Next Top Club, a class act from a classy performer
There are fast cars and then there are Ferraris. It’s not just about how fast they go, it’s about how superbly well they do it and in a word: class. In the world of music we might cite Lady Gaga for the same reasons; her style simply out paces all opposition. In Hanoi, word is that the Next Top Club has heads swivelling and for much the same reason. It is ‘The Place’.
“The Next Top Club was an ambitious concept, even by the measure of its owner,” said Sebastian Song head of the d&b audiotechnik SE Asian office. “The owner, who built Next Top in the basement of the seven star Hanoi Plasa Hotel, already manages six other highly successful clubs in the city, but yet again he wanted to extend the boundaries of the club experience.”
The interior design is a paean to Postmodernism tinged with hard edge technology yet refreshingly ornate. The walls, the ceiling, even the booths of this thousand person venue glitter in high quality programmable LEDs reflected in a miasma of mirrored surfaces. “It’s modern, smart and classy,” said Song succinctly. “And at its heart is a large and unexpectedly well equipped performance stage.” Next Top’s central focus, performances on stage, are what sets this club apart, but considering the location the audio system design would require some acute sensitivity to the residents of the hotel if it was to match performance in the sound sphere.
“Our initial design response was for a distributed system,” said Muhammad Imran from the system design and installation department at d&b SEA. “But the owner wanted a strong visual presence at the stage as well, more like a concert setting.” The focus on stage has lead to mind boggling results, “we have installed a system of flown d&b J-Series line array loudspeakers, rigged in a conventional left/right configuration either side of the stage, with J and J-INFRA subwoofers at floor level” said Imran. “Even so the energy focussed onto the main dance area immediately in front of the stage is not excessively pressured; as intended, the system is there as much for its visual aspect as for its capacity for delivery. That full frequency range delivery, all the way down to 27 Hz makes it feel much louder than it is. To sustain impact in the more distant reaches of the venue we have deployed d&b Qi10 loudspeakers above and below the balcony for delay; the owner was adamant everyone should experience the same quality of sound everywhere.”
The Next Top is already a ‘must do’ venue on the Hanoi scene. The club stages extravagant dance routines, presents flamboyant DJ’s and the occasional musical act, “the system can perform to any demand placed upon it,” concluded Imran. “Even the DJ’s are maxed up, but then we did give them a pair of d&b E12s for monitors so the sound is really pumping in every part of the room. This venue has once again created a real buzz of excitement. It’s a world class performer.”