San Francisco-based club, Ruby Skye, is reportedly the first nightclub in the world to install Lake Contour digital speaker processors. The four Lake Contours installed at the former Victorian-era theater were part of the venue’s recent custom sound installation.
The addition of Lake Contour to the proposed sound system package for Ruby Skye helped clinch the deal for the Bay Area's JK Sound, according to company president Michael Lacina, whose full service audio rental, production, design and installation company won the bid against stiff competition. "The internal processing is the most powerful of any competing unit, giving the Lake Contour better transient response and overall superior audio quality," he comments.
Lacina continues, "And that's not even the coolest thing about the Contour: it's all controlled by a wireless tablet PC, a control surface that allows the sound system programmer to walk to any speaker in the building and begin, essentially, drawing audio on the tablet. You can call up crossovers, limiters, time alignment, polarity and phase correction, input and output equalizers, groups of speakers, individual speakers, component mutes and mute groups, all graphically displayed on the sexiest user interface in the sound reinforcement business."
Lacina, together with JK Sound system programmer and sales manager Brad Katz, gave club owner George Karpaty an in-house demonstration of their proposed system in December 2004. "Brad was able to start off with a nice polite, cleanly-tuned house music track and, with a few strokes of the pen on the Lake wireless tablet PC, turn the sound system into the raging house music monster George had long been seeking," says Lacina of the demonstration. Three weeks later, the rig debuted to a sold-out house with a performance by legendary DJ Bad Boy Bill on New Years Eve 2005.
The four Lake Contour digital processors are being used to custom tailor the performance of a unique EAW Avalon DC series speaker system, customized with EAW KF series drivers, that is installed on the main and balcony levels of the 15,00-square-foot venue. The system includes eight EAW DC1 3-way cabinets, six DCT2 supertweeter arrays and 20 DCS2 subwoofers.
The audio system, which additionally incorporates under-balcony speakers, is also reportedly the first in the country to use 18 Sound brand professional speaker components, and is the first system in the Bay Area to implement Lab.Gruppen power amplifiers. The rig, which also features Crest and QSC amplification, provides over 40,000 watts of speaker power handling driven by more than 61,000 watts of amplification, offering a comfortable headroom margin.
Allowing the operator to control the system from anywhere in the venue from a wireless tablet puts the Lake Technology processor head and shoulders above competing systems, Katz believes. "To be able to stand wherever you want and be able to listen to your results in real time makes it a tremendous product. Every time I go to another processor, it feels very archaic now."
He continues, "The EQ does something that no other processor can touch—you don't have to be afraid of filters interacting. You don't have to be afraid to just hack into it, do stuff, and listen to the results. It's very powerful--and the A-to-Ds sound great."
The New Years Eve event went well, he says, but the true test of the system came later that month. "I had a week to get everything dialed-in for John Digweed and Danny Tenaglia in back-to-back performances. Everybody loved the system and there were comparisons with the major clubs that they play in, like Vinyl and Twilo. I've never seen George, the owner, so happy."
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