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Heat Ultra Lounge

Anaheim, USA

With a sharp finish and top-class technology, Heat Ultra Lounge at the Anaheim Gardenwalk has the high end feel more often found in Las Vegas flagship clubs. This is no accident.

The owners’ original intention was to open a venue in Sin City, but instead the club landed in Orange County, bringing with it all the style of the Strip. “All the design elements were geared around that,” says Nikko Hendi, principal of NKDDI, a full service architect design firm that designed the lighting and interior of the club, “everything from concept development to the grand opening.”

Heat Ultra Lounge is a 13,000 sq ft. space featuring a multi-million dollar lighting system by Martin Professional alongside a world-class Funktion One audio system.

Hendi describes the Vegas feel as “glamour with curious design elements” and by that reckoning, Heat is truly Vegas to the core. An eclectic mix of glass booths, soft furnishings, Rococo chandeliers and desert driftwood sit together effortlessly. Its main room, open only on weekends, serves as a nightclub while a smaller room has more of a lounge feel that caters to weekday crowds with slower beats and smooother lighting.

Heat is more than a nightspot though, and also serves as a special event venue. “We wanted the club to look good during the day as well as night,” Hendi says. “The whole idea behind that were daytime corporate events, which was another reason why we paid close attention to the design details. There are a lot of different areas to the club, and even in the same room there are different design elements.”
The intellegent lighting was integral to NKDDI’s design and Hendi was confident Martin Pro would prove the best option. His initial plan was to work with Martin’s MAC 250 moving heads, but a conversation with Martin US’s Regional Sales Director Greg Jones, took Hendi in a different direction: the new smartMAC.

The smartMAC is a bright 150W moving head profile luminaire that offers long service intervals, total silence and reduced power bills thanks to a unique fanless cooling system (no dust and pollutants are forced into the fixture). The smartMAC houses eight interchangeable dichroic colours and six interchangeable effects.

“Going with the smartMACs was a great decision because they are so versatile, just awesome,” Hendi states. “In fact, we did the entire venue with smartMACs. They are so easy to use and the ease of switching out gobos is great. We plan to do some custom gobos for corporate events so that was a big plus. We can just swap them out so easily. The fact that there are no fans in the smartMAC was a great selling point as is their size. They’ve been holding up phenomenally.”
Although the club is - on paper - one continuously flowing space, in practice it functions as two distinct zones, lounge and club. SmartMACs are used to cover the entire venue, their multitude of effects either adding a frenetic high-energy - as they do alongside Atomic 3000 strobes above both dancefloors - or adding decorative sweeps of light to the hallway areas and the bar tops.

Impressive decorative chandeliers have been placed throughout Heat, acting both as a way of drawing patrons further in to the venue and as eyecatching focal points within each area. Hendi explains: “There is not a single straight wall in the club so you can’t tell when you leave one space and enter another – it’s all very fluid. But at any point in the club you can see another chandelier and the layout pulls you from space to space without you even knowing.”

Hendi projects light from several 150W Martin Mania SCX700 scanners onto each of the venue’s stately chandeliers. The chandeliers are dimmed to 5-10% and washed in Mania colours and effect so that the entire chandelier becomes animated.   

“In the women’s restroom is a special vanity room with mirrors and above that we have a chandelier with the Mania effect on it,” Hendi continues. “The chandelier is visible from inside the club area through a window and guys are always wondering how to get inside that room.”
Further Martin technology can be found in the the form of Mania DC2 decorative fire effects that emblazon a frosted glass ribbon above the wall that stretches around the club (as well as the main bar’s Go-Go booth), and the six-headed Hydra smoke system over the main room dance floor providing anything from gentle haze to a dense fog, as required.

As far as lighting control, Hendi wanted to control both the architectural and entertainment lighting through one console, using touchscreens so that the bartenders could control the lighting themselves. “Greg suggested tying the console to the dimming rack and suggested using the Maxxyz Compact to do that,” Hendi explains. He says that FBP’s Matthew Paupas, who did the programming and integration, was in touch with Martin’s Matthias Hinrichs about tying the rack and console together. “The whole idea was for the Maxxyz to tie into the touchscreens behind each bar so it can run the programs back and forth. Every bar has a touchscreen and it works out well.”
Maxxyz Compact is Martin’s newest lighting console and Heat marks its first install stateside. Offering full Maxxyz functionality in a modular, mid-sized console, the Compact benefits from a range of optional stand-alone modules that have been developed to allow for customization around the user and the specific control demands of a show or venue.
“The console is phenomenal and does a lot for its size,” Hendi comments. “It is very user friendly and, considering it is new, we have had very few problems with it. As far as price, you can’t beat it. And now with the modules, if we want to expand it, that is no problem.” In the smaller back room, the lighting rig is run from a Martin Maxxyz PC.
Hendi has used Martin lighting on several projects before and is quite satisfied with the Heat Ultra Lounge install. “It’s all holding up great with no problems or issues,” he says. Hendi also acknowledges the support from Martin. “Greg Jones was a great support. He went above and beyond the call of duty to help us out, to educate everyone and even helped when approaching the client.”

