An Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) sound system, said to surpass any other club system in the region, is drawing the crowds to Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE – one of the most happening beach clubs in the Abu Dhabi area. Located on the desert oasis of Ghantoot Island, at the Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel & Resort, the beach club offers its guests an unending line-up of prominent musicians and DJs that perform every weekend during beach season.
“The owners are passionate about sound and understand that it is the most important thing in a club setting,” explained James Field, system designer, Imagine Audio Visual. “I’ve been involved with Blue Marlin since the beginning. The owners have consistently supported the beach club concept with cutting-edge EAW sound reinforcement systems that rival the competition.”
Most recently Field designed a new EAW system featuring KF740 line arrays and SB1002 subwoofers. A rectangular trussing system defines the performance stage with four line arrays – each made up of four KF740 enclosures – hung from each corner of the structure, firing outward.
“When the doors opened two years ago, we never guessed that we would end up getting 2,000+ partygoers on a weekly basis,” explained Field. “By the end of last season, it was obvious that we needed an upgrade to deliver more SPL throughout the venue. I wanted a solution that was designed specifically for the purpose rather than just adding in more boxes ad-hoc to the old EAW MQ system. This is why I went with the KF-740s.”
The KF740 features dual 62mm voice coil HF compression drivers and dual 8in Concentric Summation Array (CSA) loaded MF transducers integrated through a common horn that occupies the entire face of the enclosure. The astounding pattern control achieved by this configuration is extended even further (down to 160 Hz) as the MF devices are transitioned to a spaced array of four 2.5in voice coil 10in woofers.
“The venue has been so successful that we have had to expand the system as the crowd and the artists booked became bigger,” adds Field. “We continue to evolve the production value as the venue grows using EAW exclusively.”
Two subwoofer arrays, this time consisting of six SB1002 subs each, hang from the two corners located closest to the stage. Four more subs are ground stacked four wide in front of the DJ booth to reinforce the chest-thumping bass.
“Last season the sub arrays were ground stacked and I found that when I had 1,500 bodies on the main dance floor, the low end was just not making it far enough to the back sections,” adds Field. “So this season I opted to fly the main sub arrays. I lose the ground coupling, but this was a reasonable trade-off in order to be able to steer the low frequencies where they are needed when we are full.”
Field employs three UX8800 DSPs on the KF740s and SB1002s and one UX3600 for the QX rig in the VIP zone. Lake LM26s handle other fill zones. The simplicity of the temperature and humidity zone controls, which allows Field to punch in the numbers with ease, is particularly useful given it is an outdoor venue.
“Most decent club systems will go down to about 30 cycles per second – these are the frequencies that can really, physically move you,” he explains. “With 32 18inch bass drivers and 64 10inch low-mid drivers around the dance floor, being driven by amplifiers which can deliver around 250,000W of power in microseconds – the audience can definitely feel the low end.”
An impressive rack full 100 channels of Lab.gruppen C series delivers 250kW of power to all the various zones. Zone control is done in the analogue realm with Drawmer DA 6s, which Field likes for their transparency. A large inventory of DJ equipment, including Allen & Heath and Pioneer mixers of various models, as well as Technics SL-1200 and Pioneer CDJ2000NXS media players, fill out the beach club system.