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Beirut beach venue Inspired by refit

Dave Robinson 9 August 2013
Beirut beach venue Inspired by refit

The Music Hall in Beirut has joined the growing local trend of moving outside for the summer months, with the opening of its new beachside venue, not far from the club’s downtown Beirut Starco Centre base. Having selected an Inspired Audio Optima Array for a previous installation, Music Hall owners Jean and Michelle Elefteriades once again looked to Inspired’s Chris Scott to deliver the system in the new venture.

Music Hall offers an eclectic mix of music which can be as diverse as a Slavik gypsy brass band, followed by an Arabic vocalist supported by a Cuban backing band. All the turns have a 15-minute slot, with a slick five-minute turn around the norm.

Working with Milad Massaad from Lebanese distributor Transorient Services and inhouse sound engineer and audio guru, Philippe Tohme, Scott specified left and right hangs consisting of nine Optima 8, with two Optima B215 cabinets, flown at the top of each drop. Bottom end was further enhanced with a pair of SB218 enclosures per side. A central hang of three Optima 5 cabinets covered the ‘V’, with two further drops of Optima 5 combined with Optima B210, acted as stage sidefills.

Stage sound was provided by Axis AX15 enclosures in active mode. The system was run on fourteen eFlex Q5 amplifiers, networked under software control.

Chris Scott commented, “The system was perhaps a little OTT, but Philippe just wanted the headroom and dynamics to catch peoples’ breath when required. It is an intriguing venue, probably best described as industrial with a naval twist as the perimeter is constructed from sea freight containers that have been sand blasted and will be allowed to gracefully rust. So a few hard surfaces to deal with, but we got a great sound balance.

The Music Hall formula of golden rose covered proscenium, red velvet drapes and upholstery is probably as wacky as the musical content, but it clearly works as consistent full houses over the last ten years have proved.

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