Framingham, Massachusetts, October 20, 2014 – Since its opening, The Roost has been carving out a new space for live music in north Austin, TX. Owned by local music mavens the Cotton Brothers — Jimbo, John, Bobby and David — the 3,400-square-foot music venue opened with a New Year’s Eve run by Joe Ely. Since then, it’s been drawing rave reviews for everything from its bookings (e.g. Kelly Willis, Bruce Robison, Carolyn Wonderland and Reckless Kelly) to its sound, which local entertainment blog AustinPixels.com called “perfect.” And while The Roost has Texas’ amazing musical heritage to draw on for its music, the sound succeeds thanks to a RoomMatch® system from Bose® Professional Systems.
Locally based AV systems integrator Big House Sound installed a RoomMatch system composed of two RM9040 modules, two RM9060 modules, two RM12060 modules and a pair of RMS218 dual-18-inch subwoofers, powered by four PowerMatch® PM8500N 8-channel networked amplifiers.
The Roost can hold up to 700 people, and the system components needed to be flexible enough to handle the space’s unorthodox layout, leading to a creative design centered around the RoomMatch components. “Our associate Chet Himes really had the vision for what the club’s sound system would become,” recalls Zach Richards, Director of Installations for Big House Sound, referring to the Austin pro audio legend who has mixed GRAMMY® Award-winner Christopher Cross’ sound for years. “He and his colleague Bill Johnson were the masterminds behind the ideas. They brought us in to translate their ideas into a workable design and installation.”
Himes says he’s worked with Bose® speakers in the past and always had good experiences. “I’ve used an L1® system in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel during SXSW, and they could fill up the room with a ton of sound but never overpower it,” he recalls. “So I knew that for The Roost, with its football-shaped room that was wider and deeper, the RoomMatch speakers were a great choice.”
The concept was to put the audience “in the music,” rather than looking at it, by creating a modified surround sound system – one that would evenly and consistently cover the entire music room, which is considerably wider than it is long. This scenario played into the RoomMatch system’s strength: two main hangs, on either side of the stage, are made up of an RM9040 module on top of an RM12060 module, giving most of the room even coverage. The two RM9060 modules are flown about 20 feet further out on either side of the stage and about 15 feet into the room, angled slightly inwards. These semi-encircle the room, providing delay coverage to the edges of the venue and creating seamless coverage with the rest of the system, including the two RMS218 subs installed on either side of the stage.
“The RM9040 is a tight horizontal pattern module and is very good at keeping the energy off the walls and on the audience,” says Richards, who used the Bose Modeler® software to predict how the room would react to sound and use those findings to choose the RoomMatch components with exactly the right dispersion patterns. “The RM12040 covers the downstage area very well, so between the two modules we have great coverage front to back. The RM9060’s tie it all together for a room of that shape and those dimensions. We were working with people who wanted a really high-fidelity sound system for music, and with the Bose RoomMatch system, we were able to get that.”
Himes says the RoomMatch speakers were able to achieve his original vision for The Roost’s sound: “It’s stunning,” he says. “The first night we had a packed house and we were hitting between 98 and 100 dB, but people were still carrying on conversations. The RoomMatch [system] is just that smooth.”
Venue co-owner David Cotton added simply, “I like to think of The Roost as our project to assemble the best of the best – music acts, technical personnel and management. But at The Roost, thanks to our Bose system, the sound is the star of the show.”