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Euphoria by MOS, Kuala Lumpur

January / February 2009

Ministry of Sound’s latest foray into Asia, was instigated by Ian Ekers, Resident Manager of Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa. About 20 minutes drive from central KL, the Sunway Pyramid complex includes a vast shopping mall, conference centre and themed amusement park.

Ekers arrived at the hotel in May 2006 and consequently met with clients who were planning incentive businesses in KL. During their discussions, they asked about night-life because at that time there was no bar or club attached to the hotel. Nestling right between the hotel and the conference centre there was already a space that had once operated to be a club run by an outside tenant. Ekers suggested re-opening the venue, advocating a strong brand to match Sunway’s - one of Malaysia’s top 20 listed companies.

Having spent the previous 12 years in Singapore, Ian Ekers was familiar with MoS. His primary contact was Michael Wilkings, with whom he worked for about six months, by which time Justin Berkman had also come on board. Berkman reportedly spent almost a year on and off in KL to develop the concept to suit the Malaysian market, taking the club’s size, architecture and location into consideration. Later MoS’s Nodd McDonagh joined as Operations Manager overseeing the project through to completion with Australia’s Total Concept Productions (TCP) who supplied, coordinated and installed the commissioning of lighting, sound and rigging, working closely with the legendary Austen Derek.

With his long and respected track record of MoS projects, it was a no brainer that Austen Derek would be the sound designer, but in a departure from his previous accomplishments, this time he was also responsible for the lighting design. As the existing building was basically circular, usually an acoustic challenge, it was completely gutted and rebuilt from the structure’s original circular shape to Derek’s specifications in accordance with the concept of theatrical dynamics to provide club-goers with the best genres of contemporary dance music.

Towering 40 meters over three levels and complemented by DEQ (an indoor-outdoor chill-out area with a subterranean dance space for more niche, eclectic dance music styles) the main dance area, Euphoria, includes glass walled private VIP suites upstairs, taking the total capacity to 2,000 for the entire venue.

According to TCP, “Derek’s no-compromise design saw us install a Martin Audio sound system complete with processing by Dolby Lake and Midas, and DJ mixers by Allen & Heath. The unusual shape of the building required not only a sound system that lived up to standards set by MoS but also one that suited the venue’s reverberant acoustics. Extensive acoustic CAD modeling revealed that treatment was required to create a sympathetic reverberation time.”

As to be expected the Martin Audio / Austen Derek combo is exemplary, but with Derek’s usual flair and creativity, a few notable extras were added to the mix. Installed above the main dance floor is a set of horns that look like air raid sirens. In fact they are K5LA Air Chimes. Austen Derek gave mondo*dr the low down “In the past I had used a ship horn from Kahlenberg but the Air Chimes are the same horns you would find on a freight or Amtrack passenger train. I got them from a shop in Fort Lauderdale that builds custom race cars and trucks. When I asked about the horns, they wanted to know what I was going to do with them. I told them I was building a club in Malaysia that was a brand from Ministry of Sound and wanted to use the horns as an effect during the course of the night. They told me that the horns would be too much and I told them never, when the sound system can play at over 140 dB, anything else wouldn’t cut it. They asked how high up the horns will be mounted and I told them about four meters centered on the link bridge that spans the room. They both looked at me, shook their heads and told me that I was crazy.”

Another feature of Derek’s audio install goes way beyond embellishment. After waking up at 6am for a flight to KL, then spending that same afternoon and evening photographing the club, it was astonishing to stand on the main floor and feel the soothing sonic resonance of the system coursing through from the bamboo surfaced timber boards. Subject of common misapprehension among KLien clubbers who are convinced that there is some magical mechanism below the timber floor that creates the effect, it was actually mounted on high intensity steel springs. The main dance floor sound system began with the installation of a dozen ultra high-powered 2000W Martin Audio WS218X dual 18” sub bass speakers. To balance the bass, a dozen more Martin Audio H3H all horn-loaded 15”, 10” and 1” full range satellite boxes were mounted in all around the dance floor. “These H3Hs are more than just satellites, they’re a full range monster that not only provides the right amount of high SPL chest-thumping dance slam, but by virtue of its all horn loaded design, provides predictable dispersion, which was especially necessary in this enormous space,” declared Derek.

In the other areas there are 24 Martin Audio AQ10 high powered 10” two-ways and outside areas are fitted out with weather resistant AM10 high-powered 10” two ways and AM215 high powered subwoofers. The DEQ system is similar but on a smaller scale - a combination of Martin Audio F15s, F12s and WS218X subs. Power throughout is injected by 40 Martin Audio MA 1.6, 2.8 and 4.2 series amplifiers with audio routing via Midas XL88 matrix mixers. The entire system is processed by five Dolby Lake LP series processors.

