JCA Media & RTI Hit the Mark at Maker’s Mark Distillery

Published: 2023-10-24

Few spirits are as well-known or beloved by bourbon enthusiasts as Maker’s Mark. For those that tour the distillery on Star Hill Farm in Loretto, Ky., the craft of perfection is not only reflected in the Maker’s Mark famous bourbon recipe that visitors learn more about but also in the rich AV experience the envelopes them while there. Kentucky-based AV integrator JCA Media brought the distillery’s multi-building AV install under control with the customized simplicity and elegance of RTI.

Multizone Audio at Maker’s Mark Distillery

At The Homeplace, the distillery’s tour and tasting facility, the goal was to provide effortless control and distribution of its high-fidelity, multizone system. There are 11 zones of audio throughout the building, which includes a variety of Danley Nano, Cube, SBH20, SHMini speakers as well as Martin Audio loudspeakers with audio mixing handled by an Allen & Heath AHM-64 matrix mixer. There are also multiple audio sources, which include Shure ULXD microphones, a Denon media player, an auxiliary audio input as well as multiple channels of streamed music, which are distributed by the RTI MS-3 Music Streamer; it delivers one independently controllable music channel to the front of the house, check in, and restrooms; another to the cocktail and patio area; and one to the garden.

Each zone has distinct audio demands. For example, all zones need background music as well as automatic music ducking for the microphones to announce groups who are waiting for their tour, but all at different volumes and each has presets allowing the use of one or all wireless in addition to the priority of the announcement mic. It was essential that, depending on the area of the building and the audio needed, staff could select and change their source on demand without difficulty.

Simple Control & Automation at Maker’s Mark Distillery

RTI made audio control simple, according to a statement. Control and automation is built around an RTI XP-8v control processor. RTI control panels are installed throughout The Homeplace to provide customized control for the distinct areas, including a KA11 touchpanel in the entry way, KX7s in-wall touchpanel at the cocktail bar, and a KA8 touchpanel at the check-in desk.

Each panel was custom programmed and designed using Integration Designer 11, which sped up design and programming with preconfigured home pages, auto-generated macros, reusable programming, and more. The software features a built-in Driver Store, and it was with this project that RTI launched the driver for the Allen & Heath matrix mixer, ensuring a seamless handshake between it and the XP-8v.

“I’m very grateful for the work both Allen & Heath and RTI put into the driver,” says Alex Peake, integration specialist at JCA Media. “It sped up the programming significantly. It sure beats using two-way strings for the entire project!”

Related: RTI Control Video-Over-IP Solution Distributes Flawless Video for Bromley F.C.

Distillery’s Innovation Lab

At the distillery’s Innovation Lab — which houses two offices, kitchen, a VIP tasting room, and Maker’s Mark lab — JCA Media installed additional touchpanels with another XP-3. The touchpanels enable intuitive operation of the building’s Martin Audio speaker system that includes an eight 6.8T ceiling speaker system in the building, four CDD5 speakers in the VIP room and on the porch, and an SX112 sub powered by a LEA 168 amplifier as well as the videoconferencing suite using a Logitech Tap system and Polycom camera.

Audio sources include an RTI MS-1 Music Streamer, media player, TV audio, Bluetooth, as well as a wall input. With one tap on the touchpanel, staff can choose what audio source to listen to or get press a button to get meetings started with ease.

The break room is controlled by an RTI XP-3 processor with an RTI touchpanel. The system enables audio selection, volume control, and mute for four zones of audio that includes seven 8.1T Martin Audio ceiling speakers and an RTI MS-3 Music streamer. Mixing is once again done via an Allen & Heath AHM-32 mixer.

The XP-3 also controls the power and switching for the 98-inch and two 65-inch NEC displays, which display company videos and announcements and is the presentation screen during company meetings.

From the RTI touchpanel, users can select “Presentation,” which automatically switches the system from the video board feed to the HDMI input, automatically ducks the MS-3 background audio, and unmutes the Shure handheld wireless mic. One stream of the MS-3 provides background music for the break room, while the other two streams feed to the audio system for Maker’s Mark two bottling lines in the same facility.

The fourth zone is designed for maintenance, which receives the same stream as one of the bottling lines. Three four-button RTI keypads enable line staff to independently change the music selection, volume, or mute the audio within their line.

“With RTI, we were able to provide absolute consistency from building to building but enable each area in each facility with the independent control it needed for a flawless AV experience, whether they’re selecting the music stream, muting the audio system, or turning on the presentation system,” says Peake. “RTI enables that level of customizable control with quick preset functions. It made a complex system very user friendly.”

RTI Products Used

  • 2x MS-3 Music Streamer
  • 1x MS-1 Music Streamer
  • 1x KA11 touchpanel
  • 3x KX7 touchpanel
  • 1x KA8 touchpanel
  • 1x XP-8v Control Processor
  • 2x XP-3 Control Processor

Click ‘view slideshow’ to view additional photos of Maker’s Mark Distillery on Star Hill Farm in Kentucky utilizing RTI solutions. All photos courtesy of RTI.

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