Demonstrating how creatively-designed sound systems featuring highly-configurable, great sounding components can make a club's reputation and also enable business models that optimize the venue's real-estate investment, NYC IT-Club, Santos Party House, features advanced sound systems designed and integrated by TimbreTech Audio Services that support DJ/club and live performance and multiple events and â€˜showtimes' in one evening. Club sound icon, Jim Toth, designed a live system around a Soundcraft Vi6 console at Front Of House that is easily locked off and run remotely via a laptop in the DJ Booth when one of a host of top DJs is performing in the house. Toth credits the Vi6 with the versatility to transform the club from a top-notch live sound venue into a premium club with unprecedented ease — and with the console's category-leading Vistonics user-interface, Toth explains that visiting engineers typically require just five minutes to become comfortable and proficient with the board.
“The Soundcraft Vi6 is a remarkable console because it systematically addresses the hierarchy of engineer needs: first and foremost, it sounds great; secondly, it's extremely intuitive and sensibly designed; thirdly, it's eminently configurable and lastly, it's bulletproof,” Toth said today. “I feel extremely comfortable putting this console at the core of my system!”
Underscoring this confidence, Toth placed a Soundcraft Vi4 at the monitor position running 6 JBL SRX 712M 12” monitor wedges powered by Crown XTI 6000 Series amplifiers. The live system features JBL VerTec VT4887DP Series line array elements, with JBL VerTec VT4880 subwoofers. Featuring integrated power and DSP, Toth's use of the VerTec VT4887DP loudspeakers allowed him to set the level and EQ of each cabinet individually — a key advantage in configuring the array for the room requirements and also a welcome advantage among visiting engineers.
The dance system is where Toth — a self-admitted compulsive audiophile — has his most fun and extracts his greatest satisfaction! He returned to his roots as the system designer of Eighties club-land icons like Peppermint Lounge and Mars and built a 24-foot horizontal array of custom designed 5-speakers that spans the length of the room and delivers an amazingly even coverage. Each 5-way featuring 24” and 15” drivers in a line spaced with minimal interference or cone filtering because they're spaced apart very carefully. Bass is supplied by the same JBL VerTec VT4888 subwoofers.
“The coverage of this system is amazing. It has power, consistency and control that helps set the personality of the club,” says Ron Castellano, owner of the club. “There is nothing raw about it. Instead, it's very HiFi and sophisticated but there's massive power there if the DJ needs to accelerate!”
The power that Castellano refers to is delivered by a battery of Crown I-Tech 4000 and 8000 amplifiers with built-in DSP, which Toth believes saved the owners considerably in terms of outboard gear that was not required and the simple cost of housing and maintaining racks of processing equipment.”
“The DSP functionality of the I-tech is amazing not just from a control perspective but also from a cost perspective,” Toth notes. “There is no way we could have gotten this sound or this control without spending a fortune on outboard processors. What's more, to have this level of programming and control integration helped determine how creative I could be with the system design — and ultimately how good the place sounds! For 30
years, I have only used Crown amplifiers — I have looked at alternatives when new amps come along but I've never been given a strong enough reason to switch — now with the DSP technology that Crown is putting in the amps, I have even more reasons to use them!”
Santos Party House has a smaller, second room downstairs for which Toth designed a system comprising custom cabinets and VT4880 subwoofers with two monitor arrays hanging conventionally with eight cabinets on each side of the DJ booth. Toth observes with no small amount of satisfaction how some visiting DJs matrix between the monitor and dance systems, and mix straight from the line arrays.
Toth has built a successful business with remarkable built-in resistance to the booms of troughs of 30 years of the entertainment business and Castellano is quick to offer a reason. “Stubborn is not a word one would use. Uncompromising is a better description of Jim's commitment to perfection when it comes to audio design,” Castellano says. “He understands that managing the details is critical in every business, but especially the entertainment business and he provides concierge-level attention to detail and considerable style to boot!”
Today, TibreTech Audio Services provides club design services but Toth also runs a very successful audio for special events business and regularly runs projects including fashion shows, balls, store openings and concerts for Victoria Secret, UBS, PRADA, Lauder and MOMA. “It's not that we're selective in who we'll design for,” Toth explains. “It's simply that if we're being asked to put our name on an event or club system, we need it to look and sound like one of our systems! The Harman components from Crown, JBL and Soundcraft are key elements to our systems!”