Uxbridge, U.K. (December 23, 2005)–Around three years ago some £9m was earmarked for a phased development of the entire Student Union building at Brunel University in Uxbridge. This was to include £1.7m refurbishing multipurpose entertainment venue, The Academy and the 350-capacity Locos feeder bar, which needed to be ready in time for Freshman Week in September.
Working alongside the main contractors, Overbury’s, mechanical engineers TGA, and architects Devereaux, Peter Varey’s company, PVAV, bid successfully for the sound and lighting contract, opting for a Martin Audio solution, as they have so many times in the past.
“Given the wide variety of styles featured on the entertainment program–from Urban and Bhangra nights to comedy, cabaret and disco, Martin’s Blackline range provided all the flexibility I needed,” says Varey, “with plenty of punch in the bottom end for the hard dance nights.”
Part of the refit included a new raised stage area, with DJ plug-in points and extra mic feeds. Here, Varey ingeniously managed to reorient four of Martin Audio’s new AQ215 (2×15) subs in the horizontal access and recess them under the stage apron to create additional low end.
The PA system has been designed around multiples of Blackline F15s and F12s providing sound for the dance floor. Six of the former and two of the latter are ceiling-mounted while coverage for the bar, chill out and peripheral areas is provided by four F8s. Completing the Blackline family, a pair of F10s–a real favorite among the DJ fraternity–provides the reference sound up in the booth.
From his domain, the DJ can select either of two DJ stations (or the band system) via the main sound desk and presets in the Soundweb DSP–which is used for system management, routing and gain setting storage.
Students Union business development manager, Craig Lithgow, is delighted with the new 600-capacity venue. “We’ve achieved exactly what we wanted, with an impressive sound system and the introduction of lighting, LED strips and air conditioning. For comedy, it’s brilliant and as far as we are concerned, being able to get another bar service area has made a huge difference to the experience. As a result, we enjoyed the best Freshman Week we’ve had with 15 percent additional take up at the bar.”
So as the University approaches its 40th anniversary, the Entertainment committee finally has an entertainment facility, which can more than hold its own on the student circuit.