Brothers Jamie and Matt Dunn have taken over, and transformed, Zinc Nightclub on Southend's famous clubbing strip, Lucy Road. Looking to develop and promote some of the best nights in town, they approached local installation company Essex Sound & Light (ESL), tasking them with creating an electrifiying sound and lighting backdrop.
Recently accoladed as 'BEDA Installation Company of the Year', ESL had been recommended to the venue by one of the club promoters. Having designed a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system for Zinc (based around KV2 sound reinforcement) ESL's MD Mike Glover then leased the entire package on a three-year basis.
Explaining the rationale, he said: "The club was really run down when Jamie and Matt took it over and they wanted to make substantial changes. A leasing option gives them the flexibility to modify the infrastructure at any time, with full system maintenance incorporated as part of the package. It avoids them having to make a large capital outlay in one go, while at the end of the three year term they can simply upgrade the system."
All the action in the new 600-capacity environment takes place on a single floor - with a sea-facing smoking terrace at the rear.
Zinc is the sixth venue in the holiday resort that ESL has equipped with a KV2 Audio solution - and Mike Glover unashamedly says that the system here is designed to look deliberately intimidating. A 3 x 2 ground stack comprising four ES-1.8 single 18" bass bins and a pair of ES-2.5s double 15" subs, forms a menacing single-point presence at one end of the room, extending the frequency range of the ES1.0 three-way mid-highs flown in each of the four corners.
The system is optimised by the KV2 EPAK-2500R amplifiers, which house all signal processing and four individual task-specific amplifiers. External EQ is provided by a Soundweb London BLU-80 DSP, which also handles the routing and gain structure (including the all-important sound thresholds). "The result," says Mike Glover, "is fantastic coverage and even dispersion from one big system - without disturbing the neighbours."
The DJ booth includes a pair of Pioneer CDJ-1000s and Technics SL1210 MkV turntables - with an Allen & Heath XONE:62 mixer.
Over the centre of the dancefloor ESL has designed a 4.5m circular Trilite truss - tilted slightly at the DJ end to maximise the impact for Zinc's clientele as they walk the few steps down from the entrance on arrival into the bosom of the club.
Suspended from the Trilite rig are 12 Martin Mania SCX 700 scanners, two Martin Atomic strobes, and four Robe Spot 250 moving heads.
ESL has illuminated the bar, using their own RGB LED tape. ESL has made six back bar LED vertical strip displays, each panel measuring 600mm x 1m, and set into the back bar shelf, covered in perspex. The LED tape has been imported from China and developed into a custom solution by ESL.
The company has also highlighted the front of the bars with the LED tape, placing opaque polycarbonate over the front. Finally, a channel runs down the centre of the black granite bartop - and this is also brought to life using the tape, rebated into the channel.
All the LED FX can be chased and crossfaded under DMX control from a ShowCAD Artist, which also manages all the dancefloor effects and video switching (via a Kramer device).
The media displays comprise eight 42in plasma screens and three Mitsubishi 3000 ANSI lumens projectors, butted together, firing onto a single white projection wall.