Pioneer Pro Audio at The Jane, Antwerp

Visionary chefs Sergio Herman and Nick Bril wanted The Jane to be a “total experience” for diners: a fusion of gastronomy, great music and exciting cocktails with an energetic yet relaxed vibe. On finding a huge run-down church, they assembled a team of acclaimed architects and designers to make their dream a reality. With music a key ingredient, they asked Pioneer Pro Audio to create a sound system that could provide a comfortable level of music in the restaurant and an energetic, pre-clubbing vibe in the mezzanine bar.

Nick Bril – Chef and co-owner, The Jane, said “It’s really nice to see that even in a big space like this you can create an intense, musical experience without pushing the volume limits. It’s created through the quality of the speakers, and how they are located. It balances perfectly.”

Pioneer Pro Audio The Jane Antwerp

The challenge was to create a unique sensory experience. Following the success of their 3-Michelin-starred restaurant Oud Sluis, chefs Sergio Herman and Nick Bril wanted to create a completely new experience for diners: The Jane. The Jane serves a mix of fine dining and music in a relaxed atmosphere, set against the backdrop of a stunningly renovated church.

Opened in 2014, The Jane has two areas. Downstairs is a high-end restaurant for 75 people, while upstairs is a 38-seater bar area where guests can share food, enjoy cocktails and listen to local and international DJs. Later in the evening diners can move upstairs to enjoy a pre-clubbing vibe and The Jane also hosts special events where big-name DJs play to the whole venue.

The Jane team had a clear idea of the kind of sound they needed, as Bril explains: “We wanted the music to be like a waterfall – with more intensity upstairs, yet diners downstairs still being able to appreciate the full range of the sound flowing into the restaurant.” The team also needed a system that could be turned up later in the evening – and pushed even harder during special events.

The vast old church posed a number of acoustic challenges – with high ceilings plus lots of reflective surfaces provided by the tiled floors and stained glass windows. And getting the sound right before the first guests have walked through the door was not going to be easy. The Jane team decided Pioneer Pro Audio was the team to help them bring their vision to life.

Pioneer Pro Audio The Jane Antwerp

Sergio Herman – Chef and co-owner The Jane, said “With my love of art and design and Nick’s passion for DJing, we wanted to create a synergy between these worlds and the world of great food. To bring it all together and give people a complete experience.”

The solution? Sonic Synergy With Unique Surroundings. Alex Barrand, Manager Pioneer Pro Audio, states “We installed the speakers horizontally and rotated the horns to give a high SPL in the bar that was also very pleasant in the dining area.” Pioneer Pro Audio teamed up with The Jane’s local installation partner Discostore to create a system that could give full coverage throughout the venue: a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant and a more energetic vibe in the bar.

This waterfall effect was achieved by installing six XY-81 two-way speakers, in white, and one XY-215S quasi-bandpass subwoofer, in black. All the speakers are installed in the upstairs area and positioned to take advantage of the building’s acoustics to help the sound cascade to diners below.

The compact XY-81s were installed horizontally in an array around the bar area, with the constant directivity horns rotated to ensure a wide, even dispersion. The speakers provide a subtle sound across the frequencies during the day and early evening, but they are powerful enough to create a pre-clubbing atmosphere in the bar area at night. The XY-215S, with its twin 15-inch low frequency drivers, provides a warm bass upstairs, with a comfortable low frequency sound in the restaurant.

The system is driven by two Powersoft amps – one K3 and one K2 – both with built-in DSP and Pioneer pre-sets. The team used Armonía Pro Audio software, which gives the management and installers remote access to the amps day and night.

Pioneer Pro Audio The Jane Antwerp

“The room EQ options are set for The Jane’s unique acoustics, spreading the sound evenly while reducing noise and echo. And certain frequency ranges can be eliminated early in the daytime and early evening, to make it more comfortable for people in the restaurant and eating in the bar,” says Alex Barrand, Pioneer Pro Audio Manager.

The results were a waterfall of sound. “When we’re closed on a Sunday, I just come here and DJ by myself. I open up the volume and just enjoy the quality of the sound” says Nick Bril, Chef and owner of The Jane.

The XY-81s’ constant directivity horns and array configuration deliver a smooth SPL without any hotspots and enable the music to travel to the dining area without loss of sound quality. The positioning of the XY-215S takes full advantage of the building’s unique acoustics, spreading the bass throughout the venue – even at low volumes.

“Downstairs there’s a nice glow throughout the restaurant. It feels smooth whether you are in the middle or the corners of the room. And it’s not disturbing to have a different vibe upstairs in the bar area. It’s perfectly in balance,” says Herman.

The team was delighted with the quality of the sound in the bar area and the ability to easily adjust the levels for a more powerful sound.

“In the upper room, you feel the music is all around you; it’s an intense sound but you can still speak with your friends. When we have our special events, we can push the limits a bit further – taking it up to a real pre-clubbing party vibe. It’s amazing,” concludes Bril.


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