Located amid the African bush, not far from Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, lies The Midgard Country Estate, one of O&L Leisure’s iconic retreats. The estate, self-described as “a paradise where the earth rises again, fertile and green,” appeals to a variety of potential customers, possessing 46 newly decorated bedrooms, a bar, two swimming pools and a host of other leisure facilities. It is an ideal setting for a family retreat, and a perfect venue for a meeting, conference, team-building event or wedding. As beautiful as the premises and surroundings are, Midgard’s audio-visual technology required an update to keep it in line with cutting-edge standards, ensuring that guests are entertained, and conferences run seamlessly. Stage Audio Works’ Namibian office was responsible for AV design and integration, most recently providing a comprehensive turnkey Audac-based distributed audio system for the restaurant and bar area.
SAW Namibia have been involved with the Midgard Estate since 2020 when they were first called in to update the AV systems in Midgard’s conference venues. Joppie Maritz, MD of SAW Namibia elaborates on the initial round of instalments: “We focused on upgrading the estate’s four conference venues, providing audio visual equipment that ensures a seamless conferencing experience for guests. We implemented projectors, motorised screens, discreet ceiling speakers and offered the ability to adapt the environment with advanced audio processing combined with lighting and room control plus video conferencing capacity.” The second phase dealt with installing the distributed audio system, and the third, which commences later this month, observes the integration of a smaller Audac system for the wellness centre.
The brief for the second phase was to design and install a multi-zone, distributed audio system with volume control and independent source selection for each zone. Naturally, the installation had to be discreet to match the illustrious aesthetic of the venue. It was also important that the system was scalable for future upgrades.
SAW Namibia specified and provided an Audac-based solution to meet all of these requirements. At the centre of the integration, an Audac MTX88 matrix distributes audio to up to eight zones. This can be controlled by an accessible web-based interface, mobile app or via external control panels. For ease of use, SAW installed Audac’s MWX45 and MWX65 wall panel controllers across the restaurant, lounge and bar areas, enabling remote source selection and volume control and, in the case of the MWX65, local audio input as well. A modular Audac XMP44 audio interface allows flexibility, offering four SourceCon slots for different audio source modules. In this case the client can simultaneously select inputs from either USB audio, internet audio stream, an FM tuner or DStv (African direct broadcast satellite service) audio input. A Radial Engineering WallDI box handles the DStv audio input from the bar area.
When asked what prompted the choice of an Audac system, Maritz states: “From previous experience with using Audac products during other projects, we know their range to be reliable, as well as affordable. We were confident we could design an end-to-end Audac solution which delivers at a very competitive price point. For a company like O&L, who treasure the user experience, going with a versatile, easily operable Audac solution was a no brainer.”
For audio playback, SAW bolstered the estate’s sound system by providing multiple Alti 6 Pendant loudspeakers, perfect for the high ceilings and open space in the public areas. Additionally, the sleek white design is well suited to the bright interior. The unobtrusive yet powerful CIRA8 ceiling loudspeakers were utilised in areas with lower ceilings where a more discreet approach was required. To power the system, SAW integrated a number of Audac Quad-channel 100V amplifiers combined with COM108 where lower output capacity was required.
Summarising the success of the project, Maritz comments: “It’s been a great experience working with O&L Leisure on the Midgard project. They have a clear idea of what they want the customer experience to be – creating a venue that caters to all kinds of use cases and events. We were pleased to provide the technical expertise required to materialise their vision.”
Lientjie Jansen van Rensberg of O&L Leisure echoes the sentiment: “It is a pleasure to work with the professional and friendly team of SAW Namibia. They are customer and solution-orientated and no problem is ever too big or too small to solve. Thank you to Joppie and his team for the commitment and the support during this project and a number of other projects throughout the O&L Group.”