The ‘Vegas treatment’ was not only confined to Heat’s lighting aesthetic, the owners also wanted a top quality audio set, and top quality is what they got in the striking form of a Funktion One system. “It’s pretty much our manufacturer of choice when it comes to nightclub sound systems,” says Dean McNaughten of audio installer Sound Investment.

Having first discovered the purple-stuff seven years ago, Sound Investment were initially cautious of Funktion-One, buying through a distributor for a year or two as they became more familiar with the product line.

But their conversion became total when McNaughten and business partner Dan Agne headed over to the UK to visit Funktion One’s founders Tony and Ann Andrews.

“We really liked Tony’s philosophy on audio,” remembers McNaughten. “We listened to the entire system and we were stunned. It was the way we had always wanted audio to go in terms of sound reproduction.” With his background in home hi-fi, McNaughten had always been disappointed with the large format PA found in nightclubs and at concerts, but the clarity of Funktion One, along with it’s low ear fatigue, truly impressed. “You could play the system really loud and it simply didn’t hurt your ears. Crystal clear, tremendous mix and really tight mid bass and bass… it really blew us away,” he continues.

The owners of Heat told Sound Investment that they wanted to stand apart from other regional clubs in Anaheim and really make a statement about their sound system. F1’s reputation among big name DJs - and its status as one of the best recognised sound system in clubland – made it an easy sell for the Sound Investment team.
Coming in at the final design stages enabled Sound Investment to work with Nikko Hendi to place cabinets in acoustically optimal position without compromising the club’s sharp aesthetic.

“We were able to put our speakers in with his drawing on the consulting side and that made the install period easier – everyone knew where they were going to go, versus still trying figure everything out as we went along,” says McNaughten.

The main dancefloor is served by dance stacks of R4S-Cs and F221s while the other zones are covered by the smaller F81s - a new addition to the Funktion-One line-up and a first install for Sound Investment. The F81 offers a high vocal intelligibility for a compact loudspeaker. Enclosure tuning and driver optimisation by Funktion One means no processor or system equalisation is required.  For the more relaxed lounge area, four Res2s were used with F218 subs. The whole system was powered by MC2 and Powersoft, with networking and DAP courtesy of BSS.

Despite a high proportion of acoustically unforgiving surfaces and a continuous floor plan, the audio quality remains sharp throughout. “That’s why I guess we’re really lucky with Funktion One – instead of hearing the room you’re actually hearing the sound system,” McNaughten concludes.


25 x Martin Pro smartMAC; 30 x Martin Pro Mania SCX700; 10 x Martin Pro Mania DC2; 10 x Martin Pro Atomic 3000; 1 x Jem Hydra (6 head); 1 x Martin Pro Maxxyz PC; 1 x Martin Pro Maxxyz Compact; 3 x OLE touch screens for each bar; 1 x Nu-Salt NSL 3000 laser; 1 x Kryogenifex cryogenic special effect


MAIN DANCE FLOOR: 6 x Funktion One R4S-C three-way mid/high loudspeaker; 4 x Funktion One F221 folded horn subwoofer; 1 x MC2 T1500 amplifier; 1 x MC2 T2000 amplifier; 1 x Powersoft K6 amplifier; 2 x Powersoft K10 amplifier; 8 x Funktion One F81 8” two-way loudspeaker; 1 x MC2 T2000 amplifier
ZONE AND DJ: 9 x QSC DJ zone and monitors; 1 x custom QSC 15” Speaker (for entrance); 4 x Pioneer CDJ-1000 CD-player; 2 x Pioneer DJM-800 mixer; 4 x Technics SL-1210MK5 turntable
ENTRANCE LOUNGE: 4 x Funktion One R2 three-way mid/high loudspeaker; 2 x Funktion One F218 folded horn bass; 1 x MC2 T2000 amplifier; 1 x Crest Audio Pro9200 amplifier; 1 x Crest Audio Pro8200 amplifier
PROCESSING: 1 x BSS BLU80-8AIx8AO networked digital audio processor; 1 x BSS BLU32-0x16AO networked digital audio I/O expander; 5 x BSS 9012US remote volume control and source selection switch





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