The L-Acoustics sound system accommodates an eclectic mix of musical genres from folk and jazz, to pop and heavy rock
India - The blueFROG in Pune is the latest in India's classy line of blueFROG bars, which have built a reputation in the territory for successfully fusing fine dining, live entertainment, and a lush ambience, all under one roof. Pune is the third blueFROG venue; two successful establishments already exist in Delhi and Mumbai, the latter of which was recently voted in the top 20 bar designs in the world.

The blueFROG mission statement is to make every performance memorable for the artist, production team, and audience, by delivering "an unsurpassable aural and visual experience". The Pune venue would need to cater to a diverse, young and demanding local community. blueFROG commissioned Munro Acoustics India to specify a high-end sound system that could deliver enough power and warmth to accommodate the eclectic mix of musical genres that would grace the venue's stage, from folk and jazz, to pop and heavy rock.

blueFROG venues are renowned for their modern and dramatic design. Pune is no exception, and the venue includes two full glass walls. Impressive for audience members, but a nightmare for sound design. Kapil Thirwani, acoustic consultant for Munro Acoustics requested an L-Acoustics' XTi Architectural Series point-source for the main system and delay fills, and a pair of SB28s for low-end reinforcement to face the challenge.

The install took 10 days, with a further week spent on optimising the system to get it up to speed before the first live shows took place. "The architect was very helpful in the process; many a time we are given pre-defined points to hang our speakers, so that's so often a major stumbling block, but here in Pune, we were given free rein to do what was best for the sound, which really helped," explains Thirwani. "To overcome the reflections challenge, we played with the height and the wide splay angles of the XT system and then worked out an acoustic model to avoid these unwanted reflections. It worked perfectly."

The blueFROG setup is more like a performance venue than a bar, as FOH is integral, and the engineer gets the prime seat in the house. "We use the XTs in our Mumbai venue and for Pune, there was no other option in my mind, as the XT system offers a clean, powerful aural output, no matter the genre of music; and of course, music is the main ingredient of this space, as every night there is a band, DJ, or live act."

Thirwani also considers the L-Acoustics amplifiers are real 'pieces of art'. "They are magnificent pieces of equipment, and they give the designer full flexibility to route signals discretely, which always helps the FOH engineer in panning and playing with the delays," he reveals. "It really is the best amplifier and processor system I have ever come across, so I'll never use anything else."

Although the system can be driven much higher if required, it's running nicely at between 112 and 115dB SPL, which is just right for the venue, and pleasing on the ear, Thirwani says. "I think in the XT Series, L-Acoustics really have used some outstanding drivers that perform entirely seamlessly across all the frequency bands. It's a great sounding system here in Pune, and the blueFROG managing director, Simran Mulchandani, thinks so too, which is just what we like to hear."

(Jim Evans)

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