This past January, Nashville’s Famous Saloon, a 120-year old multi-level “Honky Tonk” featuring live music, indoor and outdoor bars, and a private event space, was due for a total renovation. In doing so, the bar’s owner May West sought to preserve the venue’s classic Southern charm while also enhancing the customer experience with new technology. Following a referral from the bar’s appointed architect, West asked integration firm Tour Supply Inc. to design an automation system to give her and her staff the modern control they desired. To do just that, Tour Supply turned to ELAN.
“Our staff had struggled to manage the vibe of each room. We really wanted a system that would allow us to dim the lights from anywhere within the bar, change the music with the touch of a button, and instantly set up the stage lighting,” West commented. “We took this renovation as an opportunity to modernize our operations with an automation system, and we made a fantastic decision by going with ELAN. We’ve taken a truly historic venue and infused it with a customer experience that only 21st century technology can deliver.”
Technology integrators Chris Torri and Lance Wascom installed one ELAN gSC10 Controller, accessible through centrally located ELAN gTP7 and gTP12 touch panels and the ELAN App, to control and automate the bar’s lighting, security, audio and video. They also installed an ELAN gMV1616 Ultra Matrix Switcher to distribute audio and video to each of the bar’s four floors, including hundreds of speakers and 14 Sony 65” 4K TVs.
“ELAN helps to turn a big space into an easily manageable space,” Torri emphasized. “West and her staff can control any system remotely, including the systems indoors, outdoors or on stage. We built a really impressive—and reliable— system that integrates everything throughout the bar. It helps the staff to better manage operations, and it enhances the overall vibe for customers looking to have a great time.”
The new lighting system throughout the Famous Saloon is nothing short of show-stopping. Tour Supply installed hundreds of Converging Systems RGB “Tape Light” LED strips throughout the venue, including underneath the bar itself, and integrated them into the ELAN system with time-specific “Event Maps.” This way, all of the LED lighting throughout the venue operates on a time schedule; in the morning, the lights power on and create a ‘pulsing’ effect. By the evening, the lights are fully ramped up and dancing in a dazzling show.
Tour Supply also integrated a Lutron Lighting system with Radio RA keypads, repeaters, and dimmers throughout the venue, which communicates with the ELAN system and integrates with 16 Martin RUSH MH 5 Profile Moving Heads, as well as ETC and Chauvet theatrical stage lighting, for live concerts. In addition to creating specific ‘concert’ scenes— which West and her team can access with a tap on a screen—Torri installed the ELAN App on an Apple iPad Mini so that, if need be, any performer can adjust and customize the stage lighting for their show.
“All of Nashville’s musicians want to play here for this reason,” West said. “Between the high-end acoustics, and the control we give them over the lights, we’ve set a new standard for bar-performing bands. Every musician that plays here loves it, and asks to come back!”
Tour Supply set specific scenes for audio and video, which can be changed depending on the event that the Famous Saloon is hosting, such as ‘dinner party’ or ‘live event.’ To make sure that the Sony 4K televisions receive crisp signals over the long distances from the equipment rack Tour Supply relied on sixteen ELAN HDRE receivers. Tour Supply also installed three Gefen GTB-HDBT-POL-BLK Extenders for HDMI for remote HDMI input. “We relied on Gefen to extend HDMI at 4K resolution,” Wascom added, “so we don’t have to compromise the quality of the image no matter where we keep the equipment rack.”
West also wanted to be able to check in on the venue from outside of the bar. Tour Supply designed and installed an extensive security system with 35 Flir N113ED Mini Eyeball Cameras and 27 Flir N113BD Mini Bullet Cameras, which provide the ELAN App with a live streaming video feed. “Before I go to sleep, I check the security cameras on my phone from my bed,” she said. “It gives me peace-of-mind to know that I can always check on the building.”
With a system of this caliber, Tour Supply knew they needed power back-up. That’s why they installed a Furman F1500-UPS Uninterruptible Power Supply into the AV system’s central equipment rack, with six Furman PST-8 Power Conditioners with Series Multi-Stage Protection Plus to guarantee that all the system’s AV components receive clean, uninterrupted power. “We get a lot of thunderstorms in Nashville,” West said, “and even during widespread power outages or surges, we have never had a problem.”
According to West, having instant accessibility to any system throughout the venue has completely transformed how the staff manages the bar. “In this business, every day is unpredictable,” she said. “Having the ability to pull out my phone and turn on the bar’s music, or turn on the outdoor fans, from anywhere in the world, is exactly what I need to feel in control.”
For more hi-res images, click here.