Supersize Me!



Three big-ass clubs install equally bodacious video rigs.
By John Landers and Chrissi Mark

Myth, Minneapolis
As the race to create the club that does it all continues, Minneapolis’ 36,000-square-foot Myth made its debut last December intending to be an equally reputable dance club and live venue for national touring acts. And while there are separate – and all are massive – sound and lighting systems for the two event types, one central video booth controls a multitasking system of visual play on screens, LCDs and TVs throughout the 4,000-cap club’s four levels.

The resourceful Randy Keeley of St. Paul, Minn.-based Metro Sound & Lighting (metrosoundlighting. com), who headed the install of the sound, lighting and video systems, insisted Myth’s visual setup please finicky bands and DJs alike.

“We didn’t have the room for a 40-foot wide performing area, then 15 feet on either side for speakers and then another 10 feet outside there for video,” he says. “Somehow we had to put the video where the speakers were.” Since the sight of speaker-blocking screens might turn away many tours, Keeley “somehow” discovered a non-offensive solution. Though reluctant to give it up, his secret lies in a France-based company, Screen Research (, which makes projection screens that are, its site states, “acoustically transparent.” At Myth the two 12-foot wide special screens, which can also slide up and down, are set in front of the live sound rigs, ElectroVoice X-fil boxes, flown on either side of the stage.

The video, like the sound and lighting, showed no favoritism to club nor live nights from the design phase, according to Head Tech Tony Mamoud, who mans the video booth most nights for both kinds of shows. For live acts – particularly big names like Nickleback and Fall Out Boy – the club takes on a concert venue appearance, with videographers providing live feeds of the stage for visual access on all levels.

When the entertainer is a DJ – The Crystal Method, DJ Skribble, Junior Sanchez and DJ AM – Mamoud uses feeds from the two in-house three-chip Sony cameras, which are remote controllable. And then he gets a bit more creative with the video programs. “For club nights, we use two different types of software;” Mamoud says. “We use an ArKaos to display different, random images like movie clips, short movie effects, 3-D effects. We also have a Tidal generator that actually generates tidals, and different fonts to overlay on top of the video image in the background.”

Mamoud also controls the club’s 22 LCD screens, front quad-display video wall and four 150-plus inch screens from the booth’s Crestron touch panel. More screens were being added at press time, as the roof-top all-white Ultra Lounge, and other VIP-friendly areas – where time-delayed EV speakers allow for conversation – were getting tweaked with post-opening finishing touches. –CM

Do-it-all Myth can run dancefloor video throughout its 35,000 square feet; but for concerts the big, acoustic-friendly screens are all about the live show.

Myth Gear
AUDIO (Selected)
80 - Electrovoice EVID C8.2LP ceiling speakers
43 - Electrovoice FRi 2082 speakers
16 - Electrovoice P3000RL amplifiers
14 - Electrovoice XSub subwoofers
11 - Electrovoice P900RL amplifiers
5 - Electrovoice P900RT amplifiers
5 - Electrovoice P1200RL amplifiers
3 - Electrovoice Xfil1 speakers
3 - Electrovoice Xfill2 speakers
2 - Rane DA216A distribution amplifiers
1 - Modula Autopatch 32x32

Main DJ Booth
4 - Technics SL-1200MK5 turntables
2 - Pioneer CDJ-1000MK2 digital vinyl turntables
2 - Pioneer DVJ-X1 DVD turntables
1 - Pioneer DJM-600 mixer
1 - Pioneer DJM-909 mixer
1 - Rane MP 2016a rotary mixer
1 - Rane XP 2016a expander

LIGHTING (Selected)
32 - Martin Professional CX-10 color changers
20 - Martin Professional Pro918 scanners
20 - Martin Professional Mac250 Krypton fixtures
12 - Martin Professional Wizard Extreme effects
8 - Martin Professional Atomic-3000 strobes
2 - Martin Professional Club Smoke systems
1 - Martin Professional LightJockey 2
1 - Martin Professional LightJockey Touch
1 - Martin Professional LightJockey Fingers
1 - Tomcat custom truss system

