Lille’s Le Baron Club raises audio standards with Funktion-One’s Evo X
Le Baron Club in Lille has become the first venue in France to have an installed Funktion-One Evo X sound system. Committed to their aim of being one of Europe’s top 10 techno clubs, the owners called Funktion-One distributor Solution One about raising the audio standards at the much-loved venue. Solution One introduced Livemusic, who designed and installed the new Funktion-One Evo X system.
Having first heard and appreciated Funktion-One at Concrete (Paris) almost 10 years ago, owner Romain Duquesne was keen to add his dream sound system to his own club. “The sound quality is essential,” he stated. “It is our business card. It represents the identity of the club, so I make it a point of honour.”
Livemusic’s Guillaume Rosset added: “Romain was already convinced he wanted to replace the sound system with Funktion-One. The brief was clear; get detailed, precise and consistent sound across the entire dance floor.”
[Read the Guillaume's interview below]
Livemusic used 3D modelling to help them design the system. The low ceiling height was an important consideration, as was the proximity of the speakers to the dancefloor. The 100 m² club can accommodate up to 250 people, meaning the sound system has to be installed very close to the audience, therefore a wide dispersion loudspeaker was required. As fortuitous timing would have it, Funktion-One had just launched Evo X.
Evo X is a significant development of the full range, completely horn-loaded loudspeaker, which utilises the latest Funktion-One waveguide technology to provide 90° horizontal dispersion and high SPL. Featuring the same isophase diffraction high frequency waveguide technology as Vero VX, Evo X operates across 50Hz-18kHz. At Le Baron, two Evo X loudspeakers combine with BR218 subwoofers for extended bass response. Four F81 loudspeakers around the periphery are delayed and in stereo on each side of the dance floor.
“The result is simply stunning,” enthused Guillaume. “Evo X has a large reserve of power. The sound is very clear, and the 15° vertical dispersion makes it possible to limit the reflections caused by the low ceiling. The integration of the speakers is really successful because it allows you to obtain a bubble of sound around the audience without ever being aggressive. Funktion-One sound is felt throughout the body and allows a very high sound level without ever being harsh on the audience’s ears.”
Le Baron moves into 2023 with a new Funktion-One sound system and fresh intent. “I want to make our mark in the top 10 of European techno clubs,” said Romain. “All this progress since the end of 2016 would not have been possible without the loyalty of our customers and the daily investment of my team. A club is the culmination of real teamwork.”
Interview: Livemusic's Guillaume Rosset
How did you approach this project? Were there any specific requests and/or challenges? If so, how did you answer them?
For this project, the client contacted Solution One directly via the Funktion-One website, so he was already convinced of the quality of the products and wanted to replace his sound system with the very famous loudspeaker brand. We then organised a first meeting on site to look at the space and discuss the client's needs. This first contact creates a bond of trust between the end customer and the integrator. Romain was already convinced he wanted to replace the sound system with Funktion-One. The brief was clear; get detailed, precise and consistent sound across the entire dance floor.
The main integration constraint of this project was the low ceiling height (less than 2.5m). Le Baron Club is in the city centre of old Lille, in the basement of an office building. At Livemusic, we systematically carry out 3D modelling of the room. This enables us to work efficiently in the office on a precise digital model, which facilitates the choice of the system to be implemented. The customer had a very clear idea in his head of the look of the loudspeakers anyway; he wanted to find the famous Funktion-One waveguide! This, therefore, immediately excluded the Compact Range.
We therefore had to think about how to reconcile the client's request with the various technical constraints of the site. The 100 m² club can accommodate up to 250 people. This means that the speakers are installed very close to the ears of the audience. It is therefore necessary to offer products with a very wide horizontal directivity. Funktion-One had just released a new product that meets all the criteria sought - the Evo X speaker!
Evo X's horizontal directivity of 90° is perfect for integration into an angle. It is a three-way, fully horn-loaded loudspeaker, which gives it excellent performance. The two main Evo X loudspeakers are completed by BR218 subwoofers and four F81 loudspeakers - delayed and in stereo on each side of the dance floor. The result is simply stunning! The proposed solution is as discreet as it is effective.
Did the venue’s music programming influence the choice of sound system?
Not really, as far as I'm concerned. I don't think that a brand or a speaker corresponds to a very specific musical style. For me, a well designed loudspeaker is one that gives way to the music, which remains neutral, whatever the piece is playing.
What do you like about the Funktion-One sound and what does it bring to this venue?
The fidelity of the sound, the great reserve of dynamics and the reliability of the products. The Funktion-One sound is felt throughout the body and allows playing at a very high sound level without ever being harsh on the audience's ears. The installation carried out at the Le Baron Club does not belie this reputation.
Is this your first Evo X project? What do you think about it?
Yes, absolutely, because the product has just been launched by Funktion-One, but other projects will soon follow with this new speaker. My first impression was already on the visual level. The look of this speaker is very impressive, a bit like the grille of a large American engine! Then, of course, there is the quality of manufacture that we perceive when approaching the Evo X and observing the design of the waveguide. We can imagine that the engineers must have spent some time modelling the waveguide.
How do you feel about the finished venue?
As far as listening is concerned, the loudspeaker has a large reserve of power, the sound is very clear and very wide bandwidth. The 15" woofer and the vertical directivity of 15° makes it possible to limit the reflections caused by the ceiling, which in Le Baron Club is very low. It is necessary to adjust the height of installation of the speaker as well as the pitch, so that the treble motor is aligned with the ears of the public. Once that is done, what happiness! I remember having listened to my different reference pieces one after the other, appreciating every detail with great pleasure. The associated electronics are also decisive in the final result, here we have installed amplifiers from FFA (Full Fat Audio) model FFA-8004 HD which each deliver 4x 2000 Watts under 4 Ohms and which integrate a DSP for signal processing and limiters.
Anything else you would like to add?
Le Baron Club has a solid reputation in the small world of techno clubs in the North of France and abroad (in Belgium and the Netherlands in particular). Unlike clubs catering for a less specialised musical programming, here the clientele only comes to listen to the DJ set and Romain, the owner, is proud to regularly welcome big names from the underground techno music scene. The integration of the speakers is really successful as it is very discreet and because it allows you to obtain a bubble of sound around the audience without ever being aggressive, despite the proximity to the ears. The adventure is not over, because Romain already wants to complete his installation with two Resolution 1 speakers in the DJ booth to extend the Funktion-One experience. Thanks to Chris from Solution One for his trust and loyalty in entrusting us with this project.