Francesco Maffei, K-array product specialist, reveals the markets where immersive audio is starting to take off, and how audio technology is increasingly being designed to be multi-purpose.
Which technologies are you seeing an increased demand for in club audio?
We have seen an increase in multi-purpose venues and concept clubs where the dancefloor shares the same space as a restaurant, lounge or retail space. Therefore, the audio technology needed must accommodate the different requirements of the different areas as well as regulations set up to protect bordering facilities and surrounding residential communities from sound pollution. Today’s most common request from clients is to reduce as much sound emission as possible outside the dancefloor.
Is immersive audio still seen as the next big thing?
We are seeing the immersive audio trend take off in many of our top markets such as Asia Pacific and the US. As part of the natural evolution of the pro audio industry, venues will always look to improve upon the customer experience and as manufacturers, it is our goal to proactively find ways to anticipate client needs. Immersive audio has emerged as the newest way to engage an audience and will continue to be viewed as the next big thing, but only for very specific and high-level installations because the costs associated with it are on the higher end.
Is it difficult to balance the need for top-end performance with the need to accommodate different applications?
Anyone who makes an investment in a high-quality audio system will want the flexibility to accommodate different applications but an easily adaptable system should not compromise top-end performance. With innovative technology, such as digital steering capabilities that allow the user to direct the sound in a desired area, a lightweight form factor for effortless setup and take down and simple transportation and storage, and a wide array of accessories that to adjust a system setup based on venue requirements, K-array’s products are able to accommodate a wide range of applications all while producing high-quality audio.
Tell us about a recent installation project that highlights K-array's expertise in the club audio sector.
When Taiga Beirut recently opened its door in Sodeco, Beirut, nightclub owners turned to K-array installing our super compact Mugello-KH2 line array elements in a cluster of three units per side as the main PA accompanied by six Axle-KX12 12in coaxial speakers and a pair of Thunder-KMT21 and Thunder-KMT18 subwoofers each.
Featuring unique Electronic Beam Steering technology, the KH2 provides the nightclub with the ability to digitally adjust the dispersion of the line array, which not only ensures the same listening experience to all audience members but, at the same time, limits the noise pollution in the areas where the sound pressure must be kept at a minimum.
With the use of FIR filters, the KH2 line array provides extremely high frequency resolutions, which aren’t possible using delays and traditional filters.
The KH2 also features Slim Array Technology that not only benefits transporting, ease of assembly and cost savings with its compactness, but also emits a cardioid dispersion in the low frequencies and an extremely fast impulse response. The powerful, yet fast and controlled sound from the speakers, pulses through your veins and literally punches the air.
The combination of these two factors leads to an incredible acoustic experience with respect to the traditional line arrays, particularly in terms of sound definition and noise pollution outside the dancefloor.