VIDEO (Selected)
16 - DirecTV H10 HD DSS receivers
16 - Sharp LC37D7U SP 37" LCD TVs
6 - Optikinetics Solar 250 projectors
5 - Sony 50” plasma screens
5 - Hitachi CPX1250 projectors and screens
2 - Sony DXC990 cameras
1 - ArKaos media software
1 - Crestron AV2 control system
1 - Crestron TPS-4500LB touch panel
1 - M-Audio Oxygen 8 MIDI video controller
1 - Panasonic Ramsa AGMX70 video mixer
1 - Toshiba SD3980 DVD player

Peccadillo’s, Erie

The Erie, Penn.-based nightlife nexus known as Peccadillo’s is actually three venues in one: Peccadillo’s Nightclub and Restaurant, Woody’s Sports Bar and Outlaws Country Bar. As the city’s largest and most diverse nightspot, Peccadillo’s needed a video system as big and versatile as the club itself.

Matt Orton, of Synergy Pro Audio and Lighting (, was called in to handle the extensive installation. To get the greatest visual impact, he spec–ed seven supersized projection screens for the job. While the latest and greatest flat screen monitors have their advantages, “you’re not going to get 100-plus inches with a plasma display,” Orton asserts.

“There are the four big screens [in the main room], and then there’s a letter box one on the backside,” he explains. “In the back room, there’s an even larger screen. The largest screen is actually in the sports bar.” There are also 20-odd conventional TVs throughout the country and sports bars.

Feeding all of these screens with captivating video content might seem like a challenge, but Orton made sure that Peccadillo’s would have plenty of visual possibilities. “We’ve got
a big matrix switch that we can use to assign ambient videos or even a football game to any screen, in any configuration,” he notes.

In addition to running Synergy, which serves many of the city’s nightclubs, Orton enjoys a regular VJ residency at Peccadillo’s. Orton uses his own computer-based system when performing, a program called Virtual DJ.

Orton’s video content is provided via hard drive. “I subscribe to ScreenPlay, and they actually send me MPEGs.” The ScreenPlay ( subscription service works like a traditional DJ record pool, except that end-users receive pre-formatted MPG2 video files instead of 12-inch vinyl singles.

As for format, Orton’s play list tends to be rather eclectic. “I usually do more older stuff, like classic rock, eighties, early nineties, retro pop. I [include] a lot of unique videos that people either haven’t seen in a long time or videos that they’ve never seen before. It’s a different approach.”

Out on the main dancefloor, however, more mainstream fare dominates the musical menu. “The front room is pretty much mainstream Top 40,” he adds. “They’ll do music videos, ambient and PowerPoint.”

Being able to instantly switch the visual feeds around to suit the Peccadillo’s crowd is a significant advantage, especially with all of the special events and special guests (everyone from Tommy Lee to Don Vito) that the club hosts. The versatile Synergy-installed system can also be easily adapted to meet the club’s evolving video needs, so future upgrades or interior design changes can be accommodated with a minimum of difficulty or expense. –JL

Peccadillo’s half-dozen Elite Screens are mega-sized because plasmas just weren’t big enough.

Peccadillo’s Gear
AUDIO (selected)
Main Room

28 - EV-loaded 15" subwoofers
4 - Ashly MFA-8000 amplifiers
4 - JBL Control 28 speakers
4 - Synergy Xtreme SXD-212 speakers
2 - Ashly FTX-1501 amplifiers
2 - Numark CDX turntables
1 - Ram Audio BUX 2.8 amplifier
1 - Ram Audio LSM-266 system controller
1 - Rane MP44 mixer
Sports Bar
6 - Crest CPT-2 speakers
2 - Ashly FTX-1501 amplifiers
2 - Synergy Xtreme custom tri-amp speakers
1 - Behringer MDX 4600 compressor/limiter
1 - Behringer Ultragraph Pro FBQ 6200 EQ
1 - Crest Perfomance CPX-900 amplifier
1 - Numark CM200USB Mixer
1 - PCDJ DAC-2 Controller
1 - Peavey PV1200 amplifier
1 - Rane ME15 EQ
1 - Rane Sac 23 crossover
1 - Rane SM26 splitter/mixer
1 - Virtual DJ

