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Total Control – Yamaha mix engines get to the heart of the Matter

Dec, 2008

Matter, the 2,600 capacity nightclub located next to London’s O2 arena, has been universally lauded since it opened in September. It looks great and - most importantly - it sounds great. And with a pair of Yamaha DME64N digital mix engines controlling audio throughout the entire venue, here is a club where the reality more than lives up to the hype.

Designed to provide DJs and live bands with equally high quality sound, Matter features three main rooms. Room 1 is the largest, with a stage for band / DJ performances and triple height viewing galleries to accommodate a total of 2,000 people. Room 2 is smaller, while Room 3 is a third floor VIP area.

The brief to equipment supplier Orbital Sound was that all audio feeds had to be capable of being fed to any or all three rooms at any time, while the club’s extensive use of concrete surfaces meant that extremely fine control of all loudspeakers was a primary requirement if audio quality was to be maximised. In addition, the VIP room also has its own local DJ inputs, so that room’s system had to be capable of being entirely independent from the rest of the club.

In addition to a wide array of speakers in different areas, signals also had to be fed to the much-praised BodyKinetic dance floor - 80 transducers mounted beneath the floor which pump bass frequencies up through the feet of clubbers in Room 1.

Orbital approached Scott Fraser, Installation Manager for Yamaha Commercial Audio, who helped design the system with two DME64Ns in a master and slave arrangement, complemented by five MY8-ADDA96, two MY16-AE and one MY8-DA96 expansion cards, plus four DA824 interfaces, each with an MY8-AE expansion card.

“The DMEs are in control of the whole system,” says Scott Fraser. “Individual speaker EQs, which were approved by the loudspeaker manufacturers, overall room EQs, all the required time alignment, source select, different mixes in different rooms - it’s a comprehensive control package.

“It’s a very versatile system, perfectly matched to Matter’s purpose as a very versatile venue. A choice of control options has also been included - a PC allows access to the deep editing and fine tuning functions, while three ICP1 control panels are also provided to allow authorised non-technical members of staff to make basic changes to the system’s audio routing functions.”

An important role of having the DMEs as central processors is that they mute the entire system if the fire alarm goes off.

“No matter what state the system is in at the time, whatever it’s doing, if the fire alarm sounds it instantly triggers the DMEs to kill the sound to every speaker, ensuring that the alarm is clearly audible to everyone,” Scott continues.

Matter’s owners, Keith Reilly and Cameron Leslie - creators of infamous London club Fabric - have pronounced themselves very pleased with the system and, if the media reviews are anything to go by, a great many satisfied clubbers are very impressed as well.

Yamaha’s involvement has been far more than just equipment provision, the company’s technicians also helping to create custom control pages and fine tune the system. Ongoing support is also available, if needed. Certainly the power of the DMEs means that London’s newest and most fashionable nightclub will continue to Matter for many years to come.


Products DME64N , DA824

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