More details emerge of Atmos install at Ministry of Sound

With the first in a number of special events due to take place later this week following the announcement that Ministry of Sound is teaming up with Dolby to bring Atmos to its world famous London nightclub, Martin Audio has revealed some more information on the unusual setup now in place at the venue.

Extending its long-standing partnership with the audio manufacturer further, Ministry of Sound has installed 16 of Martin Audio’s new CDD15 (Coaxial Differential Dispersion) installation speakers in the ceiling of ‘The Box’, its premier dance room, enabling the venue to utilise the Atmos immersive sound technology.

The new event series gets underway on Saturday (23 January 2016) in association with Hospital Records, when 22 Martin Audio loudspeaker channels will be used.

Incorporating synchronised lighting cues, generated from music mixed in Dolby Atmos, Ministry of Sound plans to immerse visitors in ‘unprecedented soundscapes’ delivered through the new CDD’s and the existing ring of six bespoke Martin Audio groundstacks positioned around the dance floor.

The additional speakers are designed to enhance the club’s existing setup and change the perception of the way music is heard, according to Ministry of Sound production manager Chris Thoms.

“When Dolby decided to introduce Dolby Atmos to the club world they were looking for a flagship venue to showcase it," he said. "We were approached both as a business and a music company – but more importantly we already had a six-point system set up, and The Box is an acoustically treated space – so it was a perfect fit.

“We told Dolby we wanted to maintain consistency with Martin Audio, so I contacted Jason Baird [Martin Audio’s R&D director]. We discussed various options and he recommended the CDD15 because of its coverage and power output – and the fact that it could compete with the SPL level of our existing stacks and give us enough punch.”

Thoms explains the unique sound panning principle: “With our current dance stack configuration you have always been able to get a left/right stereo pan wherever you are standing in the club. With Dolby Atmos, content is free from channel restrictions, allowing artists to pan individual audio objects anywhere across a room, including overhead, while maintaining the original stereo bed.”

The installation proved challenging due to an already congested ceiling. “It’s very tight because we have all the H&V and lot of fixtures up there," Thoms continued. "In that respect the mounting options on the CDD were useful – half the speakers are on yokes and a few are on steel suspensions. They are set at a uniform distance of 2.3m apart in a grid because they have to be close together to provide the best coverage for spatial elements.”

Lohan Presencer, Ministry of Sound CEO, added: “The sound system in The Box is the best in any nightclub anywhere in the world – but for our 25th anniversary next year, we wanted to raise the bar even higher. Dolby Atmos allows our patrons to experience the future of dance music, creating multidimensional soundscapes the likes of which have never been heard before in a nightclub environment.”