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Form follows Funktion

Oostkamp-based light and sound rental company Soundsystem supplied audio reinforcement for the Café Charlatan’s 25th anniversary bash, attended by over 2,000 people,

Spread over three halls in the Vooruit arts centre in Ghent, live music venue Café Charlatan’s 25th anniversary bash, attended by over 2,000 people, required some serious amplification – and Oostkamp-based light and sound rental company Soundsystem was only too happy to take on the challenge.

“We know one of the owners very well, and the café is already using a Turbosound system for their weekly shows – the predecessor of what Funktion-One is today,” explains Tia Broodcoorens, co-director of Soundsystem. “Everybody was keen on seeing how it would be to amplify live music with Funktion-One speakers.” Broodcoorens says the brand struggles with the misconception that its speakers aren’t suitable for live music amplification. “The problem is that many people within the live circuit are not acquainted with Funktion-One’s specifications and qualities,” she explains.

The organisers of the Charlatan party had booked an “anniversary band” – made up of Pieter-Jan De Smet, Sioen, Bert Ostijn of Absynthe Minded, Frank Vanderlinden of De Mens, Johannes and Wolfgang of Van Jets, and Luc De Vos of Gorki – plus sets by Kenji Minogue, Nid & Sancy and Faux Parade, and Broodcoorens believes the event “[was] a nice showcase to persuade the audience and users that F1 is perfect to amplify live music – from rock to classical.”

Soundsystem’s inventory for the evening included eight F1 Res5 top cabinets and F121 subs; two Res2SH speakers as fill-ins on either side of the main stage; and power from one Funktion-One XO4 and four E45 amps, with one additional MC² E4-75 amps. The stands were served by four Res5 top speakers and four F118 subs, and the whole system controlled by a Soundcraft MH4 48-channel console. “In the ballroom, which has a capacity of 1,000, we added extra F1201 delay speakers to the FOH set, which consisted of four Res5 top speakers and four F218 low cabinets,” comments fellow co-director Lieven Pillaert. The mixing desk was a Soundcraft MH3/32.

“In the [400-capacity] café, with DJs closing the event, we used a configuration of F121 subs, Res2 top speakers and Funktion One PSM12 point source monitors.” Both Broodcoorens and Pillaert believe the results were positive: “We were happy to see that industry insiders were convinced that Funktion One goes beyond dance and electronic music… it’s our target to enhance F1 in the live concert market,” says Pillaert.

“We needed 20 floor monitors for the show,” Broodcoorens explains. “No rental company in northern continental Europe has them in their inventory, and flying F1 in from the UK was a bit expensive, so we decided to use Nexo PS15 monitors instead.” He adds that Soundsystem had a technical crew of 12 on-site, plus eight people for the installation of the system.
Piet Vermeiren, one of the freelance mixing engineers during the Charlatan event, praises the system. “I grew up with Turbo Flashline and Flex Array systems, and I must admit that the Funktion-One delivers the same sound quality for live concerts as it does for DJs,” he comments. “The system is also suited for outdoor concerts.”

Benjamin Bertozzi, FOH engineer at the ballroom venue, is equally enthusiastic. “I’ve done some FOH jobs with Funktion-One, like in the Bozar venue in Brussels, but the Charlatan night was the first time so many bands used the configuration,” he says. “The system offers an unique dynamic, even in a bigger sound spectrum, compared to other speakers. At the time, Turbosound offered dynamics and depth, and F1 have improved it.”