It's no wonder that Austin, Texas is known as "The Live Music Capital of the World". You can't toss a rock in any direction without hitting a great club featuring a wide variety of musical fare on a nightly basis. Encore is one of Austin's newest music venues and is located in the heart of the rock & roll district of downtown Austin at 6th Street & Red River. Owner Scott Smith has been a mover 'n' shaker in the community, first as a musician and later as a producer/promoter. His unique perspective has proved invaluable when it came time to building the interior of the club. It all comes down to the sound, which is one of the main reasons he spec'd a Cerwin Vega Pro system comprised of 6 CVA-28 active dual 8-inch speakers that are flown from the ceiling, 3 CVP-1152 15-inch 2-way floor monitor wedges, 2 more CVA-28 set as compact floor monitors and three CVA-121 21-inch active subwoofers. Not surprisingly, Encore has built a reputation for having the best sound quality on Red River, not only among the local bands but national acts to boot.
Cerwin Vega's street cred and long-term industry reputation is what initially hooked Smith into checking out the components when shopping a system for his new club.
"I've always known about Cerwin Vega and I've heard their systems at various SxSW events and it always sounded incredible. When this club came about, the first thing I thought about was getting some of that famous Cerwin-Vega sound."
Initially, however, one of Smith's biggest concerns was finding a small and compact system that would fit within their inherent parameters. "We have a small stage and an enormous amount of LED lighting—which is somewhat unusual for a small club to have. It was a big concern to not have big speakers filling up our stage and covering our lighting rig. The first time I saw the products being installed, I was still a little skeptical as they were so small. But as soon as we turned them on, I realized that the size had nothing to do with the sound quality at all. Every engineer and every band that has come in here has been so stoked and overly pleased with the sound quality. Whether it's an acoustic act or metal band, no matter the application the speakers have a lot of nuances and work well with anything. They sound great on stage and they sound great for the audience, so it's been awesome all-around."
In addition, the compact footprint of the system was among the other benefits of the CV pro system. "Because we're flying the CVA-28s and due to their compact size, they stay out of the way of the lighting. And, they actually match the club! They're silver, black and in red in color, and that's kind of our theme."
Having three CVA-121 21-inch subs on the floor proved to be a big part of the audience draw to our club. "They are way more than what we need, but I can tell you firsthand, standing in front of those is amazing and we get a lot of compliments on it for sure."
Performers appreciate the monitor system and that it is discrete enough that it doesn't get in the way. Some of those band raves include guitarist/lead singer Michael Anaya of the Austin-based pop-rock/reggae trio, Subrosa Union, who recently played the venue. "The room sounded great and very warm," recalled Anaya. "Everything I needed was there in my wedges. I could hear a little bit of the front of the house and it sounded great, plus the subs had an amazingly rich low-end. I could feel it through the floor and through my body. In fact, when I took a solo my heart was palpitating! Also, my vocals sounded crisp and bright. These monitors definitely delivered, and as far as the size, I don't think it matters. There was big, big sound coming from that little box. We are definitely fans of Cerwin Vega!"
What was initially created as a cool venue for locals to hang out and listen to music, has definitely established its own niche in the musical climate of this already music-centric town.
"Many of the clubs in town are owned by corporations and big businesses," Smith emphasized. "Encore is a very homegrown outfit, and yet we've managed to create a high-tech and great-sounding room without an enormous budget. I've produced events with local artists at smaller venues and at bigger venues, and I have a good idea of what it takes to make a good show. This club has gotten to be known for having the best sound quality on Red River… and that's a big deal. We constantly hear it from every artist who plays the room, whether its local bands or national acts. They're all blown away when they hear the system, and then see how small it actually is. I think it's a pretty cool thing to be known for a quality sound system – especially in this town!"