d&b serves electrifying audio for the Hard Rock hotel, restaurant & bar at Hyde Park London.
The Hard Rock Hotel, Hyde Park, is a newly refurbished and re-branded 1000-room establishment that comes with its own unique musical history. Formerly the Grand Cumberland Hotel, the infamous rooms have been the regular resting and partying places for the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, Diana Ross, and Bob Dylan - an ideal setting for a flagship rock-themed hotel, restaurant and bar. Jointly responsible for a leap forward in installed audio design were Blend Technology Consultants, AT&C Audio Visual Integrators, and d&b audiotechnik - the new voice of the Hard Rock Hotel, London.
Nick Highton, Associate Director at Blend, explains: “The original idea was to honour the Hard Rock brand by ring-fencing an ample budget for the audio systems, and the obvious choice was to spec a big sounding, punchy d&b system.” That decision was informed by an existing and fruitful relationship with d&b, though he says this case was ultimately inspired by a trip to Berlin: “I was in a bar there, at least six months before we were due to start the Hard Rock design. The d&b system in there just sounded so good - really impressive.”
Instead of using one of d&b’s more familiar loudspeaker ranges such as the V-Series or Y-Series, Blend opted for d&b’s larger xS-Series point source installation boxes - the 12S and the 18S-SUB - for the stage, and smaller xS-Series components for the rest of the installation. The bigger boxes are capable of delivering a powerful live performance and, crucially, have ensured that the voicing remains consistent throughout all of the hotel’s public spaces, including the VIP areas and even bathrooms.
“It just feels like one big space,” says Project Manager Ian Dunn of AT&C. “You wouldn’t know there are nine or ten different zones - and that’s probably the beauty of this installation. Everything is set, and all the customer needs are managed by overall level presets.”
Highton: “As you move around the space the sound doesn’t change. It might go down a bit in level as you go towards the cocktail bar, but the tone remains constant and you don’t feel like you’re moving into different spaces.” He notes that much of this was achieved in the design stage, with accurate acoustic modelling. “We worked closely with d&b on modelling this space, to make sure we had the coverage we needed, that there were no dead spots, and that the acoustic would work.
“Between our design and specification, and the implementation and programming by AT&C, Hard Rock were delighted with the results,” adds Highton. “They made a point of telling us how pleased they were that we had paid proper attention to the brand and cared enough to make it sound that good. They have high brand standards, and I think we exceeded those in all aspects.”
The new Hard Rock Hotel at Hyde Park, London is set to continue the building’s longstanding association with the British music scene, thanks to amazing interior work by Scott Brownrigg, and an audio system that more than lives up to the brand, thanks to Blend, AT&C, and d&b audiotechnik.