Air Motion is the Right Choice in Melbourne
- January 2015
A Void Acoustics sound system has been installed as part of a renovation at the aptly named Forester’s Beer and Music Hall in Melbourne, Australia.
In a modern interpretation of the classic Australian beer hall, Forester’s serves up a tasty mix of daytime background music, evening DJ sets, and weekly live bands – plus gourmet pizza and the biggest and most interesting range of local and international craft beers on tap in Australia.
Audio Logistics, Void Acoustics’ Australian distributor, was invited to specify a new audio system by Forester's owner Russell Griggs. “I had worked with Russell on projects previously, and when it came time for the renovation at Forester’s Hall, Russell gave me a call to meet with him and the architect to have a walk-through of a proposed design,” says managing director Adam Dullens.
The initial system design of Venu 6, Venu 10 and Venu Bass speakers centred on delivering background music playing in the main room as well as weekend DJs, providing consistent audio coverage with a ‘lounge’ feel, and occasionally featuring live bands. But on further consultation it was decided that live music would become a more prominent feature, and so this required a radical change in the sound system design.
“The first thing you notice as you enter the cavernous main room is the elevated gold ‘clamshell’ in the back corner, an original piece from the 1920s,” says Dullens. It was decided to retain and highlight this as a feature, so as part of a complete transformation the entire venue was stripped back to the bare walls and clamshell, while under the guidance of Dullens the audio installation was carried out by Melbourne based technology integrators Pulse Audio Visual Technologies.
The raised clamshell area now serves as the stage for the bands that perform in the venue with a mixture of American, blues, funk, soul and rockabilly – and a separate, smaller DJ booth was built in front of the shell at ground level.
A pair of Air Motion V2 speakers in gloss black finish were wall mounted on either side of the clamshell, their designer curves mimicking the distinctive shape, and a pair of Mycro X subwoofers provide the low end for the system, slightly delayed to match the mid-highs. “Usually I would recommend pairing larger subwoofers with the Air Motions, but I had specific reasons for not doing so,” explains Dullens.
“Firstly the venue previously had major noise issues with nearby residential neighbours, and attempts had already been made to try and reduce audio spill outside. As such, there were originally no subwoofers in the existing venue.”
Rather than risk putting in double 18” horn-loaded subs with their considerable projection capability, Dullens decided instead that the short throw nature of the double 12” Mycro X cabinets was a better fit. “The venue does not play any dance music – the focus is actually on the mid-high frequencies rather than the low end,” he says. “Not only that, the Mycro X boxes are tiny and we had no problem building them into the DJ booth.”
Four Indigo 6 pro speakers also in gloss black finish provide peripheral coverage around the perimeter of main room, three at the back near the entrance and a fourth located in the front left-hand side of the room to cover the bar seating area that is outside the coverage of the Air Motions. An audio level controller is located behind the bar, and as the venue is used in a casual bar / lounge configuration for day-to-day trading this allows the staff to turn down the Air Motion front of house system to background levels whenever a band is not playing, and turn up the Indigo speakers to get an even level of sound throughout the room. The Mezzanine zone overlooking the main room is covered by a pair of Venu 6 speakers in a black finish, which offer a delayed feed of the main system.
“The venue has a lot of hard, bright surfaces which, when coupled with the soaring domed ceiling, made speaker selection and positioning very important,” comments Dullens. ”This was another consideration when specifying the Air Motion speakers with their relatively tight beam pattern.
“As far as level goes, the system has more than enough. The design of the clamshell acts as a natural amplifier for any acoustic sounds produced in it. As it is not a ‘club’ system as such there is more emphasis on a detailed full range response as opposed to a bass-heavy sound, which seems to work really well for the venue and also for their neighbours. Room coverage is good throughout the main room, with the Indigo 6 speakers providing just the right amount of HF clarity at the outer edges.
“The Air Motion speakers were a fantastic choice for this installation. Not just for their sonic qualities, but also because their appearance complemented the clamshell, adding to the greatest visual feature of the venue. The decision to use the Mycro X subs was I believe the right choice, as there has not been a single noise complaint from nearby neighbours since the system was installed.”
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