In the Canadian club scene, sound quality can often be forfeited in favour of convenience or cost savings – seemingly an afterthought to architecture and design. There are, however, some who simply refuse to compromise. Over the last several years, Montreal’s Circus Afterhours has climbed the ranks of elitism in the nightclub scene – first in its home city and now on a global scale. In recent years, the club has welcomed high profile patrons and top DJs including international names like Tiësto, Benny Benassi, and Felix Da Housecat, and home grown talent in resident DJs Franco Fabi, King Louis, and Domenic Pandolfo.For 2011, it was ranked number 21 on DJmag’s Top 100 Clubs, rising from the 79th position in 2009 and number 60 in 2010 – and this was before administration decided to completely revamp its décor and sound, lighting, and video technology in hopes of further increasing its international profile.
Setting a huge priority on its patrons’ aural experience, the club set out on a search for a system that would deliver as lavish and intense an experience as that for which Circus has become so well-known.
While also upgrading its décor and lighting to compete on a level with the international club elite, it was made clear by administration from the offset that the sound system would be a priority above all else. While the administration, taking advice from Technical Director Louis L’Ecuyer, did indeed research and enter discussions with several potential suppliers, the decision was made relatively early on that the reinforcement system would primarily comprise Funcktion One speakers.
The F1 Dance Stack system is modular and can thus be configured in a number of different formats. For Circus’ system, the format chosen was 4-way active, incorporating 11 components per stack. For the DJ monitor set-up, almost as vital as the house system’s performance considering the calibre of entertainers coming through Circus on a regular basis, a pair of F1 Resolution 2 boxes were chosen. Not sparing any expense on a single aspect of the rig – for the main or DJ monitoring set-up – the club ensured that all amplification, crossovers, and cabling would keep signal quality at a premium.
The team selected UK-made MC2 amplifiers and XTA 4 Series loudspeaker management systems to run the rig, also coming through ADI.
Having outlined a system they believed capable of producing the desired clarity and body-pumping SPLs with little listening fatigue, a few months later, the system was delivered and the positive feedback (sic!) rolled in.
Even a brief scan of local and international nightlife forums reveals some of the excitement surrounding the new sound experience in Montreal’s hottest after-hours establishment.
Posts on the TranceAddict.com forum from locals include snippets like: “I’m having a hard time thinking of a club where I’ve heard a cleaner sound,” “It’s like being in a professional studio,” and “That bass punches you right in the chest.”
While Circus Afterhours has been a well known and respected establishment on both the local and international after-hours scenes, the club’s administration and collaborators make it clear that they feel they’ve optimized their offerings for the world’s best-known DJs and common club-goers alike. Says club GM and house DJ Franco Fabi: “With the acquisition of this high-end sound system with a power of 76,000 watts, a new lighting system, but also through the best local and international DJs and a quality team, we’re putting Montreal on the nightlife map” – and in a towering way.