Ten15’s Marie, San Francisco



The sultry Marie can solder, rewire and fix any gear in a micro mini skirt.

Sound tech is a centerfold.
By Chrissi Mark

If ever there were to be a Club Systems’ covergirl Marissa Flagiello, aka Ten15 Tech Director Marie, would be it. When the 28-year-old bends over a console at the San Francisco superclub, DJs gawk at what’s under her mini skirt almost – almost – as much as how smoothly she switches out the mixer.

Though she still finds time to do side work as a fetish model, Flagiello’s 80-hour weeks at Ten15 are fueled by a local 24-hour Starbucks, and her know-how from careers she’s left behind: auto shop owner, DJ, sound board engineer, speaker cabinet designer/builder. Mostly though, she’s a self-made woman with a skill set born from technical aptitude, and a passion for how things work.

With a set designer mother, Flagiello grew up around theater prop shops, and was fascinated with power tools before she could ride a bike. She’ll boast that her mother taught her to use a power saw, but by the time she was a teenager Flagiello was on her own, dismantling any gear she could find.

Eclectic to say the least, Flagiello had a hand in designing the Electro Voice S-118 enclosure; was certified in welding after practicing in a helmet and hot pants; and brought her self-described DJ style of “Timo Maas meets DJ Irene” all the way to Thailand. Needless to say, she made quite an impression on Ten15 owner Ira Sandler when she installed a stereo system into his Ford Think – “one of those little electric glorified golf cart cars” – to drive around the Burning Man festival. So when Sandler needed a last-minute light tech at Ten15, he called on Flagiello. She’s been a staple at the club ever since.

The Main Room’s waterfall features Marie’s plumbing and LED install skills.

When we heard about you we knew we’d need an entire story. I’m pretty intense. There are pictures of me from the Fetish Ball – wearing six-inch heels with two-inch platforms, these black patent knee-high boots, and an all latex outfit – soldering RCA heads. I’ve welded a lot of the rigs around here, some custom tables for a VIP room, a track for the [High End Systems] x.Spots. That’s what I do: If it’s broken, I fix it.

Explain what else you do at Ten15. Are there regular problems? It’s a typical nightclub. You fix stuff that breaks over the weekend, whether it be through vomitus maximus or it just wore out; bulbs that burned out. Also disassembling from the previous weekend. A lot of our weekends are fairly technically involved. We do live bands, usually one or two, but this weekend we have five in one night, so I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Is there a separate space for live acts? Our Main Room has a full stage. We have a snake that runs to our sound and lighting booth. We’re using a 24-channel Mackie Pro Series mixer, and Bag End Crystal Series monitors for the stage.

I got very efficient at shuttling bands around. I set up patch bays for each of the instruments. I get all the drummers together beforehand, come up with a general consensus, and rent a set of drums for the night. So it’s just re-patching the keyboards and guitar guys, and I leave SLR snakes at their stage positions, even label them with color. We get bands on and off in under four minutes.

Sounds a lot better than a diva DJ rider. What about that side of the club? We have some pretty high-end equipment. Our [Main Room] mixer is an Allen & Heath Xone:92, and we have a secondary Pioneer DJM-600 mixer. The mixers in the other rooms are Rane MP44’s, they all have Formula Sound AVC2 limiters attached. We have six pair of Technics SL-1200MK2 turntables, four pair of Pioneer CDJ-1000 digital turntables, two Stanton Final Scratches and one Serato Scratch Live. All [four] booths are time aligned. I installed direct input patch bays into the side of the DJ consoles, so if [DJs] have an effects box, instead of a major surgical procedure it takes me 30 seconds to plug it into the system. I set it up so it’s ultra ultra modular.

Give us a typical fix-it you’ll do at Ten15. Last week we had a DJ spill a beer in a CDJ-1000MK2. That’s pretty typical, right? I brought it up to my office. I already knew which parts were going to burn out: It’s always the power supply that takes the dive, as well as the pitch control slider. Usually the motor controls are fine, they just need to get cleaned out; [same for] the laser lenses.

So I open the sucker up, replaced the power supply, replaced the pitch control and had the CDJ back to him in half an hour. He’s looking at me like, “damn, what the hell did you..?” And I’m like, “Enjoy, no drinks around my CDJs anymore.”

