Silly Rabbit!

 

 

 

Octane’s for kids! This Vero Beach teen club
is so adult it has a hard time keeping
the grown-ups away.

By Elisabeth Gibbons

Before Octane, Vero Beach, Florida didn’t know what a nightclub was, and forget about a nightclub for teens.
For kids, “nightlife” was hanging out in movie theater and mall parking lots. Obviously the community and their parents weren’t too thrilled with that,
but what else could they do?
It was John Schaffer and his wife B.J. who first identified Vero Beach’s need for nighttime activities for the pre-21 set. “My mom got the idea from reading letters that teens had written to the local paper, complaining that there was nothing for them to do,” says Rachael James, one of the general managers of Octane, and one of the Schaffer’s daughters. “It was a big problem with the teens here. They wanted something a little more mature than just a skating rink.” And who knew that once the place was built, parents and older siblings would be digging it too?

Lighting
Main Dance Floor:
64 - American DJ Crystal moonflower effects
8 - American DJ Mega Strobes
8 - American DJ PP-DMX20L power packs
8 - High End Systems Trackspot scanners
4 - High End Systems Color Pro HXi fixtures
4 - High End Systems Studio Spot 250 fixtures
2 - American DJ Flash Tube strobes
2 - American DJ Rampage moonflower effects
2 - Elation Barrel Tech II effects
1 - American DJ Flash 1-C controller
1 - American DJ SS-DMX/Matrix strobe controller
1 - Martin Light Jockey1- 250-quarter-watt laser
1 - PC computer (for above)
6 - Elation Waterfall effects

Audio
Main Dance Floor:

4 - CORE Scorched Earth BH218 dual 18-inch subwoofers
4 - CORE Scorched Earth MH-212 mid-hi cabinets
4 - Crown CL4 amplifiers
2 - CORE Scorched Earth BH418EXT horn flare extensions
1 - Crown CL1 amplfier
1- Shure P4800 digital signal processor
1 - slot tweeter OEM driver
Foreground Sound System:
11 - JBL Control Contractor 28T-60 speakers
4 - JBL Control Contractor 25T speakers
4 - Lowell 8-inch ceiling speakers (restrooms)
2 - Behringer DSP1000 delay units
2 - Crown CH-1 amplifier
1 - Behringer GEQ3102 equalizer

DJ Booth:
2 - CORE Custom “Double Decker” CDJ-1000 mounts
2 - JBL EON10 G2 powered booth monitors
2 - Pioneer CDJ-1000 CD players
2 - Technics SL1200MKII turntables, Ortofon cartridges
1 - Behringer CX2310 booth monitor crossover
1 - Behringer DSP1124P feedback destroyer
1 - Behringer DSP1400 booth monitor compressor/limiter
1 - Behringer GEQ3102 booth monitor equalizer
1 - CORE Dual CD Drawer Guard
1 - Denon DN2100F dual CD player
1 - JBL EON15 powered booth monitor subwoofer
1 - Rane MP24Z mixing console
1 - Shure SM58 wired microphone
1 - Shure ULXP24/58 wireless handheld microphone
1 - Sony MDR-V700J headphones

 

Upscale for the Underaged

Octane was meant from the get-go to be an upscale nightclub for teens. This wasn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill cheese-fest: It had to be a place that would impress the kids and blow the parents away. “We wanted to make it as close to an alcoholic club as possible, upscale and not kiddie-like. We have a regular bar with a red granite top and bar stools, where we serve non-alcoholic drinks. We try to make every aspect of it like a regular nightclub,” explains James.
And it is a “real” nightclub. Besides a large dancefloor and the bar, there’s a they also have a small arcade area with about nine video games.
Making it even more cutting-edge and teen-friendly, Octane works on an Intercard System. The kids pay the cover up front. But when they get inside, they put their cash on a card, which acts like a debit card that they can use at Octane over and over again. Everything – the video games, the bar, and the kitchen – runs on the card. “It’s so the kids don’t have to worry about losing their cash. When we were looking into our video games and computer systems, we thought it was a good idea,” explains James.
The only thing that the Schaffers needed to make Octane just as viable as other nightclubs was a kick-ass sound and lighting system. Luckily for CORE Systems in Houston, Texas, the Schaffer family had no problem giving them complete control over the systems’ setups. “It was carte blanche. This was the most fun job I think I ever worked on,” says Shawn Byrne, project sales manager for CORE. “They gave me complete and total control. They put their total trust in us. And when somebody does that, it makes me want to deliver even more; it makes me want to exceed their expectations.”
So when Byrne was presented with the 6,000 square-foot, former Knights of Columbus hall that was soon to become Octane, he knew that this place was going to need “sledgehammer” sound and lighting. With today’s teens being raised on MTV, their motto might as well be, “the more flash, the better.” And a younger crowd demands high energy, with lots of lights and power.

