(l-r) Hutch “HutchiBoye” Hutchins and Dylan Ching
Honolulu, HI (May 15, 2015)—When you think of Hawaii, you imagine beaches, waves and palm trees, but odds are that you hear some sweet island music, too. Duke’s Waikiki restaurant and live music venue in Honolulu, HI aimed to give visitors all of the above, but audio system woes made it difficult to deliver on the music until a recent installation by Goodguys Music and Sound, which included Yamaha mixing consoles and powered loudspeakers.
The main issue that had to be solved was that music from the outdoor deck bled into the restaurant and, because the establishment opens onto the beach, the staff had to roll out and break down the equipment every evening. When management decided to overhaul the sound system, general manager Dylan Ching wanted guests in the indoor dining room to enjoy comfortable levels and also let the live music fans on the patio hear the bands clearly. Clay Nakasone, co-owner of Goodguys, teamed with install consultant Hutch “HutchiBoye” Hutchins to craft a custom indoor-outdoor setup.
The establishment is divided into four distinct zones, all of which can be fine-tuned. The 12-channel split system setup assigns 12 inputs to the bands that play on the patio and 12 independent inputs for the house mix that can be adjusted; so, for example, solo musicians that play under the cabana can control only their mix through a monitor, a DXR8 attached to the bottom of an umbrella above their heads.
On the patio, which accommodates 150 to 200 guests, an MG166CX mixer on a roll-around rack uses two DSR15 powered speakers for the mains along with two DSR12 and two DXR12 powered speakers for the monitors. An installed custom splitter box allows for connecting with the disconnect box by the cabana rack. This setup requires a sound person to operate it.
Performers range from local groups to national acts, including Jimmy Buffet. In addition, strolling musicians circulate around the facility and Duke’s hosts concerts on the beach during the day.
Hutch designed the new setup “so that the speakers surround the patio and act like a set of headphones,” he said. “Everyone is in the middle of the mix and the sound never bleeds into the building. It worked perfectly; everyone is in the sound zone so they don’t have to blast the music.”
To protect against the elements, Hutchins removed and relocated the electronic components from the speaker cabinets and placed them in the rack, which contains a 12-channel custom splitter box with eight mic inputs and four internal direct box plug-ins that is connected to an MG20XU mixer, which Hutch says “sounds so clean and full that the bands and even the staff noticed the difference right away.” A multi-pin jack lets the board plug into an MG206C house console through a disconnect box next to the cabana rack.
“We can pump up the bass on the beach, but not through the restaurant and we pulled out the low frequencies to make the vocals clearer indoors,” said Ching, the general manager. “We can turn zones off in the dining room so the system gives us a lot of flexibility.”
The house system includes an MG206C mixer with two DSR12 speakers for mains and sends a feed of the band to a four channel zone mixer that controls the band input, house music and an iPod, any of which can be sent to incoming phone callers who are put on hold. This feed can also be directed to ceiling speakers that deliver sound to the dining room, the bathrooms, the entryway, the bar and to the adjacent Diamondhead Room.
Ching reports that “our musicians were very happy when we made the switch and we get a lot of compliments from guests.”