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d&b system balances sound quality and low immissions at Ibiza club

Picture: Pacha

Pacha’s Destino Resort in Ibiza revamped its entire outdoor DJ stage and club for the 2018 season, installing a complete d&b GSL System to increase sound quality and volume inside the resort, while reducing immissions for nearby neighbours.

Perched on a clifftop at Cap Martinet above the resort of Talamanca, Pacha-owned Destino resort offers stunning views over Ibiza Old Town. For summer season 2018, the resort launched with a brand new, wooden arched stage and half-dome covering, revamped VIP and outdoor dancefloor spaces, and a d&b GSL System. 

A customised DJ booth takes centre stage, flanked by six GSL tops each side, consisting of four GSL8 and four GSL12, and 10 SL-GSUBs stacked directly beneath in a distributed sub array for a total control of the LF dispersion beam. For monitoring, the DJs are hearing four V-GSUBs and a pair of V7Ps.

Freshly installed to welcome thousands of partygoers and a host of big-name DJs including Sven Väth, Koze and Dennis Ferrer, the GSL System was commissioned by Pacha and overseen by Destino’s head of technology, Jordi Ferragut.

“For Destino’s sound, we are looking for control – we need to control the levels that we are sending to our audience and to our neighbourhood. The resort is located in a residential area and it’s very important that we do not annoy our nearby residents,” said Ferragut. “We chose the d&b GSL System because of its ability to deliver high quality sound with directivity, thanks to its design and full-range cardioid techniques. GSL is the next level for us – we can go for more in our PA and less for our neighbours.”

The result is an open-air dancefloor which can enjoy 100dB of pure, directed sound, while outside of the resort’s grounds the immission remains within the legally required limit. This is 9dB more volume than was achieved last year, when Destino was working with a d&b J-Series System.

During the day, chilled out music is pumped around the resort; later, the BPM rises and so does the volume. Everything is controlled remotely via d&b R1 software presets and distributed/networked using the d&b DS10 Dante interface. 

The GSL8 and GSL12 loudspeakers are acoustically matched and constructed to be mechanically compatible, sharing the same vertical directivity, size, footprint, weight, rigging and driver complement. They are also the same width as the SL-GSUBs, ensuring a clean and symmetrical look.

The dancefloor is not the only Destino zone provided with d&b systems. Also benefiting from the directivity of the SL-Series, the restaurant area enjoys sound from eight GSL8s with four SL-SUBs. The fabulous VIP area has eight Y-SUBs with six Y-tops and two E12 installed, while the pool area is covered by 10 Q10 cabinets and 10 27S-SUBs, with a pair of 10S cabinets serving as delays.

For the main dancefloor system, Ferragut and his team used d&b NoizCalc software to model the far field noise immission from their new GSL System. 

“NoizCalc was a beautiful surprise for us – before we discovered this software, we had done a study about the impact of our sound activity on the residential mountain behind Destino,” Ferragut added. “NoizCalc has made assessing this much simpler. Now, every year when we send our ‘season project’ to the authorities, it is accompanied with a NoizCalc simulation.”

The GSL8 and GSL12 produce a full-range constant directivity behaviour, using a combination of technologies which include cardioid techniques in the lower range. This behaviour rejects energy towards the rear, significantly reducing excitation of the reverberant field, which results in minimised reflections indoors, a superior working environment onstage and lower sound emissions to adjacent areas outdoors.

“Ibiza is a reference point for sound and discos and the feedback from clubbers, DJs and promoters to the GSL System at Destino has been extremely positive,” said Ferragut. “Ibiza is a small place and we all know each other. Everybody tries to have the best sound in their venue, and it makes sense to check out the competition – even more so if word spreads that the audience, DJs, technicians and promoters had a good experience there. I often invite our colleagues to come to Destino, have a beer and listen to the new system. A smile on their faces means they can’t hide what they are thinking. At that moment, it’s all about the sound quality.

“But for me, one of the most important aspects is the aftercare service. d&b Application and Education Support is the key here. They want to assist you to be a good technician, to give the right tools, help solve a problem, or simply provide tips to improve what you need to do.”