EPSL puts technology on ICE

On an industrial estate in Braintree, Essex, Event Production Sound & Light have shown how a drab entertainment venue - looking like a cross between a local authority hall and state school assembly room - can be brought to life through imaginative mood programming.

Stone Music Management, owned by Tony Hubrich, purchased the freehold of the entire block in August 2003 and under the club operating company of O'Dwyer & Sons, owned by Tony and his wife Inge, the former became a nightclub owner.

The space now known as Club ICE was formally The Four Seasons Social Club - part of a complex known as The Venue, which also harbours a female-only health and fitness club and a cafe.

The new owners dropped the ceiling height by 20ft to give the place a more intimate feel, using special acoustic ceiling tiles to cancel some of the reverberations, and created some raised lounge areas off the dancefloor. "One of the builders suggested an 'ice pelmet'", said Hubrich, "and everything went from there."

Gutting the interior of the 250-capacity club, a perimeter pelmet of icicles has been backlit in ice blue from a series of 1200mm AVR LED battens. With a large dancefloor, an extendable stage, projection screen and two dance cages it retains its reputation as a multi-purpose venue.

All this advanced décor and operational flexibility bears the influence of EPSL. Over the dancefloor, the company has specified a Trilite diamond-shaped custom ceiling rig (and ladder sections) from which are suspended four different sized mirrorballs on uneven drops, eight 300W short nose PAR56 lanterns facing the stage, four Futurelight EVO-7 kaleidoscope effects and six PHS220 moving heads, four Eurolight TS 250 scans, four Eurolite 400W UV floods and a pair of Eurolight TW-150 water effects.

Griven floor podiums are fitted into the two dance cages and Martin Magnum Pro smoke machines bring to life a show, which is powered by Anytronics Contractor 24 dimmers and controlled by a Martin Light Jockey (and custom PC). Custom ice panels are created using 16 1W white Luxeon LEDs.

Rig-mounted loudspeakers include, four Martin Audio Blackline F12s on flying yokes, which concentrate their energy onto the floor, reinforced by six Martin Audio F8s, wall-mounted around the periphery, while a pair of ground-stacked Martin S218 (2 x 18") subs handle the low frequencies. This is powered by multiples of QSC's RMX 2450 and RMX 1450 amplifiers, while system management is entrusted to a pair of Alto Maxidrive 3.4 DSPs.

In the booth are a pair of Denon DN-S3500 tabletop CD/MP3 players and a pair of Technics SL1210 Mk2s for old school DJs, along with Allen & Heath's popular 464 mixer.

There is a Lite Structures stage (with optional extension) and EPSL have shown their extensive experience in providing 24 x 8 multicore tie-lines for visiting bands to plug into, and a dedicated 63-amp power feed.

"We can control the lighting either from the stage or from a patch panel at the back, where the FOH desk and racks are situated," Andrew Baldwin points out. They will then typically augment the house system with additional Martin Audio S218s and Blackline H3's.

"I am delighted with the impact EPSL have created and the way the club is progressing in general," summarises Tony Hubrich.



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