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Audac and Xilica energise La Parada with ‘bar vibe’ for DJ sessions

La Parada, in Johannesburg, South Africa, wanted a sound system that catered to DJs and bigger parties, offering something different to the area's predominantly dining-focused venues

A powerful audio system using technology from Audac and Xilica is powering La Parada, a restaurant chain bringing the vibrancy of the Mediterranean to South Africa. Finished with sandy pastels and palm trees, the restaurant’s newest location is in Johannesburg’s day-to-night dining and shopping destination, Cedar Square, where it has to compete with some of the busiest bars and clubs in the area.

The project was a collaboration between AV Distribution and South African installation company Sonic AV. For Cedar Square, La Parada wanted a sound system that catered to DJs and bigger parties, offering something different to its predominantly dining-focused venues.

The main bar and DJ area of La Parada Cedar Square features four Audac VEXO112 two-way passive loudspeakers. Across the rest of the bar, including the mezzanines and outside areas, Sonic AV installed six XENO8 full range loudspeakers and six XENO6 models.

La Parada is divided into five zones; the main floor, two mezzanine areas and two outside areas. The entire space is wired in stereo and run through a Xilica Solaro audio processor for the staff to choose their inputs.

There’s an input for background music, DSTV and the DJ, so Sonic AV also created a custom user interface for the team to run the entire restaurant off, including pre-sets for different times of day.

Additionally, an iPad runs the Xilica XTOUCH app so that the restaurant manager can easily control the sound in all areas of the venue.

Richard Edwards, CEO, Sonic AV, explained: “La Parada wanted to make the shift to a more music-orientated restaurant with this opening. They wanted more of a bar vibe with DJs so we knew that a solution from Audac would be an ideal fit, especially the XENO range which comprises high-powered loudspeakers for the hospitality industry. Sound quality was critical, but also at a price point that was sensible for the African market, so we had to get the balance right between quality and budget. The Audac models offer an excellent value proposition, they’re powerful, but provide a nice blend between softer audio for background dining and the high sound pressure levels for DJ sessions required at La Parada.”

He continued: “La Parada was a challenging acoustic space, so we also carried out some customised acoustic treatment. It’s a double volume restaurant with single volume mezzanines, which made it difficult for us to install the system and create an ambience that suited La Parada’s needs. If we hadn’t included any treatment, we wouldn’t have got the same quality outcome.”

La Parada opened its first location on Bree Street, a bustling area of Cape Town, in 2020. With a menu packed full of traditional tapas with a South African spin, the chain continued to grow, opening 17 further restaurants across the country. Complete with La Parada’s signature mismatched chairs and rustic Spanish tiles, its new Cedar Square venue is hoping to position the restaurant in front of a new audience that favours after-dark dancing alongside Mediterranean dining.