Miranda Hotel and Carmen’s Nightclub, owned by P.J Ryan’s Hotels since the 80’s, have become iconic entertainment establishments of The Shire. A refurbishment was needed, so they cut a hole in the roof and created a beautiful garden courtyard, which has become the heart of the Jewel of the Shire. Each day the garden courtyard becomes an extension of the dining room, where families and larger groups can enjoy a meal or a cocktail in the sun.
The goal was to create a casual, modern interior, sprinkled with fun vintage glamour. Plywood finishes and bright blue booths give the dining area a fresh, light ambience with its open kitchen exposing the talents of the new chef. The chunky bar is accented with fine-line detailing. The raw timbers and textured bricks are contrasted with smooth and bright coloured tiles. The large bi-fold windows frame an abundance of hanging plants and allow the natural warm light to enter the bar. The fabrics and furniture were chosen with the French Riviera in mind with bright, fun colours, evocative of the beach, striped banquettes reminiscent of St.Tropez deck chairs and patterned fabrics depicting whimsical scenes of the French seaside villages. The concept is finished off by bright red window boxes overflowing with gardenias.
The hotel is well known by locals, but now, with an emphasis on high quality food, casual dining, a new beer garden and a state-of-the-art nightclub, Carmen’s has been re-launched for a new generation.
A challenge to create a more intimate space within Carmen’s nightclub whilst retaining the option to accommodate larger events was met by halving the space allocated to Carmen’s and creating the beer garden. Having the full height windows and doors open to the courtyard has created interaction between the two spaces. Patrons can now relax outside in the open air whilst still being close to the action in Carmen’s. The nightclub itself now boasts the latest audio/visual technology which includes a 3m x 3m screen to view the DJ’s and sporting events.
One of the most impressive parts of the development is the custom-made sliding retractable roof. Ostensibly designed for the weather, its additional function is to create a sound barrier in the evening and reduce sound reverberation within the bar.
Carmen’s values its great relationship with its neighbours. With this in mind the nightclub had a great amount of acoustic attenuation applied to the walls and ceiling. This also improves the sound quality within the nightclub.
Compact Monitor Systems Australia designed and installed the audio system throughout the venue opting for a total JBL speaker solution.
“The JBL Control Series are my favourite speakers by a million miles,” exclaimed Bill Richardson, managing director of Compact Monitor Systems Australia. “I’ve been a JBL-head for many years and Compact has been affiliated with JBL since the 1970’s. The JBL Control Series of speakers is the first thing - and almost the only thing - we recommend to our clients. The only exception is if someone has a very specific request for a certain type of speakers.”
Bill describes the JBL Control Series as very simple, always sounding good straight out of the box.
“The ceiling mount speakers come with a back can and they don’t have to be pre-installed,” he added. “You just cut the hole, fit it in, turn the little clips and it locks into place. It’s really very easy. They come in low impedance, high impedance and really couldn’t be any simpler to use. With the back can all the energy comes out of the front of the speaker and doesn’t get wasted in the ceiling cavity. Most importantly they sound great.
“The wall-mount speakers such as the Control 29AV come with a magnificent mounting system that again couldn’t be any easier to use and is tamper proof. The Control 29AV and 25AV can be used outdoors so all you have to do is put a little flange on the back where the cable goes in and it becomes highly water resistant.”
Bill states that specifying the JBL Control Series is a no-brainer for him and he further describes it as a wonderful sounding, commercial loudspeaker range.
Seventeen JBL Control 24CT in-ceiling speakers are used in the bar, TAB, and dining audio zones. Ten of the more powerful JBL Control 47LP and a couple of JBL Control 40CST subwoofers are used in the VIP area.
“The client had had a bad experience with the former ceiling speakers in the VIP area as they were too light and too few for the job,” explained Bill. “I convinced them that we could get it right. The ceiling is pretty low so we had to have good distributed audio and the end result with the JBL Control 47LP speakers was great.”
All of the JBL speakers are running off Crown amplifiers; two CDi1000, three XTi6002, an XTi4002, an 1160A, and an XTi1002.
