Every year during carnival, Venice becomes the Italian capital of entertainment, with a host of events scattered throughout the island and in the nearby cities of Marghera and Mestre. It may be that the origin of this festival is particularly well known, which was originally conceived as an opportunity for all social divisions to come together as equals, through anonymity guaranteed by the masks and costumes worn. This gave those of the lower classes the opportunity to become, at least for a short period of the year, equal to the those in power, allowing the rich to be mocked publicly without the risk of those involved getting caught or identified.
Light Sound Journal went to the VEGA (Venice Gateway for Science and Technology) in Venice to discover the new Void Incubus system, that arrived for the festival directly from Germany. The system was provided by Event-Corp, a company based in Bielefeld near Hannover, through local rental Luca Bortolon DJ’s Studio service.
We interviewed Laurin Joel Schafhausen, the technician who handled the Incubus setup, who provided us with an overview of the technical choices for this particular location.
LightSoundJournal: First of all, can you explain to us this strange connection between Italy and Germany…
Laurin Joel Schafhausen: Event-Corp is part of a Void rental network, which allows the customer to find the availability of the material and the requested services in no time at all. As for the rental of the Incubus system, we were the only ones able to rent it during this weekend.
LightSoundJournal: What have you provided for the event?
Laurin Joel Schafhausen: The setup consists of one Incubus system for each side, with 2 + 2 Incubus Subs equipped with three 21” high power woofers, two Hiperfold per side each with four 15” woofers, and an Air Array per side, each with four 12″ compression drivers for low frequencies, four 3″woofers for the medium frequencies and six 1″ compression drivers for the high frequencies.
This system is able to express the deep, powerful bass with an accurate and quick kick and is therefore ideal for dance music. There are so many products with quality lows, but in this case the difference in certainly in the kick, which is extremely precise and “on point”. The combination of these three types of speakers also allows us to obtain a well-balanced sound that acts in an optimal way over the entire frequency spectrum. This is a condition that is especially useful for Electronic Dance Music.
LightSoundJournal: We were particularly impressed by design of this system.
Laurin Joel Schafhausen: The look is absolutely stunning and original. When the public notices a P.A. like that, soon it becomes clear that it is a special event. Those who participate in this kind of party want more and more beautiful lights and immersive video, but also sound reinforcement that is beautiful to the eye as well as good to the ear. It is a real market need. Traditional systems can also sound like this, but these days they result in boring aesthetics that are often not in harmony with the rest of the environment. You’ll see this reflected by the number of selfies that people will take in front of the PA tonight! Also, always talking about design, when we look at the Air Array you can see the four cooling systems. This allows you to better understand how the system works, as well as makes it more beautiful to look at.
LightSoundJournal: Air Array can be both stacked and flown?
Laurin Joel Schafhausen: Air Array has a specially created proprietary rigging system, which facilitates a configuration in both a stack mode and for flying the system. Such a system also allows for variation in the amount of speaker tilt.
LightSoundJournal: Do you also use Void systems for the VIP area and the delay?
Laurin Joel Schafhausen: Yes, we employed Air Motion systems, of which we have two for the VIP area and two as delays. It is a system consisting of a 12″ woofer for low frequencies, an 8″ woofer for medium frequencies and one 1.5″ compression driver for the high frequencies. It is a standard system, which differs by the lack of the box around it, that also allows you to better see and understand how the sound system works. The subs used in the VIP area are Void Stasys V2, with dual 18” speakers and loaded with reflex technology that allows delivery of a deep sound. The two delays each have a Stasys 218 subwoofer and a Stasys X V1 sub.
LightSoundJournal: This particular location we are in is long and narrow. Did it really require the delay?
Laurin Joel Schafhausen: The P.A. Main can easily cover the location, but we were restricted by an obligation not to turn the volume up too high. For this reason we installed a delay system that allows us to set a lower volume than system is capable of providing, but pleasant to listen to with all frequencies still clean, powerful and precise. When you have this concept in mind, you do not need to overdo it with the number of components and the volume.
Moreover, the main P.A. is focussed on the dance floor, whilst the delay system offers a non-invasive but still clearly present sound in the bar area. In this particular area as well, this configuration has allowed us to avoid reflection problems, and as you have heard, rumble is kept to a minimum, while listening on the dance-floor is accurate and pleasant. That’s why we did not install a single, loud P.A., but instead more systems with a lower sound level.
LightSoundJournal: What amplifiers do you use?
