Before its closure earlier this year, London nightclub fabric installed a new Pioneer Pro Audio sound system into its Room Two, using speakers from the XY series, and replacing the previous set-up, which had been in use for 14 years.
The system in the 500-capacity Room Two had become tired and wasn’t delivering the full dynamic range, explains Andy Blackett, promotions manager at the club. “With techno it was fine but if you played house in here it always sounded raw and a bit too punchy. So we decided to look at new systems to help correct that,” he says.
When invited to demo a system in the club, Pioneer Pro Audio’s manager, Alex Barrand, chose the XY series because their versatility and relatively small cabinet sizes meant the speakers could be positioned anywhere to ensure even coverage in the awkwardly shaped room.
Keith Reynolds, fabric’s technical manager, remembers: “I was looking for full-range sound, a lot of sub-bass, a lot of bass but also a very full range and I found Pioneer Pro Audio was the best system for that, easily.”
Housed in a Victorian cold store, fabric’s brick structure, railway arch ceilings and the unusual shape of Room Two create audio challenges that can change as often as every half an hour. The number of people in the room, the temperature inside, and even the weather outside can all affect the performance of the sound system. To make things even trickier, the club wanted to begin installation on a Sunday and open as usual the following Friday night. “I was scared about that,” admits Reynolds. “But the guys from Pioneer Pro Audio came in and did it in three days. We were ready by Wednesday and we spent Thursday just tuning and smiling. It was some feat.”
The install comprises 26 speakers from the XY Series, including 10 XY-218S twin 18” subwoofers and 12 XY-122 12” full range speakers, and the whole system is driven by Powersoft amplifiers with AES digital connections. “Putting the XY series in there and having clusters around the dance floor created total coverage,” explains Barrand. “You also hear a lot more definition and detail because instead of four compression drivers, which were previously in the room, there are 12 now. We had to be mindful not to cause any undue fatigue to people on the dance floor because of the compression drivers, but to really work with it in a way where we can enhance the full dynamics and coverage of the system.”
The system was used for a few weeks before the club’s temporary closure and was a hit with both the club’s staff and the artists who perform there. “The power beats the awkward shape of the room, but it has the warmth in the bass and the midrange to still fill the room,” explains Reynolds, while international DJ Jackmaster says: “I always really liked the system in Room Two, but to my surprise they’ve made it even better. I really noticed the difference in there. The energy seemed to really step up a notch.”
The nightclub will reopen on 6 January, 2017.