Muse Lifestyle Group announced a new addition to its portfolio in the latter part of last year. “Sound” occupies the venue formerly known as Element at 1642 Las Palmas Avenue, Los Angeles, but it has undergone a major renovation to transform the space into a nightclubbing experience with a difference. Founder and COO of Muse Lifestyle Group, Rob Vinokur said: “I felt a void in the market on this specific venue concept and wanted to create a space to fill that void. By creating this new, always-changing restaurant and nightclub, we will be introducing a novel nightlife format to the Hollywood scene.
“Sound’s environment was designed to be an ever-evolving one, so that each visit to the space will present a new experience to the club-goer. One night, they could experience the club as an under-water party, the next, it might be an enchanted forest.”
iCrave Design created the perfect setting at Sound by infusing the modern décor with a hint of raw industrialism. Taking inspiration from the history of the building, originally an old market storehouse and later a classic Hollywood theatre, they clad the venue in a mixture of industrial textures and baroque accents. “Basically, I conveyed our vision to Lionel Ohayan of iCrave. He put together a talented, hand-picked team of designers and architects, who constantly communicated with us and realised our dream design after a long process of collaboration” continued Rob.
Amongst the dream team comprising a variety of cryogenics, visuals and lighting professionals was sound expert Todd Konecny of Sound Investment. Having worked on a number of Rob’s venues to date – most notably Playhouse in Hollywood Sound Investment was an obvious choice when it came to sound design. Rob said: “The sound system was a key element in the club, especially given the name we chose. We are making some musical format choices that demand a major, clean, balanced sound and the system reflects that need.”
From the outset the aim of the audio system at Sound was to create an even higher standard of sound reproduction, in comparison to the critically acclaimed system at Playhouse. Todd explained: The design for the system at Sound is based around a new range of full-range components that Funktion One has been working on for a while now. These components have an extremely predictable directivity factor and high sensitivity, so it is straightforward to arrange the system for ideal coverage and SPL in the room.”
Todd said: “The full range speakers are flown at the four corners and a new concept in subwoofers at the floor. The venue is a nice open room and this layout has an ideal coverage pattern.” Todd continued: “Since the specification on the sound system was to blow the doors off anything existing in terms of fidelity and range, Funktion One was on the shortlist of contenders. A dancefloor environment differs dramatically from, say, a shed or arena, in two major ways. First, the entire listening audience is essentially in the extreme near field. Some reviews will be from people that are six feet from the sound system. This precludes the use of products that are designed to work in very large spaces or require a high number of devices to reach a specified SPL, but the system still must be capable of producing 120dB nightly.
“Second, the spectral content of EDM [Electronic Dance Music] is dramatically different from conventional music, and the amount of fidelity that is required in the low frequency ranges is greater. Modern day EDM has multiple layers of kick and bass lines that are extremely difficult for conventional subwoofers to accurately reproduce, since they are designed around self-resonance. Associated with that challenge is the fact that floor space is heavily monetised so there is a limit to how many subs you can put in the room.”
To power the system Todd turned to MC2 Audio, a company which constantly tops the amplification market through the transparency and dynamics of its products. Todd selected six MC2 E90 amplifiers, “the new E90 amp is something that needs to be heard to be appreciated,” he said. The other eight amplifiers are from the MC2 T Series, three T1500’s, two T3500’s, two T2000’s and one T1000. All of the T Series models feature the company’s unique current driven floating drive stage and Class AB bipolar topology, both of which help to produce high power performance.
When it came to specifying DSP, the requirements differed from the average criteria. Sound called for a high degree of flexibility combined with the best possible fidelity, criteria at opposite ends of the device spectrum and not readily available on the market. Therefore Todd devised a processing platform that was capable of achieving high levels of control and excellent sonics. And as the processing unit is specifically catered to Sound’s environment and is still undergoing experiment, the exact components are being kept under wraps for now.
The club opened officially just in time for New Year’s eve 2012-13 and judging by the local press and world-wide support on social media (they’re already up to over 2.5k on facebook!) the system and the venue is going down a storm along the “club row” of Las Palmas Ave – given the high turnover of clubs in the Holywood district, with Playhouse still going strong, it seems like Sound could be here to stay.
Thanks to mondodr.com for their kind premission to edit and publish this article.