Studio 287 retains its hard techno slot reinforced by d&b


Location is everything in club land; you can have the finest equipment and import the best DJs, but if you station your club in a wasteland people just will not come. Studio 287 has an almost perfect location, it's not downtown Paris but it is close enough not to be an issue. More importantly Studio 287 is in the midst of a media centre, a veritable hive of TV and media production houses crowd this old industrial estate in the north east of the city. So there are plenty of trendy 'creative' types right on the doorstep, however of greater significance is the occupancy time clock. None of the neighbouring businesses function much after 5:00 p.m., thus Studio 287 can leak as much noise as it likes into the surrounding environment 'til the break of day and no one is disturbed.

"Visiting DJs like it a lot," said Head of the sound Cyril Poirer. "But as always they want more level, they are never satisfied, however we have to respect the law. Signal is sent to a Midas XL42 for line distribution, but the d&b D12 amplifiers maximum level is controlled via their ROPE C control software. There is no way the DJs can access and exceed the levels we dictate. As well as in the room, we also monitor levels on the dance floor by taking several samples across the full 14.6 metres width; we try to be very careful with our customers." As you can tell, Octopussy, the club owners have applied their brand of professionalism throughout every function of the club, which runs normally till 5 or 6 in the morning depending on demand. Despite its lavish furnishing and high quality PA system this is still essentially a techno club, the new owners have fought hard to retain its image in that 'hard techno' slot, and attendance records confirm that they have succeeded.

Originally this venue was owned by the French singing star Jean Luc Lahaie, but for whatever reason he disposed of it and the club is now part of an independent group called Octopussy. They also own five other clubs in Paris, plus two restaurants, and a further three more clubs on the French west coast. "Laurent de Beaucouff is the driving force, he is investing more and more to furnish the club properly", said Didier 'Lulu' Lubin, a respected former live sound engineer, before opening d&b's office in Paris and the man who proposed and designed the current PA install at Studio 287. "The 287 generates a lot of publicity about the PA system to the club goers. Mostly their audience is in the fifteen to twenty-five age range who use the Internet and SMS to communicate with each other, and so does the club. Octopussy have a real desire to own the best scene in Paris."

Despite the installation preceding Poirer's arrival he still influenced its specification "We met at the club, that is me and Lulu" he said. I had ideas about what I wanted to do; the geometry here is strange, it is an old industrial unit, the roof is repeated waves of irregular triangular trusses that would have originally been skylights for the workers below." I needed the sound to overcome the natural compression forced by the roof shape. I also wanted more bass in the second, upper section of the room." When Poirer says 'upper section' it should be understood this is more a raised seating area than another floor; it sits approximately 1.5 metres above the main dance floor. "Up there we can lose a lot of bass from the dance floor PA positioned on and around the stage, yet this is where the top paying customers are sitting, and they want the bass. We started with a set of d&b Ci80s then added Ci90s for more energy; 105dB is what we aimed for."

The club's new PA exclusively comprises products from the d&b audiotechnik catalogue, and features an extensive distributed sound system beyond the dance floor and its conventional concert style PA. In the house we find two C7-TOPs, a multitude of Q-SUBs and Q10s, with Ci90s and Ci80s deployed at various acoustically strategic points on the periphery. To hear it, even at relatively low levels - below 100dB, this is a very muscular system with great emphasis on direct bass power into the seating areas. There are three main sound zones in the room, zone one the dance floor which is naturally the most potent; zone 2 the general seating area and zone three the VIP zones in the upper lounge where more attention is focussed.

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