Phonox, Brixton

What can you do to an iconic dance club venue in one of the coolest parts of London, to make it somewhere even better? Make it the coolest small club in the city, by providing the party goers with the most spectacular music and lighting system possible for the space to make it an experience they will never forget.

Cult party and live music venue owners The Columbo Group have taken over residency at the former Plan B venue in the heart of Brixton, London. The new owners were simply looking to create the perfect place for clubbers to dance their cares away, with like-minded people. The music system needed to be on a seriously impressive level, coupled with lighting effects that would leave people thinking they were partying on the White Isle (albeit for only a few hours).

MSL have been the go-to AV consultancy and installation team for The Columbo Group and have installed music and lighting systems at their other London based venues (Blues Kitchens – Camden and Shoreditch, Old Queens Head), we were again very pleased to be able to use our vast technical knowledge and experience in helping to make the new owners plans for the venue come to fruition.

The audio system that was inherited and re-utilised from the previous owners is a hugely capable Funktion-One (F1) multi range speaker and sub system, distributed across the basement and main floors of the venue offering clear, involving and powerful sound. The entrance lobby welcomes the customers in the shape of a pair of F1 F88 twin 8” full-range wide dispersion speakers, this just gets the party going for what lays inside the club.

The main dancefloor music system offers distinctly high levels of audio with clarity, conciseness and chest thumping bass! The main dancefloor speaker system comprises of a twin sub stack between which the DJ is nestled, with the truss and ceiling flown speaker elements providing the mid-hi frequency output including rear fills and peripherals.

Each sub stack comprises of 1 x F221 twin 21” (Neodymium magnet driver) high intensity sub, with an additional 2 x F121 21” subs. This combination in a twin stack system creates a depth and warmness of sound across the dancefloor that stimulates and satisfies even the hardiest of bass lovers.

The dedicated dancefloor flown speaker system providing the mid-hi levels to partner the subs, comes in the form of clustered pairs of no less than 8 x F1 Res2 (15” bass driver, 8”MF driver and 1”HF driver) fully horn loaded, three way bi-amped cabinets. These front/rear facing speakers create a sweet spot for the dancefloor revellers, offering an immersive sound experience seldom seen in a venue of this size.

Peripheral dancefloor audio areas – side and rear fills – are covered by the introduction of 4 x F1 Res1 (12” bass driver, 5”MF driver) speakers, creating full crowd coverage.

Basement area sound is of a lower key for a chilled-out vibe prior to hitting the main dancefloor, 4 x F1 F101 compact 10” speakers and a twin 12” MB212 sub offering smooth and deep bass cover this area with superb audio balance and definition. The audio coverage from such a compact speaker system with full bodied vocal intelligibility is hard to replicate, but the high quality, tuning excellence of the Funktion One cabinets make this possible.

Amplification for the entire venue is taken care of with a multitude of MC2 high power and efficiency amplifiers, meeting the power requirements for the large-scale sound system is not one to be sniffed at. Audio control, EQ’ing and sound limiting this beast of a system demands a pair of the now industry standard BSS Blu100 digital audio processors. These processors along with an accompanying BSS BluBob 2 output expander, have been custom programmed by our in-house team of audio engineers to ensure the best quality audio and precise control are possible for the DJ’s from the F1 systems installed.

Lighting effects for Phonox manage to be just as memorable, and as large a part of the clubbers unforgettable night out as the music element. The main dancefloor is the focus of the lighting at Phonox, with no less than 6 x 132w Chauvet Professional Rogue R1 Beam effects being ceiling flown to cover this area. These lights produce an almost parallel 1-degree light beam (2-degree field angle) without a halo haze, meaning an array of mid-air effects can be created at super high brightness across the dancefloor.

Chauvet Professional Strike 882 light panels emit dazzling strobe effects, with the brightness of a conventional lamped strobe light but all produced by 882 individual white LEDs. Each of the 3no. sky lights over the dancefloor area have been highlighted with 4 x Prolights COB (chip on board) daylight LED floods, this creates the illusion for the clubbers that they are being flooded with sunlight and make their minds drift away to foreign shores.

The DJ booth has got a seriously bright backdrop which is custom programmed by our in-house lighting engineers to deliver pulsating “blinder” effects, this is a design incorporating 6 x Showtec Sunstrip Mk 2 halogen lamp blinders. Each blinder effect consists of individually programmable 10 x 50w lamps , with a smooth dimming ramp and full on high brightness settings at the DJ’s  control they certainly carry out their intended dazzling role.

Perhaps however the most memorable part of the light show are the stunning laser beam bars dissecting the ceiling space above the reveller’s heads, each bar consisting of 10 x pinpoint red laser diodes giving the effect of the beams of light mid-air jousting for position while the music is pumping. The lighting is further enhanced by the1500w Unique Solutions 2.1 high power haze machine, fully adjustable and controllable output and rapid heating times enable constant support for light scenes

All lighting on site is controlled via a laptop and dedicated professional Jands Vista S1 lighting desk, compact but powerful this console is ideal for all the lighting on site delivering visually mesmerising shows. Visitors to Phonox will experience all the big club atmosphere that could be desired, in a compact venue nestled like a jewel in the crown of Brixton’s clubland.