Paradiso, arguably Netherland’s most famous live venue, recently upgraded their sound reinforcement system with an Adamson Energia PA.
Located in a converted former church building, the city opened its doors in 1968 as a publicly subsidized entertainment center. As time passed the venue has evolved into what it is today – a pop podium, club and cultural center in one.
The main hall has retained much of its church look with an abundance of wood, pillars, and a high 60-foot ceiling. In addition, the room features two balconies, which both wrap around three sides of the venue.
The sound reinforcement upgrade was spearheaded by Marian Emmen, head of technology and production for the club, along with principal sound engineer Dick Versteegh. The new system had to meet quite a list of requirements to gain consideration.
“Top of the list was high-fidelity sound and a brand that was accepted by bands and DJs worldwide,” explains Emmen. “In addition, the system design had to improve our night club sound, which has been problematic in the past, while staying contained within our walls to keep the neighbors happy. Last but not least, it had to work within our budget and be aesthetically pleasing.”
With these criteria in mind, the search began. After extensive demonstrations of three different systems, Emmen and Versteegh determined that the Adamson system best suited their needs. Soon after Adamson’s Jochen Sommer, director of European operations, began work on the system design while Sound & Light Import owner Ed De Bree planned the installation.
“The Adamson system sounded better and warmer than the other systems,” Emmen adds. “It has terrific low end and looks great. We draw many famous artists to the club, they deserve the best sound possible.”
Emmen and Versteegh worked with Jochen Sommer to create dedicated systems to cover the balconies and ground level respectively. Each section has individual control that allows for adjustments depending on ticket sales, type of show and whether it is a day or night event.
The club’s programming often includes rock concerts, lectures, plays, classical music and crossover artists, which meant the system needed to be flexible enough to work with many performance types. The dual system approach met this need and was also endorsed by the in-house audio crew who preferred the sonic image and keeping sight lines clean.
After modeling the system in Adamson’s Blueprint AV™ software, Sommer ultimately specified a split main PA made up of flown left-right arrays, each consisting of five E12 line array enclosures, and stacked clusters including another five E12 and three A218 subwoofers to the left and right of the stage. Additional low end is provided by eight A218 subs in a horizontal array under the stage while front fill duties are covered by two M15 cabinets with MASS rigging.
In order to envelope the room in sound for club night events, two more arrays—this time made up of two Adamson SX18 enclosures per array – were placed in the rear of the room firing toward the stage.
“It was very important to achieve the club feeling sound,” Emmen continues. “We wanted to keep the sound on the floor with the impression that it was coming from each of the four corners of the room. This was the perfect solution.”
Another challenge of the system design was to ensure that sound was contained. It was not uncommon for the club to hear from their neighbors, especially during the summer months, about the sound levels coming from Paradiso.
“We chose Adamson to be the preferred and only partner to fix our outdoor emissions issues,” Emmen explains. “The new system design controls the sound field better, making it easier to keep everyone happy.”
More than anything, it seems that the Paradiso team is not only happy with the new PA, but also with their new Adamson and Sound and Light Import partners.
“Ed and Jochen worked incredibly hard to set up an amazing sounding system that met all of our requirements,” concludes Emmen. “They have been an integral part of the process. Now we have a new system that the customers, artists and sound companies all love. It is really quite incredible.”