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Exclusive: TSSL brings Void into the Octagon

Exclusive: TSSL brings Void into the Octagon

Exclusive: TSSL brings Void into the Octagon


Tokyo Sound System Laboratory (TSSL) has installed a Void Acoustics sound solution at one of Tokyo’s new nightclubs, Sel Octagon Tokyo. The specialist systems integrator had worked with the nightclub’s owner before, deploying a Void Acoustics setup at the Ultra Japan outdoor EDM festival. Yet, for the fixed installation at Octagon, TSSL still faced some competition.

‘The client was impressed with Void Acoustics at Ultra Japan,’ explained Satoru 'Tocci' Tochibori of TSSL. ‘However, they invited several companies to offer solutions for this project, making their decision by fair comparison.’

The team at TSSL was confident that it could provide a solution to once again impress the client at Octagon. As a division of Void Acoustics’ Japanese dealer, eastaudio, TSSL’s staff is extremely familiar with the British manufacturer’s systems and how best to deploy them.

‘The venue has a very complicated shape conducive to difficult acoustic conditions,’ explained Mr Tochibori. ‘We at TSSL are a specialist team with sound engineers that are familiar with Void, as well as sound system and acoustic design engineers that are well versed in all manner of venues, such as concert halls, with unique designs. We suggested not only the selection of equipment, such as the speakers and amplifiers, but also acoustic treatment for the room and treatment for the bass standing waves. Ultimately, our solution was adopted due to the combination of our specialist treatment consultancy and because we knew the systems well enough to produce a plan that provided uniform coverage throughout the club. In addition, I also offered advice on soundproofing.’

TSSL’s design saw the installation of a main system formed from Void Acoustics’ Tri Motion three-way bi-amped sculpted loudspeaker arrays. Four units were installed across the length of the room, including as side-fills. Bringing the bass are four Nexus Q upper bass enclosures and four Nexus X low frequency enclosures clustered in a central ‘mono-block’.

‘This type of installation is the first in the world,’ said Mr Tochibori. ‘I think that these subwoofers are the most impressive feature of the club: eight boxes totalling 48 12-inch 1000W AES drivers are installed beneath the DJ booth creating a monster portion of bass.’

Covering the VIP area are 12 Airten V2 compact dual 10-inch speakers, three Venu Bass enclosures and four Air 8 surface-mount loudspeakers. Meanwhile, 15 Cirrus 6 ceiling speakers have been installed in the low-ceiling area of the dancefloor, programmed as delays. Completing the speaker setup are Stasys 2 floor monitors deployed throughout the venue. In the DJ booth, the TSSL team installed Air Stream DJ monitors and Stasys 118 subwoofers. ‘I think that this is a system which can satisfy any DJ in the world,’ commented Mr Tochibori.

To power the speakers, Void Acoustics Bias Q2, Q5 and V9 amplifiers have been set up with the latest presets. ‘The main subwoofers also possess a 4Ω impedance, which gives the amp a large margin,’ added Mr Tochibori. ‘The power amplifier is driven by a 200V power supply.’ Controlling the system at FOH is a Midas Pro1 console.

When designing the system, TSSL’s team arranged the speakers based on a rough design drawn up by Mr Tochibori according to the layout of the room. They then worked with one of the club’s interior designers and various construction contractors to adjust the sound system for optimum coverage, while at the same time ensuring that the setup didn’t interfere with the venue’s aesthetic. Additionally, the Tri Motion speakers were painted in chrome, while the Airten V2 and Air Stream and Nexus units were finished in Satin Black in keeping with the decoration.

The design process wasn’t completely straightforward though, as the shape of the room provided plenty of obstacles. ‘The biggest challenge during this project was that the dance floor dimensions were short and wide,’ said Mr Tochibori. ‘As the floor is narrow, the distance between the speaker and the club’s patrons is small. We therefore judged that Void Acoustics’ Incubus Air Array and Arcline 8, which we were initially considering, were not suitable here and chose more compact, point source units.

‘We were also not able to place any speakers on the floor of the VIP area, meaning we needed smaller subs that we could hang. Therefore, it was necessary to steer the club’s main subs wide to provide additional bass in the VIP space. I made several adjustments to the initial plans during the project and in addition, the hanging weight limit of the building itself posed load-bearing restrictions on how much we were allowed to actually hang. So, there were times when we struggled to balance between the aesthetic needs of the client and building restrictions, while ensuring the best sound coverage possible. Overall, I think that the team did very well.’

Mr Tochibori isn’t the only one that feels the team did a good job, as TSSL has received plenty of praise for the installation at Octagon. ‘In order to perfect the system’s tuning, we invited Nathan Short from Void Acoustics USA to the club,’ said Mr Tochibori. ‘Renowned DJ Nicky Romero was at the club on opening night and I’ve heard that he praised the system. One of the club’s resident DJs has also been impressed and the club’s owners have received excellent feedback from customers. We have also received an award from Void Acoustics for best Installation, so we’re very happy.’

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