Oct 27, 2004

Music Venues


--LONG BEACH, California - September 2004 -- Located in a historic 1920s bank building, Long Beach’s new Vault 350 is a 1,500-capacity nightclub sporting a sound reinforcement system capable of putting many professional touring rigs to shame. With over 110,000 watts of Crown Macro-Tech power driving a full JBL VerTec VT4888 line array system, the three-level, 25,000-square-foot venue easily features one of the largest club concert systems in North America.

Michael Warren at MW Audio in Los Angeles provided the Vault 350’s ‘Harman-friendly’ system design, which revolves around a pair of Soundcraft’s flagship Series FIVE mixing consoles – a 56-mono-/4-stereo-input model for front-of-house and a 56-channel/32-bus FIVE Monitor desk on stage.

Pat Pennington, who previously served as production manager for both House of Blues and Billboard Live in Hollywood, is in charge of production management duties at the new club. “Our system is absolutely unbelievable!” he says. “We set out to create the new standard for a nightclub system here at the Vault and we’ve achieved it. I have to really hand it to Mitchell Stewart, who owns the club. He valued our opinions on what equipment we felt needed to go into this venue to really take it to the next level and he provided us with the resources to do the job right.”

Since the club’s opening on Memorial Day weekend of this year, many respected musicians – including Joe Walsh, Chris Isaak and Johnny Lang – have expressed their awe of the new rig. “Everyone that has performed here has been astounded with the room; they can’t believe the setup,” says Pennington. “Our Soundcraft FIVE Monitor allows us to provide 20 wedge mixes and a dozen in-ears at the same time. How many other nightclubs can claim that? And the opening acts have been totally loving us because we give them the same gear and respect that we extend to our headliners. It’s our mission to provide everyone that plays here with absolutely the best concert tour quality production, and the positive word of mouth that we’ve received from the bands and engineers as a result has been overwhelming.”

When asked why the Series FIVE and FIVE Monitor were selected for the club, Pennington points to the desks’ approval among A-list acts. “If you look at all of the touring riders out there, the Series FIVE is always one of the acceptable choices. But most people aren’t expecting to find it in a nightclub! Needless to say, when I advance a show here, nobody complains about our boards, especially when they find out that we have 56 channels available on each one.

“Also, we’re planning to augment our venue with an audio production facility for recording live performances in the near future, and the Series FIVE’s 16x10 output matrix, as well as some other cool features, made it a particularly ideal choice for us.”

Additional Harman Professional products installed at the same time that the Soundcraft desks went in include: BSS Audio DPR-404, 422, 504 and 522 dynamics processors; dbx DriveRack 480, 160A and 1066 compressors, and 2231 graphic EQ; and a Lexicon 960L (w/ LARC), plus four PCM81s and three PCM91s. On the visual side, the venue features nearly 70 Robe intelligent lights and an integrated multimedia center that combines three Panasonic CCD cameras, two Eiki 10,000-lumen projectors and 12-foot screens on either side of the stage.

In related news, Pennington and Warren similarly installed a new system at Malibu Inn, another venue owned by Stewart. That system is primarily comprised of two Soundcraft MH4 consoles, Crown amps, and JBL AE Series and VerTec loudspeakers. Furthermore, a pair of Soundcraft Series TWO consoles was also purchased to go into a yet-unnamed club that Stewart is planning to open in Hollywood within the next year.

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