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All That Jazz - Autograph Delivers Tailored Audio Solution For Famous North London Venue

Recently renovated, famed as the favoured watering hole of legendary thespians and one of London’s best-loved intimate music venues, the near-300 year old Duke Of Hamilton in Hampstead is also home to the Hampstead Jazz Club. Located in a versatile cellar space below the pub, the club is not only a live music venue but can also accommodate rehearsals, live recordings, album launches and private events.

Autograph Sales & Installations were tasked with designing and implementing a suitable sound reinforcement system as part of the renovation works and Technical Audio Engineer Euan Mackenzie specified a pair of EM Acoustics EMS-81X passive full-range loudspeakers as the main L&R house system. A pair of EMS-61s are deployed as compact stage monitors and all four enclosures are powered and processed via a single Linea Research 44C06 quad-channel DSP-equipped amplifier.

The sound system at a venue such as the Hampstead Jazz Club has to be easily operable by anyone who is using it, so the audio mixing facilities have to be straightforward, accessible and intuitive. Also, like many such venues, space is at a premium so a conventional mixing console is not an option. Consequently Mackenzie specified an Allen & Heath Qu-Pac, which manages to squeeze all the necessary functionality and control into a single compact, 19” rack-mountable device, which connects via Allen & Heath’s own dSNAKE Ethercon protocol to a single AB168 stage box, into which the microphones and other inputs are connected.

Apart from the ability to fit top-quality audio mixing facilities into a small space right next to the stage, the Qu-Pac also allows a customised control layout and a choice of control interface. Mackenzie pre-programmed a dedicated page on the Qu-Pac just for club users, giving instant access to only the audio controls they need, while that interface is replicated on an iPad Mini (also supplied by Autograph) which connects wirelessly to the Qu-Pac. In practice this means that the house sound can be controlled by musicians on stage or by a technician elsewhere in the room.

Mayank Patel, the Hampstead Jazz Club owner, commented, ‘The hallmarks of a great Jazz Club are having a baby grand piano and a great sound, which we have thanks to the team at Autograph, who were recommended by Ross Dines at Pizza Express Live – Soho. Although a very intimate space, our system was designed to grow with our needs and in future will be able to provide multi-track recording of performances directly from the Qu-Pac mixer and offer musicians the ability to walk away with their performances at the club.’ He added, 'An executive from the Bauer Media Group last week commented 'A huge sound system perfect for an intimate venue'.'


Photo credit: Kris Piotrowski

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