W1 PRODUCTIONS INSTALL MARTIN AUDIO AT NEW STUDIO 88
New audience-requested live music experience off Leicester Square
With a prime site off London’s Leicester Square, Studio 88 has opened as a new concept in entertainment, billed as “a non-stop, audience requested, live music experience”.
The brainchild of Alan Lorrimer, founder of The House of Song, the venue features a stage that has been equipped with a premium Martin Audio sound system by W1 Productions, using a variety of the company’s components and control.
Every night two piano vocalists and accompanying musicians form a 6-piece band who play a non-stop repertoire of music through the Martin Audio system — decided only by the customers themselves who populate the 350-seat restaurant.
Both W1 Productions MD, Stuart Turvill, and Operations Manager, Alan Beck, have wide experience in using Martin Audio systems in their various guises, the latter having first encountered the legendary Philishaves and split bins while running FX Music with brother Dave back in the ‘80s.
“I have always been a Martin Audio person, and so it was a no brainer to specify the brand,” said Beck.
Here the company has designed an ingenious stage system based on the venue’s extremely low ceiling height. Two XD12, mounted horizontally stage left and right, are complemented by four CDD8 in a pelmet line, which project the sound forward towards the main dancefloor. Low frequency extension is provided by three strategically placed Martin Audio S18 bins, and a further CSX112 sub.
W1 Productions had been recommended to the client by a mutual friend, and Stuart Turvill put together the design after visiting Alan Lorrimer’s other venue — The Piano Works in Farringdon.
Studio 88 venue itself had previously been a basement nightclub that had closed down. “Since it is a basement, the obvious challenges were the low ceiling height,” reported Alan Beck. “We had to make it as unobtrusive and flexible as possible. The long rectangular shape of the building, with reflective surfaces and lots of little alcoves coming off it, was another problem we had to contend with.”
In the user-rotatable 80° x 50° constant directivity horn of the XD12, matched with the hugely popular CDD range, W1 Productions found the perfect combination — without needing to set delay taps.
Continued Alan Beck: “From a physical perspective this design fitted perfectly, and the XD12’s provide plenty of ‘grunt’. With the S18’s stage left and right, and a third at the rear of the bar, we have achieved uniform distribution throughout the main performance area.
“As for the CDD’s, we really like these — for their size they are extremely powerful and a very nice sounding box.”
All channel presets are stored in a pair of dedicated DX0.5 system controllers. With clarity taking precedence over excessive volume, the system has been expertly balanced and fine tuned by the The House of Song’s Senior Sound Technician, Tom Wheatley and W1 Productions sound engineer, Lawrence Chichon.
Summing up, Alan Beck said, “This installation proves that you should never be afraid to mix boxes up. The XD and CDD form a perfect combination.”
Tom Wheatley added, “We are extremely pleased with the Martin Audio equipment that has been installed at the venue. It responds well to our needs, providing clarity for both our live music and DJ requirements. The system offers great quality at the price point and we are happy to give positive reviews for the money invested.”