New venue, same custom sound system
SINGAPORE: Singaporean nightclub and entertainment complex Zouk has relocated from Jiak Kim to new premises in Clarke Quay. The new venue provides patrons with various additional features, not least the inclusion of Red Tail, a restaurant/bar area. Meanwhile, its Zouk and Phuture dance stages have been retained with the ability to now be merged into one large space for when big acts play the venue. Providing sound reinforcement in this space is the original sound system from the Jiak Kim site, which was custom-built for Zouk by audio engineer, the late Gary Stewart. The world-renowned audio engineer performed yearly recalibration of the system, and this has been continued by Zouk’s own technical team.
‘Prior to the move, we audited several other reputable brands of speakers that could offer us the same quality sound that could possibly match up to the current one. However, the current stack, being customised for Zouk, offered us the option of being able to set the crossover range for each individual cabinet to optimise them for dance music,’ recalled Rexx Lim, technical manager at Zouk Singapore. ‘Ultimately we decided to stick with the current system as we felt that there were no others that could match up in terms of what it offered – a system that does not cause fatigue to the listener easily, one that has a horn-loaded design sub cabinet and has plenty of headroom without driving the system too hard.’
The original design and placement of the loudspeakers had been straightforward at the old venue, as the Zouk dancefloor had featured near equal length dimensions, width and depth, with little in the way of obstacles. ‘With the move to Clarke Quay, there were some challenges with the placement as there was a stairway built into the Zouk dancefloor and the speakers could not be placed at equal distance between each other. However, with the technology we have today, coupled with the acoustic treatment that the room offered, we were able to balance that out with high fidelity and an enormous high sound pressure level,’ explained Mr Lim.
‘Each stack comes with twin 18-inch subwoofers, a quad 15-inch cabinet, twin acoustic lens HF/UHF mid-range horn loaded with two coaxial neodymium compression drivers and four GSA custom bullet tweeter arrays flown over the dance floor,’ he noted. ‘We have a total of four stacks in Zouk. Among all the equipment that made up the system, the most important gear to retain, in order for these stacks to produce the right sound, was the the GSA (RLA) electronic crossover.’
One new addition to the sound system comes in the form of its amplification. ‘We did employ a new power amplifier to drive these stacks: the Powersoft X4,’ said Mr Lim. ‘We ran the system through different brands of amplifiers at Jiak Kim before the shift to Clarke Quay and finally found one that was able to give the system new life.’
Although the sound equipment remains largely the same, the lighting setup has seen a complete overhaul with the move to Clarke Quay, with Spanish lighting design firm LEDSControl brought in. ‘We approached this project by constantly asking ourselves how we can create a standout piece that will be representative of the club’s new home while retaining its identity,’ explained Rebecca Sanchez Pastor, founder of LEDSControl. ‘The result was an out-of-this-world structure that I’m sure has never been done before.’
This is the lighting centrepiece: a structure hung above the dancefloor constructed from lightweight metals often used to build aircraft. It features over 120 light patterns, creating a 360-degree visual effect, and is referred to as the ‘central mothership’ due to its UFO-like appearance.
‘This big move has been much anticipated by all and I couldn’t be happier with the result of a spectacular super club,’ concluded Hui Lim, CIO of Genting Hong Kong. ‘I am confident that the fans will love this refresh.’