Monaco (April 12, 2006)–The company responsible for running much of Monte Carlo’s events is the Société des Bains de Mer, which owns a number of hotels, bars and nightclubs, as well as the famous Monte Carlo Casino. Keeping the AV in those establishments on the cutting edge is Yves Hubert, the technical manager responsible for audio at some of the Société’s top venues, including the Salle des Étoiles, a multi-purpose lounge that hosts live music, discos and events for television.
Yves HubertBuilt in the 1970s, the Salle is right on the shore of the Mediterranean and features two stages, mirror-finished walls, a glass rear wall with windows facing the sea and a retractable roof over its audience area.
An L-Acoustics loudspeaker system includes a center cluster designed specifically to cover the favored seating position of the Principality’s late monarch, Prince Rainier, and speaker processing is handled by two DP226s and a DP224 from XTA. Hubert uses XTA’s AudioCore software to make fine adjustments to processor parameters, but generally uses three main presets.
“The first of these has relatively less bass content in the interests of intelligibility,” Hubert said, “because this is a very reverberant space. The second increases the bass for when the roof is open, while the third is for when the Salle stages events for TV and has been designed to minimize feedback when we have lavalier microphones on stage.”
Hubert makes use of the XTA’s built-in limiters, especially during the summer when the Salle’s roof is open to the stars that give the venue its name. “We have a relatively low maximum SPL, partly because of all the sonic energy that’s moving around, but also because we have a lot of rich and powerful neighbors and they’re not the kind of people you want to annoy.”
Hubert has adopted a similar solution at the tiny Cabaret Club within Monte Carlo’s Casino building; it hosts pre-recorded ‘welcome shows’ in the early evening, followed by live jazz featuring some of the world’s top names. “We renewed the audio system here about a year ago,” Hubert explained. “The key is flexibility, because you need to have a completely different configuration for different parts of the evening’s program.” The Club’s L-Acoustics boxes are processed by a further combination of XTA DP224 and DP226 units, with Hubert again making extensive use of AudioCore software to create his own presets to match the music being performed. “The clusters are close to the audience, the venue is small, and the speakers are not high,” said Hubert. “Acoustic [live jazz] acts can be very dynamic, so our presets are designed to ensure that the music doesn’t ‘shout’ too loud.”