Shelter nightclub in Amsterdam is home to a new, four-point Funktion-One Evo sound system from Think! AV. The venue has quickly established itself on the international clubbing map, thanks to an uncompromising approach to quality.
Located beneath A’DAM Toren – a large tower behind Amsterdam’s Central Station on the northern banks of the river IJ – Shelter is a 700-capacity, underground clubbing space. A’DAM is short for ‘Amsterdam Dance and Music’, which reflects the direction of the owners and businesses that now occupy the building. The tower was built by Shell in 1971 and was a base for the multinational oil and gas company up until 2009. When it moved out, music moved in.
Shelter’s general manager, Merijn van den Heuvel, explains the idea behind venue: “To be a clubber’s club, with sound, quality and vibe as top priorities in every decision we made from day one. A great clubbing experience starts, without any exception, with a great sound system and the acoustics to make it sound even better.
“Bróna Lynch, our lead engineer, has been especially invaluable. She’s been with us from the start and helped plan the acoustics, set up the system and tune it to what it is right now – a first-class musical experience over our four-point Funktion-One system.”
Think! AV’s Remco van der Werff consulted with Shelter for almost two years before it was decided that the company’s Funktion-One solution was the best option. He recalls: “They were thorough in their research and wanted to test various loudspeaker manufacturers. Bróna and Merijn wanted to have something different than the normal left right set up with delays. Bróna was keen to hear a four-point and a six-point set-up, so we tried both and settled on the four-point because it was doing the job very well.”
The system features two Evo 6SH skeletal mid-high speakers with an F215 Mk2 bass enclosure at four flown positions around the dancefloor. A stack of four F221 double 21in enclosures extend the bass response even further. The result is a four-point, four-way, horn-loaded system that provides a truly immersive listening experience.
Lynch explains: “I wanted to create a ‘bubble’ – lower SPL, higher impact – and a dancefloor that you walk onto and get sucked into. Instead of pumping sound in every corner of the club, we want a smooth, warm and full sound that doesn’t blow people’s ears off, which I feel is the norm in many venues. Hence opting to go for the four-point system. It’s the main part of the experience, to get immersed in the music. It’s what people come for, whether they realise it or not.”
Two Resolution 2SH skeletal loudspeakers have been deployed at the bar for mid-high in-fill, a Resolution 1.5SH for front fill, two F1201 12in cabinets fill the lower area of the left side of the room when facing the DJ, and two F101s fill the area next to the DJ, behind the main system. F55 speakers are used in the smoking area and outside the bathrooms. Power comes from Full Fat Audio amplification and control from NST Audio.
The two PSM318 DJ monitors were later additions, explains van der Werff: “Sound quality is at the top of Shelter’s priorities, so if there’s a way of adding to the set-up, they’ll always seriously consider it. Merijn and Bróna visited another venue, experienced the PSM318s, and wanted to have them in Shelter too. When it comes to performance, there isn’t another DJ monitoring set-up that comes close.”
van den Heuvel, says: “From the start, Funktion-One was a serious contender for us. The brand has had years of experience in the club scene, and has the specific sound spectrum that we desired from a professional audio system. The other brands we had tested in the months prior came nowhere near the quality of this set-up. This wasn’t just our opinion, by the way, everybody that we had asked to come and test the system said it too. DJs, producers and other industry insiders all gave the same answer: this was the system that would facilitate the best possible sound inside these four walls.”
Lynch adds: “It’s the fact we have the right cabinet formation, the right lay lout, right acoustics and very professional installation that gives us a superior sound. The system runs with an abundance of headroom. It sounds great at low and high volumes; it’s smooth, even and massive at the same time.”
On working with Think! AV, she says: “It’s been a pleasure. They came with an open mind, enthusiasm and expertise. We couldn’t have asked for more.”