“Bat To The Head” Bass

For Octane’s 1,254-square-foot (33’ x 38’) dancefloor, CORE specified an active three-way sound system utilizing CORE’s proprietary Scorched Earth line of speaker cabinets. Four CORE MH-212 speakers – fully horn-loaded cabinets that feature two 600-watt 12-inch drivers, a two-inch compression driver, and a slot tweeter – take care of the mid’s and hi’s.
“I knew I had to put in a massive, overkill sound system, and one of the first things I told them was that we’re putting in walk-in subwoofers,” explained Byrne. “Of course they said, ‘What the hell is a walk-in subwoofer?’ And I explained that you could dance inside this subwoofer. Their eyes lit up.”
So, adding to the power of the mid/hi cabinets are two enormous CORE Scorched Earth BH418 bass cabinets, perched like altars in the front two corners of the dancefloor. Each of these bass cabinets features four (yes, four) 600-watt 18-inch drivers stacked in a vertical line at the back of the sub-cabinet. This line of drivers pushes the air in a true straight horn-loaded cabinet measuring seven feet tall by seven feet deep, by nearly six feet across the horn mouth. “For that size venue, those two big walk-ins are absolutely moronic – beyond stupid overkill,” admits Byrne.
But James says that the subwoofers are a big hit with the kids: “Kids dance in front of them all night; they stand right inside them and dance all night! Some kids will go right in and not leave until they go home. They think it’s unique and are impressed by them.”
Powering up the dancefloor speaker system is a combination of five Crown amplifiers that deliver a total of 10,400 watts. The processing for the dancefloor is handled by a Shure P4800 digital signal processing unit, and each output has its own crossover, equalization, limiting, and delay with 24-bit accuracy. Running at 65% of its capacity, the system’s just low enough to not disturb the neighbors, who are a mere 300 yards away, in the opposite direction of the giant horns. “It’s still 160dB at the front door, so on the dancefloor it’s probably about 110 or 112dB,” estimates Byrne.


Turntables or CD’s?

CORE was also given complete control over the DJ booth, down to the very last detail. “I couldn’t even ask them if they wanted turntables or CDs, because they would say, ‘What are you asking us for? You’re the expert,’” laughs Byrne. They let us dictate to the architect the parameters of the booth – how big it needed to be, where it needed to be located, how big the dancefloor space needed to be, the distance between the walls and the drink rails.”
The settled-upon mixer is the Rane MP24z. Also in the booth are two Technics 1200’s outfitted with Ortofon cartridges, one Denon DN2100 dual CD player, two Pioneer CDJ-1000 CD players, and both a Shure wired and a wireless handheld microphone system.
The DJ monitor system is specified with two CORE-customized JBL EON10-G2 speakers, flanking a JBL EON15-G2 subwoofer – what Byrne calls “an outrageous monitor system from hell.” This stereo, active three-way system provides clear sound at really high volume levels, and the subwoofer brings the bassline right into the booth. This booth is ideal for a teen club DJ, whether he’s throwing on Top 40 hits or underground house. However, in Octane’s case, the music of choice is hip-hop. Their most popular night this past summer was their Wednesday hip-hop night, which would draw about 700 kids weekly.

Subtle or Blinding?

Octane needed a strong lighting system to complement their booming audio. Their low, 16-foot ceilings required a good number of fixtures to achieve proper coverage for the large dancefloor. The resulting system is high-energy and versatile. It can be both subtle, for the early evening crowd, and “almost blinding” if you really work it late at night. “It’s a very high impact light show, but at the same time it has a lot of subtlety for early evening in the amazing Crystal chasing system on custom rings. So it has some subtlety and it has some depth, but when you get into the late night hours, it’ll just blind your ass if you want to get crazy,” explains Byrne.
Eight High End Systems Trackspot scanners running down both sides of the dancefloor, four on each side, start the design. CORE then employed four High End Color Pro HXi fixtures for a saturated color wash. Octane’s strobe effect is achieved with eight American DJ 750-watt Mega-Strobes. Centered over the dancefloor are four High End System Studio Spot 250’s, dropped about three feet below the grid on CORE custom mounts. Sixty-four American DJ Crystal moonflower effects help fill in the floor with some early evening ambiance. The Crystals are mounted in groups of eight, on CORE custom mounting rings, with 32 discreet channels of DMX control.
And how’s this for sound and lighting working hand-in-hand? Two American DJ Rampage fixtures project multiple beams of light from within the mouth of the Scorched Earth subwoofers, as a two-meter American DJ Flash Tube flickers deep in the throat of each.
The finishing touch to the lightshow is the laser system. With the low ceiling height, bounce mirrors, and the new DMX scanning head, the 250 milliwatts of coherent light is more than enough to turn up the vibe at Octane. Utilizing the wall adjacent to the dancefloor as a projection surface, six Elation Waterfall effects provide a continuously variable color-changing backdrop to the dancefloor. To add more energy to the show, two Elation Barrel Tech II mirror effects flank the laser system.


Can’t Keep the Adults Out!

The Schaffers and their children were more than pleased with Byrne’s finished product “I was amazed,” says James. “I went to some clubs in Palm Beach. I knew our sound and lighting was great, but these other clubs – not even teen clubs, but regular nightclubs – they didn’t even have anything close to what we have. It made me appreciate everything. CORE did an amazing job.” The kids and their parents were equally impressed.
Octane has an open-door policy for parents; they’re allowed to come in and check the place out. Sometimes they don’t leave! And according to James, a lot of people in their twenties show up after last call at the bars to come and dance the rest of the night away. But, for the time being, Octane is still all about providing a safe place for teens to hang out at night. “At Octane, we’re promoting the fact that they can go out and dance and have a good time, and not drink. They appreciate that it’s a place they can go and party and be safe,” says James.


 

     
Copyright 2002 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2002 TESTA Communications