Hooray for Harrah’s

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Harrah’s currently boasts seventeen casino complexes across the United States, from New Orleans to Philadelphia, from Atlantic City to San Diego. In North Carolina it is Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel that invites you to ‘Come Out and Play’. Originally designed in 1997 with a fifteen hundred seat pavilion, the complex opened its new Event Center in 2010. The primary function of this multipurpose venue is for touring acts; it can host an audience of up to three thousand nine hundred.

The much larger auditorium required a reappraisal of Cherokee Casino’s existing concert technology, particularly audio; their Production Supervisor, Ryan Hargis explains the rationale behind Harrah’s decision to install a d&b audiotechnik J-Series loudspeaker system, “The Event Center is designed for concerts but will also host banquets and sporting events. Since the bulk of the events are concerts, we wanted to go with a sound system that any touring act would be comfortable using as well as providing our guests with the best possible experience. A system from d&b was chosen based on our own research which concluded that they manufacture the best concert line array systems in the business.”

The system was installed by PSX Audiovisual Technologies from Covington, Louisiana; overseen by their Director of Engineering, John McGovern, who confirms the unequivocal nature of Harrah’s decision, “Entertainment Manager Neal Morgan and Production Supervisor Ryan Hargis let us know right up front that they wanted the Cherokee Event Center guests to have a concert experience that they would remember. They wanted d&b from the very beginning; it was chosen first and foremost for its sonic accuracy and its ability to meet with any artist’s concert rider.”

Effective liaison between the venue, the installer and the manufacturer is a vital ingredient for a successful project as McGovern explains, “Many minds were put to work on this project. The arrays were specified by d&b who modelled the room; PMK Consultants (Dallas) took care of the acoustical treatment and layout of the space; finally, PSX worked with Neal and Ryan to tweak the details and give them just what they wanted. The system sounded great right out of the box.”

Hargis identified key stages in the progress from inception to successful completion, “Everyone was on the same page going into the install; the high level of communication between all three parties through every stage was invaluable. The main components of the system are J8 and J12 in the flown array, along with J-SUBs. To supplement the hanging loudspeakers there are ground stacked J-INFRA cardioid subwoofers. To provide fill for the closest seats to stage d&b E8 loudspeakers were chosen, and ceiling mounted E12 loudspeakers to provide balcony delays. We also use d&b M4 monitors and Q-SUBs for drum sub monitors, while for side fills we fly Q-SUB and Q7s. All the loudspeakers in the room are driven by d&b D12 amplifiers which are networked and controlled through the d&b R1Remote control software interfaced through an iPad.”

For both Harrah’s and PSX this was their first collaboration with d&b audiotechnik; was it a successful one? McGovern is very clear, “PSX is very pleased with d&b, it was our first experience with them and we were supported in every way. As a contractor there are certain jobs that stand out, ones that you consider special. This is definitely one of them.”

“One of the goals of getting the d&b system was to make our job easier,” concludes Hargis. “We have had acts come through that were carrying a high end PA that stayed on the truck because of the quality of the installed d&b rig. Comments such as, ‘This is the least amount of work I think I’ve ever had to do for tuning a PA,’ confirm that we have made absolutely, one hundred percent, the right choice.”

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