Laurin Joel Schafhausen: We use a mix of systems, Powersoft and Void: X4 for Hiperfold and Air Arrays, while the sub is driven by Void Bias V9, a special model made by Powersoft, similar to the K20. These products have never given me any problems, they are extremely reliable and safe.
Luca Bortolon‘s DJ’s Studio service has been entrusted with the whole set-up. The company is mainly involved in clubbing, private events, as well as festivals, meetings and conventions.
LightSoundJournal: Tell us about your involvement with Void.
Luca Bortolon: Years ago I was looking for a highly efficient and compact system, and this led me to Void. For me it was love at first sight: in addition to having all the features, I was also looking for something nice to look at. With the support of Frenexport, today I am one of the reference service in Italy for Void systems. These systems allow for a reduced need for large numbers of speakers, which consequently lowers transportation costs and the number of technicians required. On the other hand, we have all the power this type of location needs, but especially high acoustic efficiency.
LightSoundJournal: The system design is your own work?
Luca Bortolon: Yes, the system is designed entirely by me, taking into consideration the size and characteristics of the room, the amount of guests, and the customer’s need for a dedicated VIP area of about 500 people. The technicians of Event-Corp mainly dedicated their attention to the settings of Incubus and supported me in the delay configuration.
LightSoundJournal: Laurin explained in detail the P.A. setup and VIP area systems. Can you illustrate your monitoring system and give us any feedback from the DJs?
Luca Bortolon: The monitoring is composed of two 18” subwoofer capable of expressing 750W RMS and 128 dB, and a AIRVANTAGE top, featuring a 12″ driver inside and a coax neo 1.5″ compression driver capable of developing 500W RMS and 133 dB. The DJ monitoring system was in harmony with the environment and that gave added value to the event, as well as attracting more public attention. The most common comment from DJs? “F**king incredible!”.
Whilst in Venice, we also had the opportunity to speak to Frenquelli Romano, partner of Frenexport Spa, the exclusive distributor of Void for Italy.
LightSoundJournal: So, finally, Incubus in Italy!
Romano Frenquelli: Yes! We are proud to see the Void Incubus at work in Italy. Our partner Luca Bortolon was contacted by the event and had suggested to me that this could be the perfect opportunity, in a perfect environment for an installation of this type. With the support of German Void partner Event-Corp, we were able to bring this system here to Italy.
We continue to receive emails from professional technicians, rental companies and service providers that are curious to listen to Incubus, and continue to ask where and when they will hear it, and we are working on it. For now, we were able to bring it here for the first time and, confident of the superlative performance of the system for this type of installation, we believe that guests will enjoy the spectacular design and aesthetic beauty, as well as the sonic performance.
LightSoundJournal: A difficult debut though, looking at the unique architecture of the location…
Romano Frenquelli: We are in a particular place with unusual architecture that has required a considerable effort from engineers to allow the system to express its qualities at its best. It is not difficult to switch the power on, but it is difficult to make it sound good in a location, and I would say that Incubus has passed this test.
LightSoundJournal: Laurin from Event-Corp hinted at a European Void Network…
Romano Frenquelli: The network is a useful tool that we are also trying to create here, in early stages but well-formed to give rise to an exclusive and dedicated network. This network can first be co-operative with regards to these types of events, even able to add and integrate systems with each other when there is a need.
LightSoundJournal: Void is not limited to clubbing, and in Italy there are many festivals that require a larger sound system, right?
Romano Frenquelli: In the near future we will try not only to insert ourselves in this kind of event, but our ambition is to get into even more important events with dedicated systems like the new array Arcline 8, designed specifically for big festivals. It is a system with a horizontal dispersion of 110 ° and equipped with two 8″ mid drivers, two 8″ horns for low frequencies and two 1.4 ‘ compression drivers.
The House Music market is already very demanding in terms of sound quality, requiring characteristics from a sound system that were unusual until today. It is a market which requires a sound system that can meet the aesthetic needs of an event, and work in harmony with the location. Void was able to understand the need for this particular attention to detail, by creating a system able to integrate into the scenery of a local area, giving added value to today’s audience, and that makes a difference. With respect to audio quality, Incubus passes the “club test” with flying colours, where sound is often focused on medium-low and low frequencies, with the extremely important so-called “punch”, to move the audience. This is a system with an involving sound, without the annoying or chaotic characteristics that can often be associated with such events. Clubs throughout Italy, take note!
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