A bespoke sound system through a partnership between Powersoft and Pioneer Pro Audio has been installed in Antwerp’s Café d’Anvers.
The Powersoft and Pioneer Pro Audio partnership was first used at the Booom! Ibiza nightclub and has been reprised in Belgium to provide deep bass on the dancefloor while not disrupting customer conversation at the bar. The partnership consists of the DSP and switch mode technology of Powersoft’s flagship K series, with custom EQ settings, and Pioneer Pro Audio’s GS-WAVE dancefloor stacks.
The 1,000 capacity club was opened in 1989 and occupies a 16th century church in the heart of Antwerp’s red light district. But the ability to deliver a true club sound without disturbing the venue’s many neighbours had always eluded owner Pim de Rhoodes.
“We had to limit the volume and bass, which wasn’t great for the atmosphere. We couldn’t do too much soundproofing because these old walls are part of the special character of the place,” he said.
de Rhoodes and the technical team flew to Ibiza to hear Powersoft-Pioneer Pro Audio system in action at Booom! “I thought: it’s an amazing sound system, but we can’t make that much bass here, with our neighbours. Or can we?”
However, by driving the entire speaker set up with Powersoft's compact, high-performance amps with optimised Pioneer presets, the problem was finally solved. The main room comprises two 3m GS-WAVE stacks at the front, four GS-WAVE tweeter pods overhead and four XY-122 PA speakers, with four XY-215S subwoofers at the rear. This is driven by three Powersoft K6s, two K2s and one M30.
Infill is provided by four XY-81s in dual array clusters, and the bar area has two XY-101s, driven by three K2s for the infills. Finally, the DJ booth is equipped with two XY-122s and an XY-115S reflex loaded subwoofer, all powered by a K2 and an M30D. This configuration ensures a warm, powerful sound on the dancefloor and a clear line of sight from the bar.
Installed in the balcony room are four XY-122s and two XY-118S subwoofers, and two XY-81s in the booth. Assigned to this system are a Powersoft K3, a K2 and an M30D. The amps use Powersoft's pioneering switch mode technology to provide incredible power with the highest efficiency intelligently managing the power supply to work at very low impedance and deliver a natural sound.
"We linked the subs and needed to save amplifier channels but have the confidence to be able to drive it down to 2 ohms and have it remain stable. The ability to deliver a massive amount of power down at that low impedance is something Powersoft is extremely good at," explained Alex Barrand, Pioneer Pro Audio Manager.
"Compared to the old 4U amplifiers, which took up a whole rack, these amps occupy much less rack space but the power is equally impressive. The system is easily accessible and they have invested in a platform that will be here for the next ten years."
Powersoft's Armonía Pro Audio software was used to define EQ settings for the room and prevent problem frequencies from leaving the building. The software also enables the technical team to wirelessly control the whole system and easily adjust the sound; for example, turning it up when there are more people to absorb the sound, and gradually turning it down as people leave the venue.
Alex Barrand explained: "Sometimes different music styles are programmed and so configuration was key, and using the Armonía platform made that very easy. Aside from the presets we made the workspace a bit more intuitive for the management to control elements of the system, to restrict noise pollution around the neighbours.
"Using Powersoft's DSP amplifiers has resulted in a really seamless change for the venue; they can now monitor the system throughout the night and get the best from it. And Armonía is user friendly, which is great in case users aren't super-technical."
All amplifiers in the main room are connected to a switch and this in turn has a wireless router. "So we can access the system from a tablet or if we VPN into the laptop or access the system from any enabled PC laptop from the dancefloor to make the configurations.
de Rhoodes' concluded: "The sound is 100% better. It's like you're inside the music. It's not just the deep bass; you've got all the sounds surrounding you. And at the bar, you can talk yet still be in the music, still be tempted to dance. At last, after 26 years, we can finally say we have the best sound system and no complaints from the neighbours everyone is happy."