Symetrix Saves Sound at La Sirena

New York Restaurant La Sirena replaces its broken sound system with Symetrix DSP. Just a few months after its first sound system was installed, a fire sprinkler flood ruined it. The restaurant’s management then turned to AV systems integrator Essential Communications for help.

“The GM told me: ‘I need you to get us back up and running, and give us a proposal to replace the whole system to accommodate the expanded needs of the facility,'” recalled Essential Communications president David Schwartz. “The amps were fried, and there were burn marks everywhere from the shorts.” The new system he proposes is based on a Symetrix Radius DSP.

Retaining the existing ceiling speakers, the Essential Communications team has replaced all the damaged amplifiers with Ashly NX Series amps, installed a Symetrix Radius 12×8 DSP with output expanders, and completed the wiring and configuration. This hasn’t been an easy task. Multiple zones are required to cover all the spaces, and the venue has three head ends at different locations in the building, with an IT closet in the basement.

“The challenge was how to get multiple audio programs distributed to every zone for dining, and distribute different sources to the various spaces for private events,” said David.

“We decided to go with Dante, which is one reason we chose a Symetrix Radius. But there was no conduit, and we couldn’t open up walls, so we couldn’t run more CAT6. Fortunately, we discovered fiber between two of the head ends and CAT6 spares between the second and third head end. So we created a hybrid distributed Dante system with all new switches, interconnected with fiber. It took a month just to figure out how to distribute everything and get it all talking but now everything works well. We eliminated most of the original 15 Sonos Connect players, keeping four as playback sources for guests to use in each zone.”

The planning has been mind boggling, Schwartz emphasised: “because every zone had a source switcher and a volume control, and all of that had to live in the main Symetrix Radius DSP at the main head end. The outgoing signal distributed via Dante out to each zone, so in essence, there was a Dante receiver and an analog amplifier. It took a lot of time to figure out, especially since we couldn’t run new cable.”

David’s team has equipped the main head end with a Symetrix Radius 12×8 EX, a 4 Channel Analog Output Card, and an xOut 12 Output Expander, for a base system of 12×24. The second head end uses an xOut 12, while the third head end uses a Prism 4×4.

“The Symetrix Radius, with its Dante implementation, was crucial to building the core and linking multiple units,” related Schwartz. “Symetrix offers a variety of DSPs and platforms, so we can choose the right features for the job. That makes working with their equipment really flexible. Symetrix’ technical support is great – and we needed it for this project.”