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Fenix Rises with WSDG

Created by Laura van Galen, the Fenix bar, restaurant and live music venue provides guests with the opportunity to see live performances inside the club and online.

San Rafael, CA (March 12, 2013)—Created by Laura van Galen, the Fenix bar, restaurant and live music venue provides guests with the opportunity to see live performances inside the club and online.

“I’d been gestating the concept for integrating a hip, ’literal’ performance venue within the ‘virtual’ streaming media community since 2008, and found the ideal site in my adoptive hometown of San Rafael in 2009,” said van Galen.

With the help of Grateful Dead keyboardist Merl Saunders Jr., van Galen was able to hire the Walters-Storyk Design Group to design the acoustics for the venue. Architect/acoustician John Storyk, along with local architect Tim Murphy and Executive Chef Shawn Paul, worked on the 150-seat super club beginning in early 2012, followed by a series of private openings in October 2012.

“Laura had discovered an excellent platform for this extraordinary venue; the two-story high live room had great ‘bones,’” Storyk explained. “To facilitate an ideal ‘sweet spot’ environment for the audience while simultaneously defusing audience/dining noise away from the performers, the ceiling over the front bar and dining sections was dropped. Twin recording studio-style ceiling clouds constructed with a combination of broadband and membrane absorption were floated over those areas. We then angled the ‘clouds’ upward from the front to the rear of the room, and we added aesthetically pleasing wall panels as absorptive acoustic treatments. These elements serve dual purposes—they enhance the audio quality of the onstage performance and they inhibit intrusive patron noise. EAW QX596 mains and custom sub-woofers, EAW 12″ and 15” monitors and Ashly KLR 5000, 4000 and 2000 power amps cap off a terrific audio system.”

Positioning the FOH mixing position at the rear of the room eliminated the issue of obstructing audience view, and simultaneously provided the mixer with line of site to the artist. The second floor master control room receives continuous feeds from three fixed-position AW-HE50SN Panasonic HD-SDI Pan/tilt/zoom Cameras (featuring programmable and operator-control options) and audio from an array of nearly three-dozen microphones from Shure, EV, Sennheiser and other manufacturers.

“Laura’s concept of establishing a subscription-based online audience for our live shows requires our mixer/director to work ‘on-the-fly’ as the performance unfolds. We positioned a Midas Pro2 console—56 Mic/Line inputs with built-in faders at FOH, and customized the basic configuration to support our live streaming requirements. Our Control Room is equipped with a TC455 NewTek TriCaster 455 for complete live production and streaming; an Apple MP 2.4 for editing; and Avid Pro Tools HD Native and an interface for remixing for subsequent CD distribution,” Saunders said. “The system is designed to enable us to record live albums, which we hope to do when the club is dark on Mondays and Tuesdays.”


Walters-Storyk Design Group