BAM, which is currently celebrating its 150th anniversary, is America’s oldest performing arts center, and has hosted wide variety of celebrities, from performers to presidents, during its years of service.
BAMcafé, a restaurant and live performance venue located within the main Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) building recently installed a QSC Audio KLA Active Line Array Loudspeaker System. BAMcafé presents as many as 75 music, comedy and spoken word events annually in its free BAMcafé Live series and is open for dinner on nights when there is a performance at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House.
See Factor Industry, Inc., a touring and installed lighting and sound equipment provider was tasked with providing a system which sounds great at a reasonable price point. “BAM came to me asking for a recommendation, as I had done the installation in the Opera House there,” says Greg Wnuk, Audio Department Manager/Special Events at See Factor. “BAMcafe needed a powerful sound solution which was also cost-effective, and KLA fit their price point while sounding great.”
Such was Wnuk’s confidence in the QSC brand that he recommended the new KLA system sight (and sound) unseen. He reveals. “I hadn’t heard the KLAs yet, but I was pretty confident they were going to sound good because the QSC stuff sounds good. This client was aware that I hadn’t heard the KLA yet — but they trusted me to trust QSC. The first time I got to hear them was we did the KLA demo at BAM, and we were all very impressed.”
Originally conceived as BAM’s ballroom and completed in 1908, the room was renovated and renamed the Lepercq Space in honor of the chairman of the board in 1973. BAMcafé opened in the BAM Lepercq Space in 1997 and launched its BAMcafé Live weekend programming two years later. Depending on the room setup the venue holds between 160 (dinner and dancing) and 325 (standing) people. The KLA12’s are flown above the performance area located at one end of the room, which measures approximately 117 feet by 42 feet, and offer coverage all the way to the bar area, which is 75 feet down the room..
“The KLA system really has taken the venue to the next level of sound,” says Josh Escajeda, BAM Associate Production Manager. “We do so many different types of events, from weekly live bands, to opening night receptions, speaking agendas, film screenings to book readings — we really needed something that could be as versatile as the space.” “We were constantly pushing our old system to its limits,” added Escajeda. “Now with the KLA system, we have plenty of headroom. Just testing it, we surprised people in the offices above the space, because they could hear the sound in their office. It was awesome. And the customer service from QSC has also been great.”