LIGHTING (selected)
Main Room

8 - Chauvet Mini Legend Wash moving heads
4 - High End Systems Intellibeam 700HXs scanners
3 - High End Systems I-Spot moving heads
1 - Chauvet DMX-40 Control Center
1 - DPSS half-Watt laser
1 - High End Systems AF1000 Dataflash strobe
1 - High End Systems AF1000 Mini controller
1 - High End Systems Hog PC
1 - High End Systems Trackspot scanner
Sports Bar
4 - Chauvet Intimidator color changers
4 - Chauvet ZX-30RG scanners
2 - High End Systems AF1000 Dataflash strobes
1 - Leviton/NSI MLC 128R controller

Main Room

6 - Infocus X2 projectors
4 - Elite Screens CineTension 120" motorized screens
3 - Sylvania 6427GFF 27" CRT TVs
2 - Sony DVD players
1 - Edirol V-4 mixer
1 - Elite Screens CineTension 100" motorized screen
1 - Elite Screens CineTension 84" motorized screen
1 - Marshall VA-3 MK2 monitor system
1 - Numark DVD01 player
1 - Sign SV88 8x8 matrix routing switcher
1 - Sony VCR
Sports Bar
8 - RCA DRD-450RGA Direct TV receivers
2 - Dish Network 311 receivers
1 - Draper 192" projection screen
1 - Optoma EP739 projector
1 - Sony DVD Player
1 - Sony KDFE50A10 50" projection TV
1 - Sony VCR
1 - Sylvania 6427GFF 27" CRT TVs
Country Bar
4 - Sylvania 6427GFF 27" CRT TVs

Tootsies, Miami

Tootsies Cabaret is something of an institution in Miami. The self-proclaimed “supreme gentleman’s club” of south Florida has been around for longer than most venues in the industry; obviously the powers-that-be at Tootsies know what they’re doing.

It’s no surprise, then, that Tootsies turned to proven professionals for the venue’s recent video installation. As part of a somewhat-overdue makeover, Sound Stage Systems ( was hired to design and install a sophisticated video system that would be just as well-endowed and flexible as the club’s dancers.

“The owner wanted a state-of-the-art video system with the ability to send any one of the 24 video inputs to any of the 45 plasma displays or four jumbo video screens,” explains Karl Kieslich of Sound Stage Systems. “He wanted all of this to be done by a touch screen monitor or by wall-mounted LCD controllers in the VIP rooms.”

The interconnected system allows operators to perform some enticing video tricks. “You can display drink specials or upcoming events on any screen,” Kieslich says. “There’s a wireless camera that is used by the staff as they walk around the club. This info is sent back to the control room where it is edited and send out to the displays. You can also use the PowerPoint system and do all kinds of neat stuff.”

The biggest technical challenge was giving each private dance room a dedicated A/V source and volume control. “That took some work,” Kieslich admits. “The entire system is one of a kind. We designed some of the control interface to make all this happen.” Was the effort worth it? “The customers love it,” maintains the installer. “They can choose their own video and/or music source and adjust the volume as they like. It’s their own private little club.”

As for the choice of hardware, Kieslich is particularly pleased with the performance of the Panasonic plasma screens he installed in the club. “Plasmas are a great video display to use,” he notes. “They are low profile and produce an awesome image.” Kieslich is digging the cost/benefit ratio of the new breed of plasma screens, too. “The price on plasmas have been falling weekly. You can now get 42-inch HD plasmas for around $1,600. The days of those big, bulky TV sets hanging on even larger metal brackets are gone,” he says. “Thank God!” –JL

Tootsies is a veteran gentlemen’s club, but its interconnected video system is young, hot and very well endowed.

Tootsies Gear
45 - Panasonic 42" plasma screens
26 - SAT TV receivers
8 - BSS BLU-10 programmable controllers
4 - Eiki DLP LCD projectors
4 - Numark VM03 rackmount video monitors
4 - Panasonic 12' video screens
2 - BSS Audio BLU-32 signal processors I/O expanders
1 - BSS Audio BLU-80 signal processor
1 - custom video switching matrix software package
1 - Knox 64x64 “Chameleon” video matrix switcher
1 - Dell PC with Elo TouchSystems monitor


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Copyright 2006 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2006 TESTA Communications