Fast growing leisure operators No Saints have converted a former nightclub in Milton Keynes, the centerpiece of the Xscape Entertainment hub, into the surreal environment known as Wonderworld.
This new 1800 capacity themed venue has been designed into a nightclub twin-scene, respectively named ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Yesterday’ — set around a Secret Garden’ (set behind wrought iron gates) and a resplendent red VIP lounge.
Working with main contractor, Optik Leisure, installation company Nightlife Consultancy has equipped all these zones with RCF loudspeakers, part of a complete multimedia integration. They were selected for their high performance, evenness of coverage and unobtrusive footprint. Their product selection ranges from the strident TT+ subs, set on the truss over the main Tomorrow dancefloor to the stylish, powered Art enclosures, playing background music in the private boutique Mind, Soul & Body rooms. All passive elements of the system are powered by dedicated RCF amplification.
Having worked with the brand back in Monitor 5 days, system designer Mark Dorney was familiar with RCF’s pedigree and chose it primarily for the clarity it delivered from different sound sources; this includes live bands, hard dance tracks from the DJ’s brace of Pioneer CDJ 2000’s, and background music from MP3 players. He said he always knew RCF drivers sounded “fabulous” — and again it has lived up to expectations.
Working within an ‘enchanted’ environment sensitively conceived by Terri Naylor of Dakota Design, he designed a digital network architecture, based around a dbx SC-32 digital matrix.
For general purpose he chose RCF’s Acustica C3108 compact, wide-dispersion, low visibility speakers. Six of these distributed in the Secret Garden, accompanied by three complementary S4012 subs, set discreetly behind unobtrusive grilles, will take any of the above feeds — selected locally from the remote ZC-1 zone control wall panels.
The DSP itself contains several EQ scene presets including: Main club scene; Fire evacuation; Conference mode; DJ stage and live band mode.
Stroll through the labyrinth of corridors and walkways, past disorienting infinity mirrors, fibre glowing ‘oak’ trees and astroturfed walls, and into the toilets, and the aural experience will be forever delivered via large quantities of RCF’s PL60FD flush-mount 100V line ceiling speakers.
Three of the most coveted spaces are the themed private lounges, with Regency styled chairs, named Mind, Body & Soul, complete with their own 46” HD TVs, controllable from an Android tablet, and minibars. Customers can choose their own sound source and in these bijou spaces Nightlife has sited a pair of RCF ART 408-A MII enclosures, accompanied by Ayra 10 active subwoofer. “This is a lovely sounding box,” states Mark Dorney of the latter. “The 10in box remains discreet but has a lot more juice than the Ayra 8 — and this is vital if they want to hold a karaoke session.”
The journey through time continues into the large nightclub, named ‘Tomorrow’ (dubbed ‘The Playground of the Future’). Around the periphery of the dancefloor Dorney has chosen six of RCF’s C3110 full range speakers, with rotatable horns, set in portrait mode — and it was this flexibility of of orientation that drove his decision.
But his carefully worked system design came unstuck when he was prevented from floor standing the subs he had earmarked. “It was also impractical to put them in the bulkhead so we had to fly them from the circular Prolyte overhead truss,” he reports. Instead Dorney turned to RCF’s TT+ (Touring & Theatre) range — selecting six TTS28 direct radiating, large format subwoofers, using flyware from Rope Assemblies.
Interspersed between are six RCF Acustica H1312 three way horn loaded controlled dispersion enclosures — chosen for their combination of low weight and “punchy crispness.” Some near fills provide extra presence at the stage, where a stylish DJ workstation has been bespoke manufactured by Nightlife Consultancy to house all the CDJ’s, DJM-2000 mixer and Soundcraft MFX20 band mixer.
Concealed behind a faux bookcase is a door leading to the VIP Lounge, alive with LED and red furnishing, which contains six further RCF C3108s in landscape format and two S4012 subs in each corner.
Finally, upstairs in the monochromatic black, chrome and stainless steel world of ‘Yesterday’ six C3108’s take care of the peripheral sound, while on the high-energy dancefloor two RCF S8028 (2 x 18) subs provide LF extension to the six low profile C4128 (2 x 8) boxes — flown horizontally — a perfect footprint for the low-clad ceiling and for the directional punchiness required, according to Mark Dorney.
The entire assembly of passive speakers is driven by RCF matched amps, with Nightlife Consultancy designing plenty of headroom into the system.
Assigned to Tomorrow are eight RCF DPS 3000’s, run in bridge mode, with one amp per sub. For the full range enclosures, three RCF HPS 2500, bridged in 4-ohm pairs, run the 12in LF section while the mids and high end are assigned to two HPS 1500s. Adastra 1U mixer amps run the distributed PL60 ceiling speakers while for ‘Yesterday’ (and the remainder of the venue) a DPS 3000, three HPS 2500s and two HPS 1500s have been specified — with UPS provided as back-up power supply.
Wonderworld general manager Jay Davidson, says the venue’s technology is a vast improvement on its predecessor, and credits Nightlife for the immense amount of work conducted in a short space of time. “The sound system is now phenomenal,” he says “The atmosphere has been transformed.”