Ibiza's world famous KM5 restaurant, lounge and bar wanted to upgrade the sound system in its indoor lounge. It needed to deliver ambient sound during early evening drinks, and a powerful, club sound later on. The previous sound system was unable to provide the power range or sound quality needed. In addition, the room's glass partitions, stone walls and tiled floor meant getting the sound right had been a challenge in the past. Pioneer worked with the KM5 team to specify a sound system and EQ settings that overcame these challenges and delivered a warm, clear, well-balanced sound at all volumes.
“The new system is very strong, with a deep bass. Yet it is still clear; you can hear all the details and talk much better than with the old speakers. Everyone says what a fantastic sound system it is, even other club owners. Thanks to Pioneer, we are very happy.”
Josch Genske, co-owner, KM5
Set in a converted finca (traditional Spanish farmhouse) just outside Ibiza Town, KM5 is one of the island's original hybrid restaurants. Guests can sip cocktails in one of its five elegant lounge bars, dine in style in the candlelit restaurant, and dance ‘til dawn to tunes spun by resident and international guest DJs in the nightclub. A boutique and art gallery complete the KM5 experience.
One of KM5's bars, the stylish indoor lounge, comprises a main room and smaller alcove that provide the setting for nightly DJ performances, parties and themed nights. The first guests arrive from 8pm and up to 200 partygoers enjoy the music until dawn. This means the indoor lounge requires a sound system that can provide comfortable, ambient sound early in the evening, but a more powerful, club sound as the room becomes busier.
In addition, the architecture of the indoor lounge poses its own challenges; solid glass internal walls, traditional Spanish stone outer walls, and tiled floor mean there are countless surfaces for sound waves to bounce off. So EQ settings need not only to suit to the size of the crowd, but also account for the reflective nature of the room.
However, the previous indoor lounge sound system was not able to deliver the power, flexibility or sound quality needed. As KM5 resident DJ and sound engineer Sergi Ribas explains: “The previous Pioneer flat panel speakers were very nice but did not have the club sound we wanted. Plus the amps were clipping at full volume, and we could only change the EQ settings on a PC. So we decided to upgrade.”
Ribas and KM5 co-owner Josch Genske selected Pioneer Professional Audio to design and install a sound system for the indoor lounge: “We have worked with Pioneer for 10 years and have a very good relationship. Pioneer DJ equipment and speakers have always been successful here, so we naturally wanted to work with them on the upgrade,” says Genske.
Pioneer Pro Audio sound specialist Alex Barrand worked closely with Ribas and Genske to understand KM5 indoor lounge's particular challenges. Based his recommendations, the team specified a sound system that included four Pioneer XY-122 12-inch two-way PA speakers and one XY-118S 18-inch bass reflex subwoofer in the main room. Two XY-81 8-inch two-way PA speakers were installed in the alcove.
Barrand explains his recommendation: “The 12-inch gives KM5 the range they need to have a more ambient sound during dinner but really crank the power up once the party gets into full swing. The 8-inch speakers in the alcove give a sound that has sparkle and complements the bass, yet is comfortable for people who want to sit and chat.”
The system is powered by two Powersoft K3 amplifiers with built-in DSP and Pioneer pre-sets. Barrand used Smaart software from Rational Acoustics to give Ribas two precisely defined room EQ settings that enable effortless switching between ambient and club sound, and overcomes the issues of the reflective surfaces.
“The Ambient setting removes some of the frequencies that would be quite harsh and tinny early on, when there are less people in the room to absorb the sound,” says Barrand. “Later on, they can use the DSP interface on the front of the amp to switch to the Dancefloor setting, which brings those frequencies back in for the busier room.”
The layout of the room required one speaker to be mounted lower than the others, so one of the 12-inch PA speakers was mounted horizontally with the horn rotated. This ensured the same 60 x 90 degree sound dispersion as the other speakers, without placing the woofer next to customers' heads.
The KM5 team requested the standard black cabinets, however specified gold grilles to match the contemporary design of the indoor lounge. Pioneer met this request, and provided all the brackets necessary for the installation.
As a result of the new sound system, KM5 has been able to overcome issues surrounding its numerous reflective surfaces to produce a strong, clear high frequency sound and deep bass – and the capacity to deliver a full range of power with equal sound quality.
“The new sound system is amazing,” says Genske. “The intensity of the music and the clearness of the bass is the best in the market in my opinion. The good thing is, whether you're in the middle of the dancefloor or in a corner, you can always talk to and hear each other.”
Resident DJ and sound engineer Ribas agrees: “I like the clear, warm sound of the system, and the increased power range without having to push the amps. Now it is a club sound and, as a DJ, that makes me very happy.”
Ribas also enjoys the simplicity and flexibility afforded by the Powersoft K3 amplifiers', which enables him to have EQ control directly from the amp – with no need to access a computer.
Reactions to the new sound system have been very positive, says Genske: “Especially from DJs. We have so many people coming in – including actors, footballers, producers – who all say what a fantastic sound system it is.”
In conclusion, Genske puts the success of the installation down to a combination of Pioneer's experience and expertise: “We are very grateful to have Pioneer as a partner. They always deliver quality, and when they say they will do something they stick to it. Now other venue owners are a bit jealous of our system – thanks to Pioneer!”
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