Yamaha is turning its attention to the vastly growing fitness industry, addressing the audio needs of high-class gyms.
Uk gym division David Lloyd Clubs has devised Blaze, a cardio, strength and combat fitness class that uses purpose-built studios with bespoke sound – from Yamaha MTX3 matrix processors – and lighting.
Providing UK and Europe-wide solutions, AV specialist Hutchison Technologies is David Lloyd Clubs’ preferred technology integrator and has chosen the Yamaha MTX3 matrix processor to provide flexible control of audio levels (both locally and remotely) and to tune the voice of live instructors to the environment of each Blaze studio.
“After the initial Blaze installations, we looked at how we could improve the concept as it was rolled out further,” said Hutchison Technologies’ technical development manager Bas van Tuijl. “They were a great success, but we felt there were some areas of the audio that could be improved.”
Many of the Blaze installations are in former squash courts, with up to 6m of open space above the ceiling tiles, so the sound has to be tightly controlled. With experience of specifying the MTX3 for other projects, the Hutchison Technologies team realised that it could deliver the required level of control, but also offer other advantages, including its remote control capability.
“The MTX3 allows for very straightforward user control, locking out features to prevent unauthorised changes and user error,” he explained. “With clubs throughout the UK and in Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy, its remote TCP/IP control capability also means that we can remotely manage and provide system diagnostics in any of the installations, direct from our office.”
Each Blaze studio features 21-36 stations with choreographed light and sound. Audio inputs comprise a server which hosts the music, a headset microphone for the instructor, an aux input and fire alarm relay.
The system is controlled by an iPad application, designed by Hutchison Technologies, which features a customised user interface to select each of the three classes, faders for the music and headset mic, plus buttons for class start, emergency finish and system demonstration. Locking the iPad automatically shuts the system down, while a Yamaha DCP1V4S surface-mount controller is also provided for manual control of the audio system, if needed.
“The MTX3 restricts the system to an agreed SPL, with EQ on a site-by-site basis,” added Tuijl. “Because of the spaces that the Blaze installations are in, there has been the occasional issue with feedback, but the MTX3’s feedback suppressor has solved it.
“Our approach has paid off with how efficiently we are able to build and install the systems, and we are now moving smoothly from the second generation of Blaze installations to the third,” continued Tuijl. “David Lloyd Clubs members feed off the atmosphere in the sessions and the concept has proved very popular. They tend to be active on social media and the reaction there has been extremely positive.”
“The MTX3 allows customers to add flexible DSP to system designs with negligible changes to budget,” concluded Alex Warren, sales manager UK and RoI for Yamaha Commercial Audio. “We are very happy that Hutchison Technologies has specified it for such a high profile series of installations, highlighting how its features, scalability and renowned reliability ensure the return on investment for customers is maximised.”