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NŌ Studios

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Can NŌ mean yes for up and coming Milwaukee area artists?

It can if Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley has his way. In founding a creative hub in downtown Milwaukee, he’s hoping to help local filmmakers, musicians, artists and writers develop their talents to the point where “yes” is something they often hear.

The 40,000 square foot NŌ Studios, located in the old Pabst Brewery downtown, includes offices, meeting space, a recording studio, editing suites and a social gathering place with a screening room, bar, seating areas and a small stage.  The community areas are especially important, offering a place, in Ridley’s vision, for artists and art lovers to come together to learn from and support each other.

The screening room is something special, meeting Dolby Laboratories criteria to play 128-track Atmos cinema tracks on a 32-speaker surround system. To make that possible, we worked closely with Dolby and QSC Audio to make sure our designs and installation meet all of the Atmos system requirements.

Lewis Sound designed and installed all of the audio and video systems in the community areas, including:

  • A 49-seat screening room with a 32-speaker Dolby Atmos surround sound system, and an 8,000-lumen Barco Cinema projector with an integrated media player, which plays first run movies from encrypted, plug-in hard drives
  • Wireless mics for lectures in the screening room, bar or stage, plus a Fidelio wireless system for the hearing and visually impaired
  • A PC-based video conferencing system in the screening room to allow two-way discussions with directors and other artists at far-away locations
  • A background music system serving the bar and other public areas
  • A 75” 4K display near the entrance for digital signage and small-group film and video screenings
  • All digital audio and video transport and processing, featuring Crestron DigitalMedia, QSC Q-Sys and Crestron control

We were recommended for this work by the general contractor, Greenfire Management Services, impressed by our performance on other Greenfire projects, including the Harley Davidson Museum.

NŌ, Ridley explains, is the Japanese root word for art, skill and talent, but has a double meaning in the new organization’s name.  “Yes is something we don’t hear enough in our lives, personally,  professionally, wherever we go.”

We are happy to report that “yes” is something we too have heard at Lewis Sound & Video. We have already begun planning for additional work at NŌ, including a background music system for a top-floor bar and rooftop social area, and a possible video projector installation in the stage area.

Watch Ridley talk about NŌ Studios on WTMJ-TV

Visit the NŌ Studios website