NOW PACHA UPGRADES TO MARTIN AUDIO
Systems Etc fits another leading dance brand with prime WT3 system
London multiple venue owner Billy Reilly, famous for his exploits with The Cross and Canvas in Kings Cross, has now diverted his attention to Pacha, the legendary Ibizan club brand which he set up in London six years ago.
Midway through an £800,000 refurbishment, which will also see the creation of a roof terrace, he has commissioned Bernard Mani at Systems Etc to replace the old sound system with a new Martin Audio WT3 rig, processed via Martin Audio's new Engineer 418 DSP.
Pacha London is the latest in a long line of premier London venues that have been seduced by the potency of Martin Audio's dance systems - including fabric (owned by Billy Reilly's brother Keith). But Mani has taken a less obvious route, eschewing the company's consolidated dance systems for the more transparent WT3, which is designed for greater vocal clarity.
He explained, 'Originally the club was specced with Martin Audio H3's but I wanted to achieve a more theatrical and accurate sound. I knew all the components of the WT3 so was confident in what a fully active system would sound like - and that is predominantly a much smoother midrange and greater warmth.'
The compact three-way trapezoidal system's mid-range and HF are generated by sophisticated compound mid-high horn configuration, designed to have matched constant Q, 65° horizontal dispersion patterns; this is bolstered by a powerful 15in LF driver. At Pacha the WT3's are configured in four arrayed pairs around the balcony of the main room, with low frequency extension provided by four ground stacked pairs of WS218X subs.
In typical no-nonsense fashion Billy Reilly declares, 'We should have used Martin Audio in the first place.' However, he credits his operations director Gemma Ross with taking the decision to endorse Martin Audio, and contract Systems Etc to install the rig (after reviewing a number of potential installation candidates).
'We consulted a number of DJ's and promoters, and we knew that with Martin Audio the back-up and support would be there,' Gemma said. 'I had worked with Bernard on the TDK Cross Central Festivals and Secretsundaze parties at Canvas and I knew I could trust him.' Ten days after initial discussions his team were on site, and 14 days later the system was installed, she said.
Berni Mani instinctively knew he wanted an 'adult' system, sacrificing a few dB's in favour of highest definition, but at the same time meeting club manager Alex Anderson's brief to get a massive SPL of 120dBA on the dancefloor without causing fatigue - more than sufficient to appease promoters of top nights such as Dusted and Def Mix.
Billy Reilly puts this firmly into context. 'Before we got the Martin system I would come into the club and immediately want to leave - it was just too toppy and muddy. Now we achieve 120dB on the dancefloor with no distortion whatsoever. Bernard has given us a system which is just as loud, half the size of the previous system and much less obtrusive.'
Mani has extended the Martin Audio ethic right through the club. 'It was important that the Global Room [Pacha's Room 2] was voiced exactly the same as the main room, and so we have installed a pair of WT3's and pair of WS218X touring subs.' The 250 capacity room - bringing the overall venue capacity, with the completion of the roof terrace to 1100 - runs even louder than before, he says.
Martin Audio Blackline F10+'s provide balcony and peripheral infills, as well as sound for the alcoves and VIP gazebo booths, while Martin Audio's stylish AQ range will broadcast the sound - routed by the Engineer 418 DSP - up to the roof terrace.
Bernard Mani is especially complementary about Martin Audio's powerful DSP device which uses unique algorithms to keep sound systems automatically performing at optimum level - the built-in programme level/tonal control compensating for variations in programme sources.
'In a club set-up this unmaintained sound processor is the perfect device,' he believes. 'It does exactly what it says on the tin and genuinely makes corrections to balance different signal levels.'
Gemma Ross, who has been at Pacha for five and a half years, also knows that the new system set-up will impress the club's incumbent DJ's and promoters such as Renaissance and Pure Pacha (featuring Axwell) and Azuli Records.
'We knew they wouldn't come here for the aesthetics - it would be purely the sound system,' she says. And that belief is already paying off, as one of the first DJ's to play through the sound system - Tim Sheridan - immediately sent Gemma an email stating how impressed he was.
And it gets better. For while DJ's in the Global Room will be treated to top-drawer reference sound from a pair of Blackline F12+ monitors - something of an industry standard in serious dance venues - Bernard Mani has opted for a pair of low-profile LE1500 floor monitors more generally found on top concert stages. These will be yoke-mounted to the underside of the overhanging canopy and fire back to the newly-relocated DJ booth - effectively converting floor monitors into ceiling monitors. 'That way it won't block any sightlines and the DJ's receive a great reference sound,' reasons Bernard.
Meanwhile the upgrade at Pacha is ongoing - four 58in plasmas and a VJ replacing the former dancers - and these will be supplemented by LED panels (taking lo-res signals).
Summing up, Billy Reilly says, 'We had an international brand which we hadn't given the time it deserved. Sound is a major tool of any successful club, yet this is where we had let the place down badly; it was like having a contract for Ferrari and fitting it with a plastic interior.
'With Martin Audio we've now got a signature sound - and credit for this goes to Gemma who has taken this under her wing and turned the whole thing around.'
Further information from:
Maureen Hayes, Martin Audio Jerry Gilbert, JGP Public Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1494 535312 Tel: +44 (0)1707 258525
Fax: +44 (0)1494 438669 Fax: +44 (0)1707 267140