Where’d you learn how to do those things? When I started DJ-ing I didn’t have enough money to pay for the equipment so I decided to design and build my own. I had two Walkmen and a Y adapter. I figured out how the volume controls worked, how the faders worked, how crossfaders worked, and then actually built my own mixer. I was like 14.

That’s where my mom’s carpentry skills came in, and me just being the person that I am – I love technical stuff. It’s fun to play with. Seriously, what other job in the world lets you play with multi-million dollar sound and lighting systems and get paid for it?

How about video? I recently installed two night vision cameras in our DJ booth: One looking from the back of the DJ out into the crowd, and another looking from the crowd’s perspective up at the DJ. We can video mix those in on the four video screens in the Main Room and another video screen that projects it into the Front Room, and Blue Room.

We use an Edirol V4 mixer as well as an Edirol DV7 video hard drive, on top of the two cameras, and a Phillips Pro Video DVD player. The cool thing about the DV7 is you can set it up for a time strobe, or a time change-over, so you can have it flip-flop between programs on a timed set-up. It also has [a feature that works like] pitch control.

You said that you’ve made the systems “idiot proof.” How? You’d be amazed. Formula Sound AVC2 limiters are blessings in disguise: They stop people from clipping the system. We have a jellyfish in the Main Room, which hooks into BSS Soundweb so I can control the bass, mids, treble and volume of every room in the facility from the lighting booth. I have safeties built into all the MP44 mixers where they can’t overdrive the through the gains into the trim knobs.

I got custom-built power supplies for the Technics, which are a higher torque and have a much lower failure rate: They’re pretty much bulletproof now. I also designed and built receptacles in all them for white LEDs, so I don’t worry about light bulbs burning out.

For the guys who integrate Serato, I tell them to let me know before the night. I plug in their Serato and just leave them the USB cord for their mixer. I found that you give the DJ as much control as they need to be creative, but not enough control to do something stupid.

Also I can tell when any of the DJs are clipping the system because the amp rack for the rest of the building is right next to the lighting booth. At a glance and I can look at all of our Crest Audio amplifiers and know if [the DJs are] screwing with my system. But the majority of our resident DJs, and even our guest DJs, have enough respect for me that they don’t usually fool around too much.

I’m imagining you doing all this at once. It’s actually not as chaotic as you’d think, and I tell ya it is so much darn fun.

It almost seems like you’re doing the job of three or four guys. You fall into a rhythm. For me it’s a little easier because being a DJ, I know where the music’s going to go. And I research; I find out who’s spinning and listen to their music so I understand how they react, how they play, what they do.

You listen to it as you’re welding? I listen to it as I’m doing my daily chores: hanging lights, hanging balloons, hanging inflatables, sometimes setting up the Kryogenifex.

It sounds like you’re involved in every single technical aspect. Just about.

Except for plumbing. Actually I do plumbing as well. This lady flushed her cell phone down the toilet and I ended up having to fix that.

Oh man. I meant that as a joke. Like I said, I love technical stuff. The 20' x 60' waterfall in the Main Room, I did all the plumbing for that. We had a certified plumber come in and some of the piping leaked, so I cut all of that out and redid all of the plumbing. When our regular plumber came in he asked if I wanted a job.

Ha! And you’re not even wearing overalls. When the club is open I wear ultra femme-y stuff, the typical hoochie attire for a club: the little mini skirts, the tank tops, little Kangol hats, I even have gigantic pink fuzzy leg warmers that I got when I was in the AVN [Adult Video News convention].

You’re just as efficient in thigh-high boots. I wore a micro miniskirt from the AVN when Paul van Dyk was here. PVD uses these two titanium laptops, and he has this little module that plugs in between one and the mixer. I crawled up under the DJ rig, which is entirely glass, and all these people are staring at my ass as I’m plugging in wires in a miniskirt and high heels. And Paul’s like, man, this is great.



