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Evolve and JBL Score Hole in One at Birdies


Stratford-based Social Fun and Games Club (SFG), has moved from its core business of outdoor competitive socialising to open the new venue Birdies, described as “a cocktail bar and crazy golf experience” at the newly-developed Battersea Power Station.


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Into this world of artificial grass, audio-visual integrators Evolve Install have provided an end-to-end sound system to provide evenly-distributed background music ambience while golfers tackle the surreal 9-hole obstacle course.


"In fact, there were a lot of restrictions generally, being a National Rail owned building. Special treatment had to be applied to the arch to make it super-waterproof so we were unable to screw onto these surfaces. Also, with so many obstacles, the golf course also presented many challenges!” - Elliot Patterson, Sound Technology LTD


With a desire to feature JBL’s premium sound in London’s newest ‘experiential escape’, they contacted the brand’s UK and Ireland distributors, Sound Technology Ltd, and soon Evolve director Elliot Patterson was carrying out a site survey with Sound Technology’s Area Sales Manager, Ian Jordan.


The operation itself is a long rectangular building under the Grosvenor Bridge railway arches, and given the narrow height, both men agreed that the ideal solution for the bar / lounge area inside the main entrance was four JBL CBT 50LA-1, one wall-mounted in each corner. Using Constant Beamwidth Technology™ to optimise pattern control, the CBT 50LA-1 provides great versatility. Where sub frequencies need to be boosted, a pair of JBL Control 50 S/T subwoofers have been concealed inside the banquette seating. As Elliot Patterson explains, “The client wanted to concentrate the sound so it could be focused on specific areas.”


In the main golfing area Evolve opted for six JBL Control 67 pendant speakers and Control 60 PS/T pendant sub. “Because there is a lot of mechanical work taking place in the ceiling we were unable fix directly to it; instead, we had to bolt onto the electrical trays beneath and put the speakers high up,” Elliot Patterson explained. “In fact there were a lot of restrictions generally, being a National Rail owned building. “Special treatment had to be applied to the arch to make it super-waterproof so we were unable to screw onto these surfaces. Also, with so many obstacles, the golf course also presented many challenges.” But in the Bar area, where the CBTs are fixed to false walls, there had been no such difficulties, he said.


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Elsewhere in the ancillary areas Evolve have specified a pair of JBL 8124 4” ceiling speakers in the toilets and Control 52 satellites in the walkway. Assigned to the toilet speakers is the little energy efficient JBL CSA 180Z commercial series amplifier. “Like the CDi, it has an Energy Star® built in so that when the music stops it goes into a deep sleep. This makes it extremely energy efficient,” he notes.


“The discreet JBL CBT 50LA-1’s on the main bar offer a poised and engaging sound that can be cranked up during the evening to create an energetic party atmosphere" - Tiago Coelho, SFG


Processing at the back end is handled by a BSS Soundweb fixed format BLU-50 processor (4-in/4-out) with a pair of Crown CDi DriveCore 4|300 amplifiers providing the power over Harman’s proprietary BLU link, along with the networking. “We used BLU link because we wanted to avoid lots of cable,” affirms Patterson, and this has the capacity to transport 256 channels of audio at 48kHz.


Local audio input and volume control of the music, which is fed from an iPad at the front of the building, facilitate operation on DJ nights: a pair of BSS EC-4BV Ethernet wall controllers, one in the office and one by the bar, are deployed for music management in both the bar and golfing areas.


Commenting on the quality of the sound, SFG’s Tiago Coelho said, “Despite having to work around several building restrictions, Evolve and Sound Technology have done a magnificent job selecting the right kit for the job at Birdies. It was always going to be difficult to deliver great quality sound in a railway arch, however, they’ve have done just that.


“The discreet JBL CBT 50LA-1’s on the main bar offer a poised and engaging sound that can be cranked up during the evening to create an energetic party atmosphere. And the JBL Control 67’s offered us the perfect balance of mounting versatility and sound quality, to create an immersive audio experience throughout the whole venue.


“All in all we were very happy with how the project turned out.”


JBL, Crown and BSS products are distributed in the UK and Ireland, as part of the HARMAN Professional portfolio, by Sound Technology Ltd. For further information please call 01462 480000 or visit https://www.soundtech.co.uk

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