KIMBERLEY, BC—What’s behind the Green Door, a popular live entertainment spot in small-town British Columbia? Great food and drink; a lively, interesting gathering of local music lovers; and some remarkably dialed-in acoustics, suitable for both live performance and recording. Thanks to the interest of John Siega—principal of Rocky Mountain Media, a local AV systems installer—his suggestion of acoustic treatment panels uniquely placed throughout the venue has broadened the Green Door’s business model significantly.
“The room itself was quite bouncy, hollow-sounding,” Siega recalls. “Over the course of time, I came to know the people there and approached them about doing some acoustic treatment. I used to do a lot of live sound gigs, so I had a lot of gear I could put to use that I wasn’t using anymore.”
With the owners’ piqued interest, Siega hung a few Primacoustic Broadway panels to hear the possibilities. “Over the course of a month or so, we tuned the room, installed a small PA system—plenty for it, a 50-person room—and it turned out so well that we began doing live recordings there, too.”
To contribute to the setup, Siega had a pair of Yamaha Concert Club V Series S115V two-way speakers, older Yamaha 03D and 02R digital mixers for mixing and recording uses, respectively, and a Tascam DA-88 digital multitrack recorder, plus various other pro-audio sundries, and was soon fleshing out the Green Door’s audio, aiming to offer both good sound and high-resolution live recordings for visiting acts.
“It’s a way to market the venue but offer the acts something, too,” explains Siega of the Green Door’s recording capabilities. “The end goal was recording, but taking care of the acoustic problems was a must for both live sound and recording needs. This is something that can be representative of the acts’ live offerings, and by charging at the door, they can pay for the recording and mixing if they want it; it’s sort of a trade of services.”
Leading the Green Door away from “speakers on poles” for sound reinforcement, Siega hung his Yamaha boxes high overhead and angled them down, minimizing wall reflection as much as possible. “We used the acoustic absorption of the people to our advantage, as well as acoustic treatment hung high, too.”
The Green Door’s acoustic challenges involved controlling echo while keeping careful tab on aesthetics; various-sized Broadway panels were used with custom mounts built by one of the owners. “By putting up the panels in the corners, you get a bass trap effect, which was great, but when you hang them at an angle, when customers look up, it tends to reduce the visual profile, looking smaller. For a recording studio, prominent panels may be a fine look, but this worked much better here.”