DC10Holding mythic status among the initiated, one of Ibiza’s venues recently marked its 28th anniversary and two decades since the introduction of its keystone event, Circoloco. Venue owners and co-founders of DC10, Andrea Pelino and Antonio Carbonaro undertook a large-scale overhaul of the audio set-up. 

The new installation encompasses three main areas of the club – including their individual DJ booths – and required a major system architecture redesign. 

Circoloco‘For the past few years, we have been extensively testing Powersoft gear, especially the X Series, and have had our best ever results,’ says Valerio Cherubini, owner and founder of project integrator, Loud Professional. ‘The optimisation of the system installed at DC10 became more precise thanks to the amplifiers’ fidelity and to the great potential of Armonía [software] for truly detailed and smooth sound reproduction – we’ve never heard anything like it.’

The massive amplifier inventory previously installed at DC10 (which has been in place for the past six years) has given way to 20 Powersoft X8 units. ‘It was an important investment for the future of this venue,’ Cherubini says. ‘The club owners trust our professionalism thanks to a long period of collaboration, so they gave us free rein to decide – and we only ever ask to have the best.

‘Powersoft and Armonía are often behind the best the Loud Professional performances, as they deliver something truly unique to the audience,’ he continued. ‘Thanks to the amplifiers’ power and the fast transient response from the speakers, the audio at DC10 now packs an unrivalled punch. We also achieved a flat and smooth frequency response due to the precise Armonia presets, which made all the three installations extremely pleasant.’

Club owner Pelino agrees: ‘The systems have performed so well everywhere in the club. The amplifiers are really powerful and able to deliver a great amount of well-defined low frequencies, as well as the finest medium-high frequency response, to give a crystal-clear sound without ever causing listener fatigue. We strive to create comfortable rooms where you can listen to the music and I believe that’s what we have done with this upgrade.’

The ambitious project was undertaken by the international team of George Stavro, director of Sonic Lab Audio USA/Integral Sound, Christophe Chappelle (also from Sonic Lab Audio) and Loud Professional Italy’s Cherubini, Fosco Cicola, Michele Azzimonti and David Mandaradoni. There was also a local in-house team that comprised Pedro Comesaña and Adil Jaabak, who provided additional assistance and were responsible for the day-to-day operation of the sound systems throughout the season.

It was Stavro who was originally approached by the club’s owners to design new sound systems for the all three rooms: ‘On the first site visit, I was introduced to the team from Loud Professional Italy, who had an existing relationship with the venue. It was requested that I worked with them, but only if they were able to provide the speaker products that met my performance specifications. They did not have any speakers in their product line that did – so they offered to build some new ones.’

Loud worked closely with Stavro on the new speakers, taking time to focus on presets that would help to achieve the desired results. ‘Once we were both happy with the acoustic and electrical performance of the speakers, we auditioned them for the club owners,’ said Stavro. ‘They were extremely happy with the results, so we designed systems that included these speakers for all three rooms.’

Circoloco

Loud’s relationship with Powersoft was also key to the install: ‘Power density and control was so important, as we required a lot of channels,’ Stavro reveals. ‘Loud already had a great relationship with Powersoft and their X Series amplifiers were chosen as priority on the project. The company’s Armonia software was also a fundamental tool during the intensive research and development phase.’

In the main room at DC10, the new system was designed with an LCR configuration of four Loud Professional Formula F215s, four Loud Professional VH Sub121Hs, eight Loud Professional VH Sub118Rs and four VH F15s; while the DJ Booth is rigged with four VH F15s and two VH Sub118Rs. It takes five Powersoft X8s to drive this configuration, with a pair of Xta DP448 audio management systems and a Cisco Router also in play.

On the terrace, the main system, again in LCR configuration, is made up of eight Formula F215s and ten Formula F221s, with the DJ booth housing a similar set-up to the main room, consisting of four VH F15s and two VH Sub218Rs. This set-up requires seven Powersoft X8s, as well as two Xta DP44801s and a Cisco Router.

Finally, in the garden area, the main system consisted of six Formula F215s and four VH Sub218Hs, with two delays – a larger LCR set-up of four VH Layer112H+EMDs and four VH Sub218Rs; and a smaller LR set-up up of four VH Layer112H+EMDs. While the garden DJ booth rig was identical to that on the terrace, the system required eight Powersoft X8s, two Xta DP448s and a Cisco Router.

‘The final layout shares some resemblance to the original design as far as some of the speaker locations were concerned, given that the architecture of the rooms remained the same. The relocation of the air conditioning ducting in the terrace allowed for better speaker placement, which aided the immersive coverage that we aimed to achieve. Sub arrays were also moved to distribute the low frequencies more evenly throughout the spaces. We made good use of Armonía to design all three of the systems, using the software mainly for the wiring system and configuring all of the DSP and racks in advance.’

Despite the crack team and the quality of the new kit, the install was not without its hurdles: ‘The rooms provided more challenges than we would have liked,’ Stavro says. ‘The roofs of both the rooms had reached their weight limits, so additional reinforcement had to be installed to handle the weight of the new sound systems. Elsewhere, the cavities for the sub bass speakers in the terrace were moved and enlarged to allow a better configuration. Speaker positions were also relocated in the main room to provide better and more even coverage.’

The team also had to build an additional rigging structure in the patio area to handle the increased weight of the main arrays, as well as an additional delay sub position to reinforce sub bass towards the back of the space: ‘Most countries in Europe have introduced stricter voice level limits for entertainment venues and this venue was no exception,’ he adds. ‘Our designs included more speakers distributed throughout the spaces to work with these requirements by having speaker sources closer to the patrons.’

With the installation complete, this tightly-knit team was able to sit back and reflect on a successful collaboration. Stavro’s first impressions of Loud echoed this sentiment: ‘I found the team at Loud to be very knowledgeable, extremely flexible and very nimble when it came time to design new speakers that were never part of their product outline; delivering some great speakers that met our performance criteria. On top of their professional expertise, their entire operation was super friendly, warm and personable. This was the first collaboration between Sonic Lab Audio and Loud Professional and the start of what we hope to be a long relationship.’

‘I strongly believe that is our best club installation,’ Cherubini exclaimed. ‘Everyone is already speaking so well about it and about the new Loud Pro Formula Series. We achieved exactly what we promised to George at the beginning of this process, and his experience in managing sound systems expressly dedicated to “club culture” proved to be fundamental.’

‘In the past, we met a lot of sound engineers and system integrators – but no one like George. His point of view was the key. For the first time, Sonic Lab Audio and Loud Professional came together – along with the unwavering support of Powersoft and their product specialist department – and DC10 is the amazing result.’

‘In my opinion, this is the best installation we have had at DC10,’ Pelino adds. ‘Everybody seems to agree, from DJs and producers, to promoters, booking agencies and visitors. We did it for all of them, ensuring that the sound quality is at its best and guaranteeing the maximum comfort.’

DJ/producer Seth Troxler – a regular at DC10 and one of the most authoritative voices when it comes to appraising the teamwork between these audio heavyweights – adds: ‘The collaboration has been definitive in changing the sound of the club. There is a precision and pressure now that allows me the definition I need to play my music to the best of my ability. Circoloco is a canvas for me and this sound has come to define how I able to paint.’

More: www.powersoft-audio.com

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