Powersoft and Pioneer Pro Audio takes Café d’Anvers’ club sound to another level

Florence (Italy), 3rd June 2015 – After years of searching, Antwerp’s Café d’Anvers, has found a sound system worthy of the club’s reputation as an iconic house music venue. For 26 years, owner Pim de Rhoodes struggled to find a system that could deliver a deep bass on the dancefloor yet enable customers to talk comfortably at the bar – and, importantly, not upset the venue’s neighbors. Now, thanks to Powersoft and Pioneer Pro Audio, his dream has come true.

Having galvanized clubbers at Booom! Ibiza, the partnership between Powersoft and Pioneer Pro Audio has been reprised in Belgium. The intelligent DSP and powerful switch-mode technology of Powersoft’s flagship K series, with custom EQ settings, and Pioneer Pro Audio’s powerful dancefloor stacks, is providing a perfect platform for regular DJ’s Luciano, Nic Fanciulli, and veteran Sven Vath. Plus the club’s clientele and local residents alike couldn’t be happier.

Occupying a 16th-century church in the heart of Antwerp’s built-up red-light district, the 1,000 capacity club — boasting the main room and a balcony dancefloor — has been attracting serious dance music fans since 1989.  But the ability to deliver a true club sound without disturbing the venue’s many neighbors had always eluded de Rhoodes.

“We had to limit the volume and bass, which wasn’t great for the atmosphere. We couldn’t do too much soundproofing because these old walls are part of the special character of the place,” he said. Over the years, the venue trialed many recognized audio brands, but the problem persisted. de Rhoodes and the technical team flew to Ibiza to hear the Powersoft-Pioneer Pro Audio system in action at Booom! Remaining skeptical, de Rhoodes comments: “I thought: it’s an amazing sound system, but we can’t make that much bass here, with our neighbors. Or can we?”

However, by driving the entire speaker set up with Powersoft’s compact, high-performance amps with optimized Pioneer presets, the problem was finally solved.  The main room comprises two 3-meter GS-WAVE stacks at the front, four GS-WAVE tweeter pods overhead and four XY-122 PA speakers, with four XY-215S subwoofers at the rear. This is driven by three Powersoft K6s, two K2s and one M30.

Infill is provided by four XY-81s in dual array clusters, and the bar area has two XY-101s, driven by three K2s for the infills. Finally, the  DJ booth is equipped with two XY-122s and an XY-115S reflex-loaded subwoofer, all powered by a K2 and an M30D. This configuration ensures a warm, powerful sound on the dancefloor and a clear line of sight from the bar.

Installed in the balcony room are four XY-122s and two XY-118S subwoofers, and two XY-81s in the booth. Assigned to this system are a Powersoft K3, a K2, and an M30D. The amps use Powersoft’s pioneering switch-mode technology to provide incredible power with the highest efficiency – intelligently managing the power supply to work at very low impedance and deliver a natural, crystal clear sound.

“We linked the subs and needed to save amplifier channels – but have the confidence to be able to drive it down to 2 ohms and have it remain stable. The ability to deliver a massive amount of power down at that low impedance is something Powersoft is extremely good at,” explains Alex Barrand, Pioneer Pro Audio Manager.

“Compared to the old 4U amplifiers, which took up a whole rack, these amps occupy much less rack space but the power is equally impressive. Plus Powersoft is able to regulate any ‘dips’ in power. The system is easily accessible and they have invested in a platform that will be here for the next ten years.”

But the real genius is contained in Powersoft’s Armonía Pro Audio software, which was used to define EQ settings for the room and prevent problem frequencies from leaving the building. The software also enables the technical team to wirelessly control the whole system and easily adjust the sound; for example, turning it up when there are more people to absorb the sound, and gradually turning it down as people leave the venue.

Alex Barrand explains how this works in practice, “Sometimes different music styles are programmed and so the configuration was key, and using the Armonía platform made that very easy. Aside from the presets, we made the workspace a bit more intuitive for the management to control elements of the system, to restrict noise pollution around the neighbors.

“Using Powersoft’s DSP amplifiers has resulted in a really seamless change for the venue; they can now monitor the system throughout the night and get the best from it. And Armonía is user-friendly, which is great in case users aren’t super-technical.”

All amplifiers in the main room are connected to a switch and this, in turn, has a wireless router. “So we can access the system from a tablet or if we VPN into the laptop or access the system from any enabled PC laptop from the dancefloor to make the configurations.

“The workspace is shared by the amplifiers upstairs in Room 2,” adds Barrand. “The Powersoft M Series and K Series are sitting on the same network which means the technical team can access them simultaneously, which makes things a lot easier.”

The result is an immersive sound with a deep bass concentrated on the dancefloor while the energy continues into the bar area to draw clubbers into the main floor but lets them hold a comfortable conversation too.

And Pim de Rhoodes’ concerns about installing such a powerful system have now disappeared. “The sound is 100% better. It’s like you’re inside the music. It’s not just the deep bass; you’ve got all the sounds surrounding you. And at the bar, you can talk yet still be in the music, still, be tempted to dance. At last, after 26 years, we can finally say we have the best sound system and no complaints from the neighbors… everyone is happy.”

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