No grey areas as the Greyhound stretches its legs

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Fast and sleek, agile, slim and elegant: Greyhound is as Greyhound does, and the former Greyhound Hotel has shown a clean pair of heels as the reinvented Greyhound Club, or GH in the shorthand. When a new sound system was required for Melbourne’s most venerated gay club GH manager Damian Price was quoted in the Star Observer as saying, “We’ve spent close to $1 million on light and sound to blow the punters away.” And the décor hasn’t been neglected either, “There’s a really funky bar upstairs with an extra VIP section”.

Greyhound is a good fifteen minutes out of town and stands apart from the rest of Melbourne’s club scene. If it was to keep the clientele beating a path to the door then the only way was through improved quality and customer experiences. That was the club’s main criteria for specifying a d&b audiotechnik PA system. The other was timing, audio had to go in fast; local integrators Sound Factory had the reputation for doing good work in this area and proved a worthy choice.

Although out of town the Greyhound is not without neighbours, “In fact new apartment buildings are going up immediately to the rear of the venue now,” said Sound Factory’s Paul Fitzsimmons. “That was the determining factor when a d&b system specialist from National Audio Systems (NAS) drew up the installation design for us and selected J-SUBs for the low end reinforcement. NAS are the d&b distributor for Australia and have always provided us with excellent advice and support on projects such as this, for example, although the ceiling and walls have been acoustically dampened, the cardioid performance of the J-SUB still proved a big help in containing low end energy within the room and not upsetting the neighbours. When Melbourne City noise control came to make their checks they paid especially close attention to frequency specific measurements around and below 60 Hz. It was not found wanting.”

The Greyhound is a show based club with a stage for contemporary burlesque style presentations and an adjoining DJ podium to the side. The main PA system utilises elements from the d&b T-Series loudspeakers rigged traditionally left and right, with a substantial quota of d&b E-Series for fill duties.

“There’s an area to the left of the performance stage at ground level where the audience enters the room that is outside the normal field of the PA," Fitzsimmons continued. "That warranted some E12s for extra lift, plus we also used E12s for DJ fill as the podium sticks out from a side wall. Further E8s are used for balcony and frontfill. This venue is as much about performance as it is a dance venue for its clients. The stage shows here are really spectacular.”

Although tender specifications were circulated mid 2010, it wasn’t until late March the following year that building refurbishment completed and Sound Factory, who also installed the new lights and rigging system at the same time, gained access to the room. When the club reopened the new Production Manager Jason Rooney concluded, “Dave Jacques from NAS proved invaluable once the installation was completed; I was able to tweak how the room was set up, concentrating the sound field on the dance floor. The whole venue feels a lot more consistent when you walk through it; Dave went out if his way to help and advise.”

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