Creative sound design and installation specialists CP Sound, continues has completed a JBL sound system design and installation at Volstead. The club is the latest, hip-and-happening, highly discreet A-List haunt in London. The building has housed clubs of various descriptions for some years, before recently being acquired by the Ignite group, and transformed into an intimate, uniquely branded and highly atmospheric venue.
CP Sound has completed several challenging sonic projects for Ignite over the last three years. They once again approached Colin Pattenden of CP Sound for his imaginative and technical input into Volstead in its prime Swallow Street, Soho, location. The building has housed clubs of various descriptions for some years, before recently being acquired by the Ignite group, and transformed into an intimate, uniquely branded and highly atmospheric venue.
Ignite wanted refined and classy audio to compliment Satmoko Ball‘s provocative neo art deco interior design, which involves plenty of mirrored and reflective surfaces oozing glamour. The outside walls of the space are wrapped in a dark green inverted cityscape made from polycarbonate cladding.
They also wanted to be able to control sound tightly in specific areas, so Pattenden’s design separates the areas into a total of 7 independent zones of audio. There’s also a small raised live performance area next to the DJ booth
The main dance floor is zone 1 and the adjacent area dropped ceiling/raised floor is zone 2, with the zone 3 seated area being the other side of the dance floor. Zone 4 is next to the bar and zone 5 is the bar itself. Zone 6 is the toilets and zone 7 the entrance. “It wasn’t a huge job in terms of scale” explains Pattenden “But like all of Ignite’s venues, the brief was very precise and quality was the absolute priority”.
He picked JBL because the system also had to be versatile, dynamic and sound equally as good for DJ, background music or occasional live acts. Two JBL SRX 718s bass bins inject the dance floor with a serious all-encompassing shot of raw, low-end energy, and there’s then 6 JBL Control 29s for nice clear mid-tops. This is also a great combination for live sound. The Control 29s were also ideal for their compact size and ability to blend into the design.
The adjacent area - zone 2 - features four JBL Control 26C ceiling speakers and over the other side of the dancefloor, zone three has two Control 28s. Zone 4, next to the bar, has two Control 28s and the bar itself has two Control 25s. Two Control 24C’s in the restrooms, and a single Control 24C Micros in the entrance completes the speaker picture.
“The technical audio challenge was designing each area with its own evenly spread sound field that didn’t interfere with any of the others” says Pattenden, adding that equally as demanding was the aesthetic task of ensuring that the dance floor speakers didn’t protrude beyond on the decorated ceiling area – with its impressive mirrored scalloped surface. This entailed them being carefully ensconced along the recesses beside two beams flanking the area.
The system is powered by RSE amplifiers throughout – CP Sound’s standard amplifier of choice “I have not found an amplifier to beat this for any installation application” says Pattenden.
For the DJ box, Pattenden specified two Technics 1210 dex, two Pioneer CDJ 1000s MK3 and an Allen & Heath 262 mixer plus and an 8 channel Soundcraft PA mixer for live acts for which he wanted a “Small, neat and simple solution”. He also specified three AKG D880 hand-held vocal mics, a DI box and the JBL stage monitor which doubles as a DJ monitor, complete with a changeover switch.