Orbital Sound’s Sketches of Streatham27 September 2010
The Hideaway – a jazz club in the Streatham area of South London – has been supplied with a new d&b audiotechnik sound system by Orbital Sound. Specified by freelance sound engineer Cliff Scott, the new installation was devised to provide consistent coverage throughout the club.
The system – which features d&b audiotechnik E12 and E0 loudspeakers, as well as D6 power amplifiers – is in line with Scott’s long-term fondness for d&b equipment. “I’ve been a fan of d&b audiotechnik speakers for many years , and love their sound – especially for live jazz. They deliver the clarity and accuracy that jazz aficionados tend to demand,” he said.
Having tried out a number of d&b units courtesy of Orbital Sound, Scott ultimately proceeded with a specification of three E12s, augmented by multiple E0s as infills for the tables in one corner.
“Many venues wouldn’t worry about specific coverage for these tables, but this attention to detail is typical of the club’s attitude to customers’ enjoyment,” said Scott. “The system is set up to generate a well-balanced mix of natural to reinforced sound, with enough direct level coming off the stage even with the quieter players. It’s an excellent venue, with a great look and feel, and has to be one of the best I’ve worked in.”
The new loudspeakers are driven by two d&b audiotechnik D6 power amplifiers, with one unit driving the main stereo pair of E12s, and the other powering the third E12 and the infill E0s. Scott is using the third E12 to ensure accurate coverage throughout the club, including a sofa area that is offset to one side. The mix is achieved via an Allen & Heath GL2400 console, while two BSS 966 dual EQs enable the adjustment of the monitor feeds.
Reflecting on the new system, Hideaway creator/owner Frances Strachan remarked: “You obviously can’t separate a successful live music venue from the quality of its sound system. By its nature, our clientele is discerning and musically literate, and is quick to criticise any perceived shortcomings.
"Our new system has been extremely well-received, and we are getting numerous compliments about the quality and clarity. When the band’s good, and the system sounds right, people just sit-back and enjoy – reinforcing our image as an important new venue with a relaxed ambience, and one that’s capable of showcasing the best talent around.”
Reflecting on the requirements of jazz/blues club installs, Orbital Sound MD Chris Headlam told IE: “The majority of club installs are focused on dance music, mostly DJ-based plus some live acts. However, there’s a growing trend among the smaller, specialist live-music clubs – jazz and blues in particular – to take sound quality more seriously and invest in systems that will result in happier audiences, performers and promoters. Whatever the genre, the clubs need to be competitive, and sound quality is often their prime differentiator. Systems from d&b audiotechnik are finding much favour in this sector, as there’s excellent sonic compatibility between the various product series, allowing good flexibility in system planning and installation, and their balance of performance to size and price is pretty much optimum. The smaller, specialist venues naturally want the most performance they can get out of the smallest and fewest number of boxes. Add to this d&b’s recently launched Finance Series purchasing packages, which help soften the financial blow at any level, and you can see the attraction!”