Funktion-One equipment for two Beirut rooftop venues

Funktion-One’s Lebanese distributor, Audiotec Group, has installed sound systems at two new rooftop restaurant-bars in Beirut, Caprice and Iris, both owned and operated by Addmind.

Iris is located on top of the iconic al-Nahar building and features an outdoor deck and wooden bar. It is a medium-sized rooftop venue where the sound needs to adapt for different situations – low level background during the day, live performances in the early evening and louder club level into the night.

This need for flexibility helped to shape the solution, explained Funktion-One design engineer Mike Igglesden, who worked with Audiotec Group to design the systems for both venues. The proximity of local residents was an important consideration too: “We also had to be conscious of neighbours. To deal with this, we designed a twin four point system of F101s for the central area, and stereo F81s for the surrounding areas," he said. "By doing this we were able to create a high intensity in the middle due to the general close proximity of the speakers. Despite there being 25 speakers, we’ve kept the number of source locations to six.

“The pair of F81s facing the stage and the F101s either side of the stage are on separate processing channels so that the F81s can be turned off or used for monitors, and the F101s’ level can be raised for live performances. For the low frequencies, we used BR218s in the central area and BR118s for the surrounding area. These are ideal as they produce strong, deep, nearfield bass that doesn’t travel too far, again helping us to localise the sound.”

Caprice functions both as a restaurant and bar that fosters a vibrant, club-like atmosphere. Addmind wanted an immersive sound at low level for when it is a restaurant and a higher intensity when the party starts later on.

“Our main issue was that the dancefloor is in the middle of the venue with nowhere to hang the main system,” explained Igglesden. “Because of the highly controlled directivity of Funktion-One Resolution speakers, we were able to overcome this by placing four Res 2s at height in a four point arrangement around the perimeter of the venue. These speakers fire over the periphery areas and onto the dancefloor to provide the required intensity.

“Below the Res 2s and in three other positions around the perimeter, F101s and F88s were used to provide a clear, but lower intensity sound for those peripheral seating areas and bars. Due to not wanting the bass to travel too far out of the club, we used six BR218s distributed around the venue. These are perfect for the challenge because they produce punchy nearfield bass that doesn’t travel too far, helping us again localise the sound where required.”

Reflecting on the projects, Audiotec Group’s managing partner, Ralph Choueiri remarked: “Both of these venues are excellent references for Audiotec and for Funktion-One. They show what can be achieved with the compact range of loudspeakers, together with a creative approach designing the best sound reinforcement for the space in question.

“The system at Iris clearly demonstrates how good Funktion-One is for live. It is definitely worth a listen – to experience how rich the vocals are and the incredible energy the system projects when a band is performing. From a personal and a musician’s point of view, this is what I’ve wanted to have at Iris for a number of years now – having a great general sound for the DJ and still being able to put the band upfront when it is performing. From an installer and distributor’s point of view, I believe the sound experience is what Funktion-One is known for. It is simply amazing. From sunset until late at night, the place is so vibrant, it’s a real experience. A nice Funktion-One system just fits in perfectly.”