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Held on the island of Sentosa, ZoukOut is now in its 14th year, and attracts 40,000 dance music fans from across the globe. The event deploys the latest and the promoters are keen to push the audio envelope on an annual basis.
Production manager Jeremy Boon is Zouk’s resident DJ, and has pioneered great sound at the Singaporean club from its inception. Boon works closely with long-established production house The Show Company, which provides and sets up all equipment. The Show Company saw a great opportunity to deploy its new STM system on ZoukOut’s larger Moon stage, which hosts EDM acts and DJs across the two days.
“We went through the different riders, crunched what the DJs needed and found that our new STM system was the perfect fit for all,” says Show Company owner Jo Gan. “Before STM was released, we used the NEXO GEO-T and D systems which served us well for many years, but when the new modular line array came out, we jumped at the chance because our past experience with NEXO was that good.”
The STM system used on the Moon stage consisted of 12xM46 main and 12xB112 bass cabinets flown per side, supplemented by 36xS118 ground stacked subs. An additional 3xM28 omni cabinets were used below each array for downfill, making their South East Asian debut.
At the DJ booth, 3xS118 subs and 3xM28 omnis per side in a L/R configuration provided the SPLs. The entire system was driven by 16x NEXO Universal Amp Racks (NUAR).
NEXO systems specialist Mark Bollenberg flew in from Australia to support the team at ZoukOut. “At NEXO we are very hands on,” he says. “We were here when the system arrived at the Show Co warehouse to help the team get settled because we always make it a point to support our customers, regardless of the show size. For this show, I liaised extensively with Show Company’s audio chief Jon Sim on the setup needed to get the best out of the system. The first thing we did was use the NS-1 simulation software which showed us how many boxes we needed to achieve the sound we wanted. The SPL for Moon can reach 120dB.”
Also on-site was Nicolas Kirsch, NEXO’s sales manager for Asia. “The transient sound of the NEXO boxes literally passes through your body,” he said after the event. “Although the sub bass system was on the floor due to lack of rigging space, the low end just ran through the dense crowd of 20,000 people. Due to the configuration designed by Jon and Mark, the sub level is the same at distances of 5m and 60m. The same applies to the LF/HF/MF levels, which are evenly distributed and are crisp and clean with huge headroom and near zero distortion. Not only can one enjoy the music and DJ’s vocals and appreciate the most intricate details in the program, but, after more than 10 hours of such high SPL you leave without any fatigue, feeling ready for the same treatment the following day.”
“This is a very stable system,” adds Jon Sim, who, together with Bollenberg, was sound engineer for most of the stage acts. “We played at more than 110 dBA for so many hours and STM maintained a great sonic performance throughout. We definitely played louder this year compared to other years. In the past we would cautiously push the sound levels, bringing them up slowly, but this year, from the second act, we went full throttle.”
The audience at the 14th ZoukOut revelled in unprecedented levels of audio quality as they enjoyed DJs and acts including Skrillex, Above and Beyond, Nicky Romero and Steve Angello.
Thanks to Elissa Nadine, the glamorous dep editor at E-TECH ASIA magazine, who wrote the original article, and took many of the photos.