manager and the staff, but it’s kind of laughable. In under five minutes everyone understands it, and they probably would have understood it even with no training at all, since all the input sources are labeled and everyone has an intuition about what up/down keys should do in a music system.” By placing a bWR-5 in each zone, there is no confusion about what is controlling what. “Best of all for me, it keeps the manager’s hands away from the equipment rack!”
Ashly Audio Inc.