d&b NoizCalc brings Las Vegas to The Desert.

© Shay Ben Efraim 1/2
© Shay Ben Efraim 2/2

The Desert Night & Day club on the outskirts of Rishon LeTsyion in Israel opened in August 2018 to rave reviews from Israeli press who hailed it as one of the country’s most impressive clubs.

This was an ambitious project by any standards: owner Itzik Russo, who already owns several successful clubs in nearby Tel Aviv, envisaged an open-air club for three thousand people in what can only be described as some of the most hostile conditions on the planet; high temperatures combined with high humidity, as although it’s the desert, the site is less than two kilometres from the coast. It also happens to be just seven hundred metres from a residential development, which meant that noise emissions were potentially a big issue. What’s more, Russo didn’t just want any loudspeaker system – he wanted “the best club sound in Israel.” For that, there was one person to whom he could turn, and that was award-winning sound designer, Harel Tabibi.

Undaunted, Tabibi, specified a powerful, customized d&b V-Series system following an extensive simulation using the patented d&b NoizCalc software.

It was clear from the outset that given the constraints, this was going to be a delicate task. Not only was the environment particularly hostile – salt air, sand, extreme temperatures, humidity – but as an outdoor club for three thousand people with no walls or a roof to contain noise emissions, if Russo was to be granted permission to build, he had to be able to demonstrate conclusively to city officials that the residential developments nearby would not be excessively importuned by noise pollution, which legally has to remain within certain limits.

“The only way to be sure that the owner would get what he wanted in terms of high quality sound that would be guaranteed not to disturb the neighbours was to use d&b, and in particular their NoizCalc software,” explained Tabibi.

The ability to produce accurate simulations of noise emissions in any given place that take into account topological and meteorological data, as well as system data from ArrayCalc, was what won us the contract and, more importantly, convinced local authorities to grant planning permission.Harel Tabibi, Sound Designer

Once permission was granted, the club was built and opened in just three months. Tabibi and Rafi Bensimhon from d&b Israeli distributor, Backstage Music Home, were consulted sufficiently early on in the project to be able to advise on the optimum orientation and positioning of the main DJ stage to ensure minimum disturbance for neighbouring buildings.

In addition, one of the conclusions of the NoizCalc simulation was that a denser sub-array configuration would increase the directivity control in the low frequencies, resulting in less side lobe radiation and a further reduction in noise emission.

Consequently, the owner decided to invest in a further two Vi-GSUBs to ensure minimum disturbance outside the club and improve still further the audio experience inside.

“I specified V-Series throughout because it was an excellent solution for this application,” said Tabibi. “V-Series is a high power, medium format line array system. The footprint is small enough that it doesn’t disturb the lighting system, but it’s powerful enough that we can cover the whole club with ease. However, I also put in some Vi7P fills and surrounds to make sure that the experience at the back and sides of the club is as good as it is when you’re right under the DJ’s nose. In fact, I’d say that the inclusion of the surround sound system is what elevates the sound at Desert from good – with d&b it’s always going to be good anyway - to truly great sound.

“People love that wherever they are in the club (which is very long from front to back) they still feel immersed in the club sound and can enjoy themselves even if they aren’t right at the front. By the same token, people at the front aren’t deafened either.”

© Shay Ben Efraim

The lighting system which forms the backdrop for the DJ stage, is the principle architectural feature of Desert – a twenty four metre high wheel loaded with the latest lighting gear in order to create the most stunning effects. The sound system is flown from four metre beams extending left and right from the wheel, each housing six Vi8 installation-specific high performance line array elements and two smaller Vi7P 3-way point source cabinets as outfills. Two more pairs of Vi7Ps are flown from masts in the back corners of the club for surround sound. Low frequencies are handled by eight powerful Vi-GSUBs which are ground-stacked four per side in a cardioid configuration to minimise noise emission. All speakers were supplied with a special Nano fabric behind the front grill rather than the standard foam in order to increase protection against the elements.

“The owner is delighted with the results,” concluded Tabibi. “His aim was to bring Las Vegas to the sands of the Israeli desert, and he’s done it. The reviews have been fantastic, especially concerning the sound which is considered to be amongst the best in Israel, and in terms of noise emissions, we have achieved our objectives. Once again, d&b have been fantastic in providing the support we needed to get the job done, in particular with NoizCalc. They are the only loudspeaker company that can offer this, and it made all the difference. Desert probably wouldn’t have been built without it.”

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