26.02.09

Ateis and K Array make UK debut in Kettner’s

AUTHOR: Inavate

Kettner's is a grand old Soho institution, once frequented by Oscar Wilde, the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII), often with his mistress, Lillie Langtry, and Agatha Christie and later a favourite haunt of media types and theatre-goers.

The restaurant and its famous champagne bar have now been refurbished with a new decor, which harks back to its Victorian beginnings, and a cutting edge sound system marking the first UK installation of the Ateis UAP G2 digital audio processor and K-Array loudspeakers.

Background music, both live and pre-recorded, sets the mood in the building's different areas; the Champagne Bar, Brasserie and Pudding Bar on the ground floor and the Apartment Bar on the first floor. A well-distributed, easy to control sound system is essential for these installations but Kettner's management also wanted facilities for three media rooms on the first floor.

These are being hired out to corporate clients and local film and post-companies for presentations and receptions. Each media room contains a sound system that includes a pair of K-Array KT20 loudspeakers accompanied by a KKS50 subwoofer, units which blend with the interior design by Studio Ilse.

The K-Arrays are controlled locally by a Crestron MT000 wireless touch screen processor but can be run on a wider scale from the Ateis UAP G2. Kettner's is the first UK installation for the UAP G2, which was supplied through Ateis' distributor, HD Pro Audio.

Robert Knowles of installation company All Options explains that Kettner's wanted a system that was cost-effective and simple to operate. "A switcher-controlled matrix is one approach," he says, "but that can be expensive to install and complicated to run with touch screens. A simpler and less costly way is to have easy to operate wall panels, with the matrix hidden away in a rack. The Ateis is the easier way to do this."

Two Ateis racks control all three floors. One is located upstairs, the other downstairs, with amplifiers in each location. By using a selector on the wall panels, background music licensed from Image Sound or the output of the Sennheiser Evolution G2 wireless microphone in the Apartment Bar can be switched to any part of the building, which is fitted with a mixture of Tannoy ceiling loudspeakers and further K-Array KT20/KKS50 combinations.

Through the UAP G2's switching capability the K-Arrays in the media rooms can also relay either background music or performances in the Apartment Bar. In return what is heard in the media areas can be broadcast over the rest of the building. Kettner's has been fitted with CAT5E cable arranged in rings, connecting the Ateis and Crestron processors using the RS232 protocol. The two systems can work independent of each other or be networked in this way.

Kettner's manager Andrew Goddard says the installation meets all the requirements asked of All Options and Ateis: "This is a new and quirky installation that was conceived with ease of use and multi-functionality in mind. It's fulfilled the need for a very discreet system in line with the demands of this Grade 2 listed building and it's idiot-proof for our non-technical staff to operate it."