A night to remember and a view to die for: d&b and the Capitole, Beirut
There's little that could please the night time reveller more than a spectacular view across a city skyline; make that city the Paris of the Middle East, Beirut, and you have a recipe for romance and adventure, topped with a heady mix of classical and middle-eastern architecture right in the cradle of civilisation. So it is that the downtown Capitole Roof Top Bar makes for one of the most vibrant nocturnal rendezvous in Beirut.
"Place is everything," said Capitol's co-owner Mr Samer Rizk, "and Capitol's position is spectacular, but creating a successful open air venue in the heart of the city presents its own special challenges. Yes of course we have to consider our neighbours when we put a powerful sound system into the Capitole, and until this year this was a problem for us: and we must also consider our clients."
The Capitole operates as a bar and restaurant until midnight when it metamorphoses into a nightclub. These multiple considerations saw Rizk consult local sound specialist Seebeck Audio, whose director Youssef Aoun attended personally. "I made the preliminary design in 2009; a mix of the new d&b audiotechnik E8 loudspeakers, with E0s used to provide audio lift in difficult little areas of the bar. Low end comes from just the one E15X-SUB." The space occupied by Capitole is not small, at peak it can accommodate five hundred clubbers, why just one subwoofer?
"We arrange the Capitole in two sections", explained Rizk. "In one area we want typical high levels where music is core, in the other people want to be able to talk and talk comfortably. Youssef has managed the design so we achieve both things very well, even though the Capitole is totally open air so there are no high walls between the two areas. The d&b system performs very well; sound quality is the best. Originally I asked Youssef not to put in any subwoofers because of this open environment; he persuaded me to put in just one and this has proved perfect; we run it at levels where we get the sound but not the vibration, my customers are very happy."
Aoun was equally pleased with his solution, "The true coverage pattern from the d&b loudspeakers helped so much to give the sound environment Mr Rizk and his partner Carlos Esseily wanted. This is one of Beirut's top class bars, I would say the best, and the people who come here want very specific quality sound, and not to be blasted by some over enthusiastic DJ who just wants to turn things up very high."
"Since Youssef installed the new system we have had zero problems with the local authorities about noise pollution," said a contented Rizk. "It is good to know you are satisfying people inside and out." Above Beirut Le Capitol's reputation continues to rise in the night sky.