Pacha Ibiza set a new model for nightclubs when it opened in 1973. Almost 20 years on, it continues to be a benchmark, with franchised clubs all over the world. Not about to stand still, the original club has recently updated its sound system.
‘We were looking to the complete renewal of the sound system,’ says Toni Prats, Technical Director for the Pacha Group. ‘What we wanted to achieve was a more homogeneous and exciting sound throughout the Ibiza club and the dancefloors.’
Prats called on Imaginamusica, the d&b audiotechnik Partner for Northeast Spain.
‘We discussed if the truth was that we needed higher SPLs to meet our goals,’ Prats continues. ‘We didn’t. They demonstrated we just needed a more detailed and articulate sound system, and that system was the d&b V-Series. We were also certain we wanted extra definition for the low end without losing the low/mid frequencies impact; these are what make people dance. The third consideration was space, we wanted the new system to occupy minimal space; each square metre is very important; this is Pacha club, we don’t want our customers to feel like they are cattle in a truck. What we understood from Imaginamusica was that the d&b V-Series would meet all our requirements.’
Imaginamusica Project Manager Enric Esteve called in Juanma de Casas from d&b’s Spain Application Support office to assist with system design. He, in turn, was joined by Jonas ‘Jones’ Wagner from d&b Application Support in Germany.
‘The acoustic environment is complex but very interesting from the point of view of the clubs clients,’ de Casas explains. ‘Beyond the main dance area are many dedicated VIP areas which need a spatial consideration, plus other public levels. Although essentially open plan, each area exists on a different level, maybe 60cm step up or down, rising eventually to a balcony overlooking the dancefloor. It was important as well to be able to control all these areas independently.’
Wagner assisted de Casas with the overall final design: ‘Based on the V-Series loudspeakers we put in arrays of V-Tops on all four sides of the main dancefloor with two stacks of four cardioid V-Sub combined with a floor array of omnidirectional B2-Subs for extended lower frequency reach into every area. Then three further stereo arrays of V were flown in the major VIP areas, all with flown V-Subs. Smaller areas and the DJ booth received attention from Q7 and Q10 fills, and 27A-Subs from the d&b White range proved ideal for providing added low end presence in the more remote areas; the 27A being both small and cardioid.’
The whole system is controlled using d&b R1’s Remote software, and driven by d&b D12 amplifiers. ‘Since the system has been installed we have had numerous comments from our DJs,’ Prats says, ‘Tiesto, Luciano, David Guetta; all have been surprised by the sound quality of the system, in the booth and around the club.
‘The option of a multipurpose system with an entirely coherent and consistent sound performance, and one in which system layout is correct for the varying locations of the DJ booth and public areas, has given us the homogeneity we wanted,’ he adds. ‘Everywhere sounds as good as everywhere else. Additionally the significant reduction in footprint and visual impact makes for a winning combination. Imaginamusica convinced us by demonstrating that not only had they one of the best sound systems, but it also had the best technical support and accountability to the sound quality. They did not sell the sound system, but a particular kind of sound. That is very important to us.’