The latest Playboy club to open, in Mumbai’s Worli district, has been installed with an Outline system to deliver the decibels. But don’t expect the brand’s iconic bunny girls to be serving the cocktails. PB Lifestyle, which holds the rights to use the famous name for venues and merchandising on the subcontinent, has also had to bear in mind the country’s strict morale code.
Instead, the company has created a lavish interior with lots of mirrored surfaces and chandeliers, as well as a specially-designed lighting fixture, affectionately dubbed ‘the UFO’. Fitted with moving lights, this can travel up and down the length of the dance floor on special tracks in the ceiling, descending into the revelers at heightened moments as the night progresses.
Local acoustic consultant Milind Raorane has designed what he describes as a ‘quadraphonic speaker system’ for the dancefloor. This consists of a line array system of two Outline Butterfly CHD speakers each side of the DJ booth and four DBS 18-2 subwoofers positioned below it. Directly opposite this system is an Outline Eidos X123W speaker at either side of the dancefloor bar, supplemented by an Eidos-118 subwoofer at either side. The dancefloor system is driven by four T9 and two T11 amplifiers, with signal processing provided by a Lake LM 26 controller.
‘Wherever you are standing in the club, you are always facing two tops on one of the sides,’ explained Mr Raorane. ‘This gives all clubbers the feeling of being enveloped on each side, no matter where they are standing, with the bass evenly distributed. Although it’s a powerful system it’s also designed to be gentle so there is no ear fatigue.’
The VIP section is at a slightly higher level above the dance floor, while at the opposite end of the club is a smoking room with its own bar. These two areas have separate sound systems which can be run independently. The VIP section has been installed with six Outline Eidos X123Ws and two White Acoustics WS218 subwoofers, with a further two Eidos X123s in the bar and four Eidos 6.5s in the toilet areas. These systems are being run by three Outline M5000-4 amplifiers and three Outline iP24 digital controllers. All systems were supplied by White Eagle Entertainment.
As the club is on the ground floor of a commercial building, it had to be completely isolated so sound wouldn’t reach any of the offices above. ‘I studied the response of the entire structure as well as the response on all the floors,’ explained Mr Raorane. ‘I documented everything, and based on those findings I came up with some solutions for isolation, bass traps and sound proofing.’
Mr Raorane constructed 50 hanging bass traps in the ceiling, each measuring 1.2m2 and filled with acoustic absorption material. These boxes have been clad with black fabric and hung up in the ceiling to absorb all the bass created in the room. ‘It’s such a tall room that we needed a lot of subs to fill the space,’ he continued. ‘But in doing that, the bass excited the room so much that the intelligibility and resolution became undefined and distorted.
‘It was a heavy mechanical job to lift all those bass traps and hang them from the ceiling. But they are doing a fantastic job. Even if the system is driven hard, the bass is still clean and tight. The traps soak up the extra energy of the bass, and nothing comes back into the room.’
Mr Raorane also ran thick drapes along one of the room’s 30m-long sidewalls, which are constructed of glass. ‘The drapes form part of the club’s décor, but also help cut down on the room reflection,’ he said. ‘Additionally, the entire floor is floating, and is composed of an 8-inch layer of polystyrene foam which goes right up into the VIP area, with screed on top, then the actual floor on top of that again. This ensures that no vibration transfers to the building’s structure.’