Spectacular visuals at Las Vegas's new superclub, Omnia, are being driven by Avolites Ai EX8 media servers.
Billed as 'a new nightlife experience' and created by international lifestyle brand Hakkasan Group, Omnia is situated on the Strip in the world-famous Caesars Palace. Designed by the internationally renowned Rockwell Group, the club spans 7,000sqm and launched in March 2015 with a star-studded party, featuring Calvin Harris on DJ duty.
Omnia's resident VJ and video director for Hakkasan, Ed Shaw, takes the Ai reins at the club in the main room, with visual content that's driving reviewers to focus on the spectacle. Las Vegas Weekly said: "It might be the most 'Las Vegas' nightclub in Las Vegas. Whether that's good or bad depends on your tolerance for hyperstimulation and disco spectacle."
Frank Murray from Audiotek supplied and oversaw the AV aspects of the project, working alongside Avolites' Ai Developer Ciaran Abrams, who provided support for Ai as it was installed and programmed.
Three Avolites Ai EX8 servers are powering the content in the opulent main room of the club, which features a huge chandelier as the centrepiece of the venue. The chandelier morphs into different shapes, angles and levels– and which was the focus of much social media buzz at the launch event. The entire project is said to feature more than ten tonnes of LED wall.
"This was a project on a huge scale, which presented many challenges as the system had to be incredibly flexible to handle many different demands," said Abrams. "For example, mapping was a big task. Different elements required different mapping solutions – the chandelier was a particular creative challenge, fully utilising the feature set of Ai. The cascades and mezzanine areas of the room were also very complex. Using Ai, we were able to create a 3D representation of the pixels and import that information."
The team divided the visual load into three groups, one for each server: The main room cascade and mezzanine, the chandelier and projection. "There is a lot of custom patching and functionality that needed no special programming, but was available with the module system inside of Ai," continued Abrams. "A good example of this is being able to fade out different parts of the club, regardless of content. So, through the lighting console, chases could easily be created to make new effects without needing any content. We were also able to create custom content, effects and colour modes, which offered much more freedom when it came to creative thought."
In the second room, a fourth Ai EX8 server is installed, with lighting director Jorge Tellez controlling yet more spectacular visuals via his Sapphire Touch and the Ai, and an Avolites Quartz offering control for the lighting for The Terrace, featuring a mixture of LED strip lighting and moving heads.
"There's a really large screen behind the DJ booth and then several other screens that pretty much go around the entire room," said Tellez. "I like the fact that I can run the lighting and I can run the video off the one console; that really makes it easy for me. It lets me get really creative with the room.
"I'd never worked on an Avolites until I got to Omnia, but Group One's Brad White trained me and I really, really enjoyed it. I saw how easy it is to operate the Avolites – for the pixel mapping, and for setting up your palettes, for example, it's such a convenient board. I'm totally on-board working with the Sapphire Touch."
Speaking after the club's completion and opening, Avolites MD Steve Warren commented: "Omnia is truly one of the most spectacular installations I have seen in my many years in the industry. I am also convinced that this particularly demanding project could only have been accomplished using Ai media servers.
"Having worked before on superclubs in London with Frank, the Audiotek team have significantly raised the bar for Vegas and we at Avolites are proud to have supplied the significant part of the lighting and video solution to Omnia," Warren continued.
Moving forward, Abrams is confident: "We've installed a system with extra headroom which will allow for the design to be expanded in the future. A simple example would be that they might get more LED and require extra outputs. They would easily be able to integrate this in the current setup without needing to get more systems."