NYC IT-Club Santos Party House features new, advanced sound systems relying upon Harman Professional components, with system design and integration by TimbreTech Audio Services. The new systems support DJ/club and live performance applications in multiple events and show times in one evening.
Club sound icon Jim Toth designed a live system around a Soundcraft Vi6 console at the main mix position that is easily locked off and run remotely via a laptop in the DJ booth when one of a host of top DJs is performing in the house.
Toth credits the Vi6 with the versatility to transform the club from a top-notch live sound venue into a premium club with unprecedented ease — and with the console’s category-leading Vistonics user-interface, Toth explains that visiting engineers typically require just five minutes to become comfortable and proficient with the board.
“The Soundcraft Vi6 is a remarkable console because it systematically addresses the hierarchy of engineer needs: first and foremost, it sounds great; second, it’s extremely intuitive and sensibly designed; third, it’s eminently configurable and lastly, it’s bulletproof,” Toth said. “I feel extremely comfortable putting this console at the core of my system!”
Underscoring this confidence, Toth placed a Soundcraft Vi4 at the monitor position running six JBL SRX 712M 12-inch monitor wedges powered by Crown XTI 6000 Series amplifiers. The live system features JBL VerTec VT4887DP Series line array elements, with JBL VerTec VT4880 subwoofers.
Featuring integrated power and DSP, Toth’s use of the VerTec VT4887DP loudspeakers allowed him to set the level and EQ of each cabinet individually — a key advantage in configuring the array for the room requirements and also a welcome advantage among visiting engineers.
The dance system is where Toth returned to his roots as the system designer of 1980s club-land icons like Peppermint Lounge and Mars, building a 24-foot horizontal array comprised of five custom-designed loudspeakers that spans the length of the room and delivers even coverage.
Each five-way loudspeaker is comprised of 24-inch and 15-inch drivers in a line with careful spacing between drivers to minimize interference and comb filtering. Bass is supplied by the same JBL VerTec VT4888 subwoofers.
“The coverage of this system is amazing. It has power, consistency and control that helps set the personality of the club,” says Ron Castellano, owner of the club. “There is nothing raw about it. Instead, it’s very hi-fi and sophisticated but there’s massive power there if the DJ needs to accelerate!”
Power is delivered by a collection of Crown I-Tech 4000 and 8000 amplifiers with built-in DSP, which Toth believes saved the owners considerably in terms of outboard gear that was not required and the simple cost of housing and maintaining racks of processing equipment.”
“The DSP functionality of the I-tech is amazing not just from a control perspective but also from a cost perspective,” Toth notes. “There is no way we could have gotten this sound or this control without spending a fortune on outboard processors.
“What’s more, to have this level of programming and control integration helped determine how creative I could be with the system design — and ultimately how good the place sounds! For 30 years, I have only used Crown amplifiers — I have looked at alternatives when new amps come along but I’ve never been given a strong enough reason to switch — now with the DSP technology that Crown is putting in the amps, I have even more reasons to use them.”
Santos Party House has a smaller, second room downstairs for which Toth designed a system comprising custom cabinets and VT4880 subwoofers with two monitor arrays hanging conventionally with eight cabinets on each side of the DJ booth. He observes with no small amount of satisfaction how some visiting DJs matrix between the monitor and dance systems, and mix straight from the line arrays.
Toth has built a successful business with remarkable built-in resistance to the booms of troughs of 30 years of the entertainment business and Castellano is quick to offer a reason.
“Stubborn is not a word one would use. Uncompromising is a better description of Jim’s commitment to perfection when it comes to audio design,” Castellano says. “He understands that managing the details is critical in every business, but especially the entertainment business and he provides concierge-level attention to detail and considerable style to boot.”
Today, TibreTech Audio Services provides club design services but Toth also runs a very successful audio for special events business and regularly runs projects including fashion shows, balls, store openings and concerts for Victoria Secret, UBS, PRADA, Lauder and MOMA.
“It’s not that we’re selective in who we’ll design for,” Toth explains. “It’s simply that if we’re being asked to put our name on an event or club system, we need it to look and sound like one of our systems! The Harman components from Crown, JBL and Soundcraft are key elements to our systems.”
For more information:
Harman Professional Website