NORTHRIDGE, California – New York City’s Birdland is one of the most legendary jazz clubs in the world, an
intimate room where aficionados can enjoy the world’s greatest jazz artists in an up-close environment. Perhaps
more than most venues, the sound system at Birdland is a vital part of the musical experience. Birdland has taken
its in-house audio to new heights with a host of HARMAN’s JBL loudspeakers including six VRX932LAP powered
Constant Curvature loudspeakers, a pair of ASB6112 subwoofers, two Control 29AV loudspeakers and six
PRX612M powered portable PA speakers used as stage monitors.
“As the engineer at Birdland, the most important thing for me to be able to do is amplify the musicians’ stage
performances in the most naturally sounding way so that the system is almost invisible,” said Birdland house
engineer Richard Bernard. “The legendary musicians who perform at the club almost always have their own very
distinct sound and that’s what people want to hear—‘that sound’.”
A sound system that needed to be heard while not drawing attention to itself was quite a challenge. To achieve this
goal, Birdland hung six JBL VRX932LAP loudspeakers directly above the stage facing the audience—two facing
downstage towards the main house, two located stage right towards one side of the room and two on stage left
facing the rear side of the bar. In addition, two Control 29AV loudspeakers are hung at the far side of the bar, giving
total coverage for the room. The two ASB6112 subwoofers are
hung downstage on the left and right front corners.
“I’m running the system in mono, and the subwoofers are
connected to the spare aux send on the mixing desk, so I’m free
to choose which channels I send to the subs,” Bernard noted. “I
used to have to mix for the house and the bar would basically get
what they would get. That’s no longer a problem as we’ve had
many complements on being able to hear from that side of the
That said, the most noticeable improvement in the system is the
level of clarity, Bernard noted. “This is a massive help because
the response of instruments and vocals is very true and I’m not
forced to just keep turning up an instrument in order for people to
hear it—once everything is in its own little pocket in the mix, it just
In addition to JBL loudspeakers, Birdland installed a variety of
additional HARMAN equipment, including AKG microphones, dbx
processing and Crown amplifiers.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment
solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets — supported by 15 leading brands, including
AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles
across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform.
More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems.
HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $4.4 billion for
the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.