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Big Woods Microbrewery Overcomes Customer Chatter, Audio Echo

In a 7,500-square foot space with tall ceilings and sleek, hard surfaces, “echo” and “boom” seem inevitable. When my team and I opened Big Woods, a new microbrewery, bar and restaurant adjacent to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we sought to channel the exhilarating atmosphere of the races. And to us, that required clear and controllable sound.

To overcome the space’s cavernous proportions, we called in local technology integrator Curt Edwards from Custom Audio Designs to install a multi-room audio solution with highly targeted speakers to direct sound exactly where it needed to go. In turn, Edwards built an entirely new system based around SpeakerCraft.

“The concrete floors and wood ceilings create a natural ‘bouncing’ effect with sound,” Edwards explained. “That means we had two issues: overcoming customer noise and chatter and avoiding audio echo. My team had to rely on high quality speakers to reliably aim the sound.”

The newly installed audio system includes 40 SpeakerCraft 5"OE5 Surface Mount speakers and 12 SpeakerCraft 8" Profile CRS8 In-Ceiling speakers powered by three SpeakerCraft 16 channel  SC1650 Power Amps, with three Yamaha R-S202 Stereo Receivers as sources. My team and I set up the system so it could be controlled via an Apple iPad Mini, through which a select group of Big Woods staffers could stream Pandora and iTunes playlists in different areas of the microbrewery.

Throughout the facility, there are five unique entertainment spaces: two outside and three inside. As the bar’s general manager, I knew how important it was to incorporating different audio feeds into each environment to cultivate varying atmospheres. Inside, the music needs to be a little more mellow since it's a restaurant where families are dining. On the outdoor patio and beer garden, the music has much more energy.

In addition to the audio system, Custom Audio Designs installed a comprehensive security system to ensure that the property would remain safe after closing. Through a wall-mounted control panel, I can monitor 12 Honeywell cameras, eight motion detectors, and more.

After its opening in May, Big Woods has already proved to be a wild success. I have been busy non-stop since opening day, and I attribute that success to every element in the new operation.

“Our motto is ‘quaff,’ which means to drink heartily and with gusto,” Suarez said. “That’s the lifestyle that we live and the culture that we try to cultivate. With that being said, it’s important that we utilize the best tools available to us to help us achieve that goal.”
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