Pacha: producing a particular kind of sound through d&b

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In 1973, almost twenty years before 'house' became a byword for a mix of euphoric dance and sound, Pacha Ibiza opened its doors and the minds of its celebrants to a new way of immersing the soul in music. The fact that four decades later it is still the leading brand with franchised clubs all over the world is indicative of a questing attitude. Pacha looks constantly to reinvent ways of being and hearing; two thousand and twelve has witnessed just such a reinvention.

"We were looking to the complete renewal of the sound system. What we wanted to achieve was a more homogeneous and exciting sound throughout the Ibiza club and the dance floors," explained Toni Prats, Technical Director for the Pacha Group. Prats engaged the services of Imaginamusica, d&b audiotechnik Partner for Northeast of Spain. "We had done the research," said Toni Prats,"With Imaginamusica we discussed if the truth was that we needed higher SPLs to meet our goals. We didn't. They demonstrated we just needed a more detailed and articulate sound system and that system was the d&b V-Series. We were also certain we wanted extra definition for the low end without losing the low/mid frequencies impact; these are what make people dance. The third consideration was space, we wanted the new system to occupy minimal space; each square metre is very important; this is Pacha club, we don't want our customers to feel like they are cattle in a truck. What we understood from Imaginamusica was that the d&b V-Series would meet all our requirements completely."

Project manager Enric Esteve from Imaginamusica called in Juanma de Casas from d&b Spain Application Support to assist with system design; he in turn was joined by Jonas 'Jones' Wagner from d&b Application Support in Germany. "The acoustic environment is complex but very interesting from the point of view of the clubs clients," explained de Casas. "Beyond the main dance area are many dedicated VIP areas which need a spatial consideration, plus other public levels. Although essentially open plan, each area exists on a different level, maybe sixty centimetres step up or down, rising eventually to a balcony overlooking the dance floor. It was important as well to be able to control all these areas independently."

Wagner assisted de Casas with the overall final design. "Based on the V-Series loudspeakers we put in arrays of V-TOPs on all four sides of the main dance floor with two stacks of four cardioid V-SUB combined with a floor array of omnidirectional B2-SUBs for extended lower frequency reach into every area. Then three further stereo arrays of V were flown in the major VIP areas, all with flown V-SUBs. Smaller areas and the DJ booth received attention from Q7 and Q10 fills, and 27A-SUBs from the d&b White range proved ideal for providing added low end presence in the more remote areas; the 27A being both small and cardioid." The whole system is network controlled using the d&b R1 Remote control software, and all driven by d&b D12 amplifiers. "Since the system has been installed we have had numerous comments from our DJs," said Prats, "Tiesto, Luciano, David Guetta; all have been surprised by the sound quality of the system, in the booth and around the club."

Toni Prats sees the change as significant, "The option of a multipurpose system with an entirely coherent and consistent sound performance, and one in which system layout is correct for the varying locations of the DJ booth and public areas, has given us the homogeneity we wanted. Everywhere sounds as good as everywhere else. Additionally the significant reduction in footprint and visual impact makes for a winning combination. Imaginamusica convinced us by demonstrating that not only had they one of the best sound systems, but it also had the best technical support and accountability to the sound quality. They did not sell the sound system, but a particular kind of sound. That is very important to us."

All Photographs courtesy of Pacha

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