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The Driver & The Engineer: Total Martin Audio Speaker/DSP Solution For Bar/Restaurant/Club

driver-interior-1.jpgWhen Bernard Mani of Systems Etc was hired to outfit Billy Reilly’s five-story bar/restaurant, The Driver, in London’s burgeoning Kings Cross development area, he was largely given a free hand to specify the technology.

There was only one stipulation laid down by operations director Gemma Ross––the sound reinforcement system had to be exclusively Martin Audio. “Sound wise, we were asked to make this place amazing and after the success of Pacha, Martin Audio was the inevitable choice,? confirmed Mani.

Which explains why there are more than 50 Martin Audio AQ series speakers (full-range and subwoofers) throughout the venue along with five of Martin Audio’s award-winning Engineer 818 DSPs to further optimize the system.

Given the venue’s reconfigurable usage––and wide selection of signal sources––the installer wanted a system with vast input capacity, routing flexibility and a tailored gain structure.

Aside from the comprehensive control, 8 x 8 routing matrix and standard DSP features, Mani also knew that the Engineer’s unique BassCreator and Engineer algorithms would bring the very best out of the sound––giving customers in the venue a perception of much greater bass SPL while eliminating low frequency noise pollution. He also anticipated that the automatic control of level and tonal quality would compensate for the many variations in program sources.

“In this application the Engineer 818 will be a very useful tool. We have 78 feeds running to the control rack in the basement so this is the perfect solution — every zone can be fed from every floor,? says Mani, who also used the smaller Engineer 418 in another Billy Reilly venue, Pacha London.

“As for speakers, I selected AQ because it had an answer for every floor and because the factory finish blended in with the décor.?

For the installation, Mani used multiples of AQ10s and AQ8s — and since it will also be running as a dance venue there are also either floor-mounted AQ210 (2 x 10?) or AQ212 (2 x 12?) subs. Martin Audio even extends to the toilets where there are C4.8T ceiling speakers.

The original rooms above the pub have been converted into trading areas, including a Members Lounge, two corporate floors, a fine dining restaurant and an attractive Moroccan-themed roof garden (where the music is played through eight Martin Audio C115’s).

The seven-days-a-week operation has been masterminded by Ross to make this the ultimate chameleon venue, with full waitress service cocktails and a permanent bar/brasserie on the ground floor. “The art is different on each floor — every space has its own individual personality,? she explains.

The first floor fine dining restaurant will be closed on Friday afternoon and transformed into a house party space. A row of front-line DJs will be lining up to play on any of Systems Etc’s highly-specified DJ booths on three of the floors, all of which include powerful Martin Audio Blackline F12+ speakers.

Summing up, Mani says, “This is the first time I have specified and programmed the Engineer 818, and I am delighted. With feeds coming from different MP3 players, CD’s, DJ decks and live performance, this will regulate the many different recording levels and at the same time place the venue under total control.?

For more about Martin Audio, please contact: Rob Hofkamp, Director North American Operations at 519.747.5853, rhofkamp@martin-audio.com, or visit www.martin-audio.com

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April 2009
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