“The Crown amplifiers are also a no-brainer,” remarked Bill. “It’s a Harman product that is really married to the JBL speakers. They have a wide variety of products from entry level to smart amplifiers with processing built onboard. Crown amps are excellent and we never have to convince anyone to use them, they are industry leading products. The Crown three year warranty deal that is transferable is brilliant.”
Carmen’s nightclub posed several problems particularly an inconvenient roof angle and weight constrictions plus acoustic problems with neighbours. Close liaisons between the builder Infinity, an acoustic consultant and Compact Monitor Systems through the build ensured acceptable sound proofing of the venue.
“The acoustic consultant asked me what I wanted the reverb time in the room to be and I answered zero,” commented Bill. “I asked them to make it as dead as possible and then we’d control what came out of the speaker boxes.”
Bill chose the JBL VRX Curvature Line Array speaker system which is compact and lightweight. Hung in each corner of the venue is a stack of three VRX speaker cabinets.
“They are so small and lightweight you really don’t expect a lot of noise to come out of them – but it does!” said Bill. “Each stack gives us 45 degrees of coverage in the vertical and 100 degrees in the horizontal. It basically does everything it is supposed to do. We get incredible SPL out of them.”
Three JBL ASB6125 dual-15″ subwoofers, configured in 2.6 ohm resistance, are installed under the stage in a centre cluster.
“The coupling we get out of the three boxes is incredible,” Bill said. “We configured it using the control system so that we have several modes. The DJ mode is fairly obvious with two-way stereo left – right anywhere you’re standing in the room but when the a band is onstage the rear boxes get turned off and the subs get wound back to match the top boxes and you have a normal band PA. It’s fantastic and very simple to switch between the two via the DJ’s touch screen.”
The BSS BLU range of products was chosen for the audio control and signal processing. Two of the BLU-100 12 x 8 processors were chosen for the job; one acts as the signal processor for the main PA in the nightclub, and the other as DSP and control for the balance of the venue.
“The entire signal processing including eq, limiters, time alignment, etc is done using this box,” explained Bill. “There is little or no interface for the visiting users of the system other than what is presented on their mixing console(s). This provides full protection and maintains the integrity of the audio system no matter who is using it.”
The Soundweb BLU-100 has fixed configuration of 12 inputs and 8 outputs, fully configurable signal processing and fault tolerant digital audio bus. The software’s open architecture and the drag and drop method of set-up provides a simple and user friendly design and control user interface.
The 6 logic outputs and 12 control inputs mean the BLU-100 can be fully integrated with standard GPIO devices which Compact Monitor Systems has done with the venue’s control system.
Compact Monitor Systems Australia designed and installed a new lighting system into the nightclub choosing six Martin MAC250 Kryptons, a high performance profile with a separate gobo and colour wheel, an achromatic lens system and a rotating prism.
“Martin was always a no-brainer and we really wanted to use the MAC250 Kryptons as they are very bright, have every colour under the sun and perfect for the application,” commented Bill Richardson, managing director of Compact Monitor Systems Australia.
The roof above the stage area is very low and so recesses were cut into the ceiling into which could fit a Martin MX-10 scanner.
“A moving head light would have hung down far too low but the MX-10 was perfect,” added Bill. “They are out of sight and out of mind, yet still delivering a great effect. They are very fast and the colours and spinning gobos are very nice.”
Four Kupo 2way blinder effects and a couple of Max Strobes add effect whilst two JEM Magnum hazers add the atmospherics.
The venue features a custom box truss from Design Quintessence complete with scene stealing truss warmers.
“My general manager Jade Wallace suggested we use truss warmers but I was hesitant as I thought it would look a little bit too rock’n’roll,” admitted Bill. “However I agreed and consequently eight Pro Shop LED Miniblock truss warmers were installed and they look awesome! It really is a killer feature.
“We decided upon Martin LightJockey 2 for control as it is tidy, small and after you’ve used it a few times you become very at home with it. LightJockey is easy to interface with the other equipment from Martin and other leading manufacturers products.”