A top attraction on the island of Kauai for years, Luau Kalamaku is a celebration of Hawaiian history, culture and cuisine centered around an hour-long program of music, dance and storytelling. To enhance the audience experience of instrumental and vocal music, narration and sound effects, Luau Kalamaku recently installed a 46-speaker Meyer Sound system equipped with Spacemap Go spatial sound capability.
The event venue is a combination of a wood-frame building and an open-sided rectangular tent with a very high ceiling. An audience of up to 800 people are seated at tables surrounding a main central stage, where the performance takes place, while a backing band is located on a separate side stage. The room’s problematic acoustics as well as the need to concentrate the sound of two stages to one point with 360-degree coverage presented challenges in achieving optimal sound reproduction. Although the luau show had long received high marks for its overall production quality, there were occasional complaints about the narration not being understood, and management was well aware that the audio coverage was not uniform throughout. the whole room.
Following a recommendation from Chicago Flyhouse’s Mark Witteveen, who had previously provided the framework for the production, luau management reached out to Chris Gille of audio, visual and lighting design and integration firm HouseRight Production to consult. on an audio system upgrade.
“From our first contact with Chris, we were convinced that HouseRight was the company we wanted to work with,” says Kevin Fischer, co-owner of Luau Kalamaku’s parent company. “Chris and his team highly recommended that we use Meyer Sound products because not only would they provide the best performance, but they would also handle Kauai’s humid climate.”
Gille’s design had four main goals. First, the system would provide uniform and full bandwidth coverage of the entire audience with excellent speech intelligibility. Second, the system would seamlessly integrate sounds from the band stage and central performance stage with dynamic localization. Third, the implementation of the Spacemap Go spatial sound design and mixing tool would open up new possibilities for creativity and audience engagement. And, finally, the system would provide years of reliable service despite exposure to rainforest humidity and the maintenance of power washing.
As installed, the center-in-the-round system is anchored by 16 highly compact LINA Linear Linear speakers mounted in four suspensions of four each plus four ULTRA-X40 fills and a single 1100-LFC Low Frequency Driver providing deep bass and thunderous. . The Strip Stage deploys four LINA speakers under a 750-LFC element with ULTRA-X40 fill. Sixteen compact ULTRA-X20 drivers serve as Spacemap Go delays and laterals, with two additional upward-firing ULTRA-X40 drivers providing “bounce” from the ceiling for late/wide Spacemap Go effects. Three platforms GALAXY 816 network provide player and system optimization plus, as a free bonus, Spacemap Go dynamic panning.
“Spacemap Go was the perfect solution to give the creative team immersive capabilities and allow them to grow over time,” says Chris Gille. “Audio engineers can simply sprinkle a few of the existing send features into the auxiliary streams for effects, then grab the iPad to expand the motion of birds, drums, thunder, or ancestral vocals.”
According to Terry Chuckas, Operations Manager of Luau Kalamaku, the power of Spacemap Go has already improved the sound impact of the existing show. “For example, we now have thunderstorm scenes where now thunder rolls across the room and then the sound of rain rolls from side to side. We will do more as the show evolves in the future. .
The most striking difference, says Chuckas, was the clarity and uniformity of sound. “Right now, I think we could have the best sound and light equipment anywhere in Hawaii,” he attests. “The clarity is impressive. Every word spoken is like standing right next to the person on stage. There are no dead spots in the room, and we can do this without blowing up the system at any seat. I’ve been here 14 years and it’s night and day compared to what we’ve had here before.
Ultimately, the goal of all technology is to bring the music and stories that define Hawaiian history and culture to the eyes and ears of visitors. “Great sound and lighting are paramount to telling our story, or mo’olelo,” says Hunani ‘Nani’ Asing Marston, Creative Director and Producer of Luau Kalamaku. “Combined with organic performance, these tools separate us from other luaus, bringing guests closer to the early Hawaiian experience. The HouseRight team is made up of focused professionals who put their talents to good use and delivered the results that my staff and my show demanded. We are eternally grateful.
Luau Kalamaku is located on the grounds of the historic Kilohana Estate, which dates back to its inception as a cattle ranch in 1896. The estate’s 16,000 square foot mansion, built in the late 1930s, is fully restored and open to the public without admission charge.