San Francisco (February 8, 2006)–San Francisco’s Mezzanine has a reputation as a hot venue for DJ talent from around the world, but recently the venue has been fielding live acts like Ben Harper, Beth Orton, King Crimson and Meat Beat Manifesto. Production manager Josh Roberts quickly realized they’d need a sound system that could handle live acts, not just DJs on the wheels of steel.
“We had a four way Funktion One loudspeaker system that delivered great highs and lows, but they lacked the mid range required for live concert sound,” said Roberts. “Besides, it’s unnatural to watch a band onstage and have sound coming at you from all around. What we really needed was a left-right stereo setup that would deliver the proper imaging and coverage.”
Roberts sought the assistance of Mike Lacina, owner of San Francisco-based JK Sound, who commented, “The club’s size and lack of symmetry posed serious challenges in loudspeaker system design.” Mezzanine’s main room is long and narrow with 18-foot ceilings and a mezzanine level that extends half the length of the sidewall and two-thirds of the back, overlooking the dance floor. A DJ platform and stage area located in the back left corner at the intersection of the short, 60-foot back wall and the 100-foot side wall. Two bars, a coat check room, bathrooms and a staircase are situated around the side and back.
Lecina commented, “A left right loudspeaker configuration had to project a long way to the back wall without spilling excess energy on the side walls, which was challenging enough. But with the stage in the corner, the projection angles were a nightmare for all but the most highly directional loudspeakers.” So Lacina turned to EAW for the answer.
“A nightclub isn’t the first place you’d think to install a line array, but the KF730s are compact enough for the space, yet they deliver extraordinary SPL for their size,” explained Lacina. The live rig, which augments the existing DJ system rather than replacing it, consists of two line arrays made up of six EAW KF730 loudspeakers each. A quartet of EAW SB1000 subwoofers are located under the stage. Power for both systems is provided by three QSC 6.0 MkIIs, a pair of QSC 4.0s, and three QSC 2.0s. Lacina designed a switching system that allows the amplifiers to power both the DJ and live rigs, while saved profiles on a pair of XTA DP226 processors allow technical staff to quickly recall processor settings for both systems.
“We’ve hosted top live talent like Mos Def, Alpha Blondi, The National, Michael Franti, Ozomotli they couldn’t be happier with Mezzanine,” said Roberts. “In fact, some have even taken the unusual step of calling their national booking agents to praise Mezzanine’s sound quality for future reference. That’s exactly the result we wanted to ensure Mezzanine’s position to attract the hottest talent, which in turn assures the success of a truly great club.”