The lighting was specifically designed by Derek incorporating a range of elements which including Chauvet colour splash Jr, Elation Hybrid Design Spot 250, Chauvet Color Splash 200, and Elation Strobes. On the main floor the team installed a moveable truss system. The custom designed truss is supported by individual motors manufactured specifically for the venue by CM in the USA. These motors allow all four truss sections to be positioned dynamically by moving up and down.
The Road Hog lighting controller is placed in the DJ booth and has an integrated touch panel to make it simple and easy to use. System programming was created by Carlos Diaz, from New York, and controls the lighting for the entire venue. LED black light and RGB lights are also used in the VIP booths, the bar and the DJ booths, accentuating these areas to guests. The LED lights are managed by High End ColorCommand™ controls which, alongside the Road Hog system, allows the lights to change colour automatically, giving the lighting operator complete control.

Along with the Road Hog lighting control system, TCP also installed Avolites new Azure 2000 consoles which utilize durable, waterproof membrane technology with tactile feedback offering simultaneous control of mixed intelligent fixtures and dimmer control channels and can run 20 separate sequences at the same time - ideal for a venue that aspires to set the new benchmark for clubbing in Malaysia.

(Words & Pics: Jimmie Wing)


26 x Chauvet Color Splash Jr; 3 x Elation Blacklight; 36 x Elation Hybrid Design Spot 250; 30 x High End Color Command; 3 x High End Color Command Control; 12 x Lex Anaconda 4 Channel Remote DMX dimmer; 26 x Chauvet Color Splash 200; 12 x CM motors 1/2 Ton; 2 x Skjonberg 8 way motor controller; 12 x Elation Strobes; 6 x High End AF1000 strobe; 8 x High End Cyberlight; Whirlwind 200’ Snake 8 Channel; 2 x High End Systems F100 Fog Machines; 2 x High End Road Hog console; 1 x Avolites control board

MAIN DANCE ROOM: 12 x Martin Audio WS218 sub; 12 x Martin Audio H3H three-way speaker; 6 x Martin Audio MA 4.2 amp; 12 x Martin Audio MA 2.8 amp; 3 x Dolby Lake LP4D12 processor
ENTRANCE VIP: 6 x Martin Audio AQ10 two-way passive loudspeaker; 3 x Martin Audio MA 1.6 amp; 1 x Dolby Lake LP4D12Z processor
MAIN DJ BOOTH: 2 x Martin Audio F12 two-way speaker; 1 x Martin Audio WS218 sub; 1 x Martin Audio MA 2.8 amp; 1 x Martin Audio MA 4.2 amp; 1 x Dolby Lake LP8D8 processor; 1 x Pioneer DJM 800 mixer; 3 x Pioneer CDJ1000 CD player; 2 x Technics SL1210 MK5G turntable; 2 x Midas XL88 matrix mixer; 1 x Apple iMac 20”; 1 x Rane Serato Scratch Live software; 1 x Pram PWL-2; 1 x Pram ANT-MAG5; 1 x Pram PC-3EP; 1 x Digidesign Mbox 2 Pro audio/MIDI production; 4 x Stanton 680.V3; 8 x Ortofon Slip; 1 x Sennheiser EM 550 G2 Wireless dual channel receiver; 2 x Sennheiser SKM 535 radio mic; 1 x Yamaha O1V 96V2 digital mixer; 1 x Allen & Heath Xone:4D mixer; 1 x Pioneer EFX 1000 effector
MEZZ / VVIP: 8 x Martin Audio AQ10 two-way passive loudspeaker; 4 x Martin Audio MA 1.6 amp; 8 x Martin Audio AQWB8
EUPHORIC LONGE: 6 x Martin Audio AQ10 two-way passive loudspeaker; 2 x Martin Audio AQ215 loudspeaker; 3 x Martin Audio MA 1.6 amp; 1 x Dolby Lake LP4D12Z; 1 x Martin Audio MA 2.8 amp; 1 x Apple iMac 20”; 1 x Mbox 2 Pro
OUTDOOR PATIO: 4 x Martin Audio AM10 two-way passive loudspeaker; 2 x Martin Audio MA 1.6 amp; 1 x Apple iMac 20”
R&B ROOM: 4 x Martin Audio F15 Wide bandwidth system
2 x Martin Audio WS218 sub; 3 x Martin Audio MA 4.2 amp; 1 x Dolby Lake LP4D8 processor;
R&B DJ BOOTH: 4 x Martin Audio F15 Wide bandwidth system; 2 x Martin Audio WS218 sub; 3 x Martin Audio MA 4.2 amp; 1 x Dolby Lake LP4D8 processor





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