AV integration specialist and distributor Triangle Entertainment Services was tasked with supplying and installing a variety of pro audio technologies at Dubai’s recently opened Cavalli Club. Here,
Sound & Stageprofiles the installation process and the challenges that confronted the Triangle team.
The installation of professional audio technology at the Cavalli Club, Fairmont Hotel, Dubai.
Supplying the main sound reinforcement system for the facility, DJ technology, and the backup sound system for the elevator, bathrooms and other peripheral areas of the club.
The dinner club was personally designed by prominent Italian fashion guru, Roberto Cavalli, and as such, Triangle had to adhere to a very stringent set of guidelines and ensure all technology was concealed and positioned far from the focus of guests.
Triangle spent approximately three months planning for the project, and another three months installing the audio kit.
Joseph Jabbour, project manager for the company, says the last two weeks of the job, in the lead-up to the club’s May opening, were the most challenging for his crew. He says the company’s employees were stretched, as they were working on four different installations during the time.
d&b audiotechnik supplied the main sound reinforcement components including speakers and amplifiers. Pioneer was the most prevalent brand in the DJ setup, and Sonance speakers featured in the backup sound system.
Audio control system:
From an operational perspective, Triangle ensured that the DJ would have the ability to control the sound across the club from one central point. The company claims that the controls for each zone can be easily accessed from a single, easy to use interface.
The d&b audiotechnik amplifiers included in the installation, were perfect for the project, due to their built-in settings for delay, crossover and speaker presets, says Chadi El Masri, systems engineer at Triangle.
He claims the processing aspect of the installation was executed flawlessly, due to the intrinsic ease of the d&b audiotechnik system. He says compared to other installations, there were fewer concerns in this instance about how many processors were required, how many zones had to be processed, or how many equalisers should be included.
Other than some minor alterations and adjustment which were made to the system later in the process, this aspect of the installation was completed in the space of 24 hours.
As a specialist in nightclub technology, Triangle had to employ a different approach when working on the deceptively titled Cavalli Club project. This installation was a far cry from the company’s regular nightclub work, due to its primary role as a lounge and dining facility. As such, pro audio technology had to be well-concealed, at Cavalli’s behest.
The immersive nature of the sound system employed in this example, also provides a contrast to the more focused nature of audio in a traditional nightclub installation. Triangle had to ensure a very even spread of sound across the venue’s several lounge, bar and dining areas, some of which are elevated and encircled with crystal curtains.
Making alterations to speaker placements outlined in the original design documents at the request of the designer and his team was one challenge faced by the Triangle crew. El Masri says that despite this, 95% of the company’s initial designs for the audio system were implemented as planned.
Crews also mention that one of the most difficult aspects of the project was checking the feasibility of their initial blueprints by eye. Jabbour says fitting audio technology around the crystal curtains was at times difficult, because before they had viewed them first-hand it was unclear whether or not they would impede the installation, or be sound-transparent.
Positioning brackets in the roof of any club can present difficulties, due to the placement of ducts, wiring and electrical equipment. The Triangle team had to remain constantly conscious of this fact during the Cavalli Club project.
Jabbour reveals the major planning and operational challenges that confronted him and his team during the Cavalli Club project.
“We began working on this project approximately six months before the installation deadline. We were discussing the way we would do the cabling and how we would position the speakers in this project for quite some time in advance.
“It was difficult to deploy our audio gear as per the designs we developed in our concept drawings. We had to change things as the decorations were added and we were constantly double-checkign everything by eye.
“The most challenging aspect of the installation was the final two weeks, it was a bit of a last minute rush for all of the contractors involved.
“While undertaking the Cavalli project we were also working on two other installations: the Karma Cafe and the PALME exhibition in Dubai. There was also another club that was in a rush to open. We ended up completing all four projects within a very busy two week period.
“As a result, our staff were extremely stretched. The crew was under a lot of pressure, but we needed to finish the work on time and with accuracy, and we didn’t have the time to repeat certain tasks.
“When it came to the installation, we were very careful to ensure that the technology did not impede the dining experience in any way. The design was very intricate and there was no room for mistakes, because they would have cost both us and the client.”
Chadi El Masri, systems engineer, Triangle Entertainment Services
El Masri discusses the technical challenges of adhering to stringent design requirements during what was a complex audio installation.
“I always address the designer’s requests as much a possible before I present the drawings to them. With experience, you learn that you will always have to make some compromises with the architect or designer, just as they will have to make some compromises with you. So for this reason, meeting their demands was not as difficult as one might assume.
“One issue we did have was that the line arrays were originally supposed to be concealed inside the walls. The walls were going to be made from fabric, but during the installation, the designers and decided they would use gypsum board instead. This made it impossible to conceal the speakers them, so we had to move the Q1 line arrays outside the walls.
“You often have to move the location of your speakers plus or minus 20cmto maintain harmony with the decoration.”
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