Marie’s Gear at Ten15
AUDIO (selected)
VIP Room
4 - Klipsch MCM1900 subwoofer cabinets
2 - Crest Audio CA 12 amplifiers
2 - Crest Audio Pro 8001 amplifiers
2 - EAW DCT2 supertweeter arrays
2 - EAW FR155 HR full-range monitors
2 - Klipsch MCM1900 midrange cabinets
2 - Klipsch MCM1900 high cabinets
2 - PAS TOC 212 cabinets
2 - Pioneer CDJ-1000 digital vinyl turntables
2 - Technics SL-1200MK2 turntables
1 - Crest Audio CA 9 amplifier
1 - Crest Audio Pro 8002 amplifier
1 - Formula Sound AVC2 limiter
1 - Rane MP 44 mixer
Main Room
12 - Bag End ELF M2 sub enclosures
6 - EAW BV535 mid-bass enclosures
4 - EAW DCT2 supertweeter arrays
4 - EAW MH692iE midrange enclosures
3 - Technics SL-1200MK2 turntables
3 - Crest Audio Pro 8002 amplifiers
3 - Crest Audio Pro 7001 amplifiers
2 - Bag End Crystal mid/high monitors
2 - Crest Audio Pro 3301 amplifiers
2 - Crest Audio Pro 6001 amplifiers
2 - Crest Audio Pro 10001 amplifiers
2 - EAW FR155 HR full-range cabinets
2 - Pioneer CDJ-1000MK2 digital vinyl turntables
1 - Allen & Heath Xone:92 mixer
1 - Bag End ELF M2 module
1 - Crest Audio Pro 4601 amplifier
1 - EAW SB250 sub enclosure (DJ monitor)
1 - Mackie 244PRO mixing desk
1 - Pioneer DJM-600 mixer (optional)
1 - Rane MP 2016a rotary mixer with EQ (optional)
1 - Rane Serato Scratch LIVE (optional)
1 - Stanton Final Scratch (optional)
System Control
4 - BSS Audio Soundweb 9088iis processors
1 - BSS Audio Soundweb 9008iis output expander
1 - BSS Audio sw9010 “jellyfish” remote control
1 - Aphex 720/722 Dominator II limiter
*Conditioners and output drivers by Furman Sound

13 - High End Systems DataFlash AF1000 fixtures
8 - High End Systems Color Pro luminaires
8 - High End Systems Emulator fixtures
8 - High End Systems TrackSpot fixtures
6 - High End Systems Intellabeam 700 HX fixtures
6 - High End Systems x.Spot moving heads
4 - Clay Paky Golden Scan HP fixtures
4 - custom nitrogen injectors
1 - Clay Paky Astroscan fixture
1 - Coemar Venus 1200 fixture
1 - Flying Pig Systems Wholehog PC II controller
1 - High End Systems Color Pro controller
1 - Martin Atomic 3000 fixture
1 - Martin Magnum Pro 2000 fogger
1 - MDG Atmosphere hazer
1 - custom 3-watt full-color laser
*LED lighting fixtures by Color Kinetics

4 - Sharp XR20X LCD projectors
3 - Elo TouchSystems [model?] touch panel monitors
2 - Accele low-light wide-angle cameras
1 - Ben Q PB7220 LCD video projector
1 - Ben Q PB7220 LCD video projector
1 - Edirol V4 video mixer
1 - Edirol DV7 Video Canvas
1 - Phillips DVD player

Old Club, New Chicks
Marie recaps some of the changes at 1015 since it was featured on the cover of CSI in January 2002.
Aside from the additions to the equipment list [see page 26], the Front Room was demolished and rebuilt. The lighting system was newly interfaced, and the formerly isolated Blue Room was opened up into a VIP balcony over the Main Room.

But Flagiello’s hands were mostly wet in the Main Room’s new 20' x 60' waterfall, including its plumbing and the programming of its Color Kinetics LED fixtures. Though not waterproof, they’re installed to stay mostly dry. “The LEDs that can be submerged are totally awesome,” she says. “The major problem, though, is that the electrics that drive them and what they clip into can’t be submerged.” So she encased them in waterproofing and switched from chlorinated water to water treated with bromine.

Flagiello is currently absorbed in remodeling the club’s basement, with JK Sound and interior designer Scott Peterson. “These major I-beams run down the center of the room,” she says. “And some of the previous electricians, to put it nicely, were on crack when they did this.” Their faux pas was routing the power and electric above the I-beams so electrical conduits hung just eight feet above the ground.

In typical Marie style, Flagiello is gutting and rebuilding the whole thing. “I pulled a good 3,000 yards of cable out,” she says. “We’re talking snakes that haven’t been used in five years, power cables that have been cut, BX, Romex, DMX, phone lines, DSL lines. You name it, I pulled it out of there.” She blames the substandard work on the electrician’s lack of knowledge of club operations, and vows the new system will be enduring, and possibly worthy of another article in CSI.


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Copyright 2006 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2006 TESTA Communications