Lucky students at Northampton University will now benefit from impressive meeting and entertainment facilities at The Platform, a brand-new town centre complex in the heart of Northampton. Run by the NU Students Union, the venue contains a nightclub, café bar, art shop, roof terrace and meeting spaces, and has been equipped with the latest NEXO sound reinforcement products by installation specialist Fabtronic.
Entry to The Platform’s multi-purpose facility is via a modern airy café bar, styled with bare brickwork, pendant lighting and light wood furniture. Electrical and heating elements are openly visible in the ceiling space, and Fabtronic has used the lighting grids to mount the super-compact NEXO ID24 full-range loudspeakers which deliver background music in the café. Six of these units have been used, with 120° x 40° dispersion, with subbass reinforcement provided by 2x S110 subbass cabinets. The whole system for the café runs off a single NXAMP4x1 power amplifier/controller, in a central rack with Yamaha processor and CD/iPhone playback capability.
The heart of The Platform are its club rooms, the larger of which lends itself to live gigs, while the basement space is a dedicated DJ space.
“The live room has to be flexible,” explains Chris Hobbins of Fabtronic, “it can host bands, comedy, acoustic sessions as well as DJs and club nights. It was formerly a nightclub, which has been stripped back to its present ‘industrial’ styling, so it has a straightforward acoustic.”
Although they hadn’t heard it when they specified it, the Fabtronic team had so much history with the NEXO brand that they opted for the new mid-size line array, the GEO M10, as the main PA for the venue. The system has been set up with left and right flown arrays, each with 3x M10 modules flown below a 15” MSUB subbass cabinet. The system’s low end is further boosted by 2x RS18 18” subs at the back of the stage.
The front part of the live venue is set up as a bar, with magnificent chandeliers and retro glitter balls. Here, around the long bar, a more conversational level of sound is achieved with 6x NEXO PS10 point-source speakers, and a couple of LS18 subs, all controlled by a Yamaha MRX7 processor infrastructure.
Fabtronic, which has also installed all the rigging and lighting systems, has considerable experience with this type of venue, much of it gained through the company’s rental arm. “Yes, we have a lot of experience with DJs and some of them can try to push the output,” says Hobbins, “but using the M10 means we can give them a lot of headroom so there’s no chance of damage to the system.”
The Platform continues down below ground, to a comfortably appointed contemporary club room, where DJs rule. Here, Fabtronic has chosen a classic NEXO PS Series configuration, with a pair of PS15s pole mounted over LS18 subs, using smaller PS8 cabinets throughout the low-ceilinged room.
Yamaha VXC and VXS loudspeakers take the music into the toilets, and out onto the roof terrace, and the new ProVisionaire software-based control and display interface allows the manager to have control of the venue-wide audio systems from the office.
Now being marketed as a premium evening destination to both students and general public, The Platform aims to offer high-quality entertainments at affordable prices. With four different systems within, it is a showcase for NEXO products as well as Fabtronic, one of the UK’s leading dealers and installers of the brand. “The sound quality is unimpeachable, but it is also a winner in price terms, enabling us to hit tight budgets, and we know it is fit-and-forget product.”
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