Powersoft at heart of high-profile Dubai venue
Thursday, 6 May 2021
dubaiBla Bla Dubai is set to be at the forefront of the city’s bustling social scene (photo: Andrew Morris / ProLab)
UAE - Bla Bla Dubai - which boasts 20 Bars, three Restaurants, and a Beach Club all in one venue - was created to offer a full day-to-night experience for visitors, all with views of Bluewaters Island and Ain Dubai, the world’s largest observation wheel.
Located at The Beach opposite JBR, Bla Bla Dubai is set to be at the forefront of the city’s bustling social scene, and as a result every area of the venue required an audio system to match - or even exceed - the region’s high standards.
Pulse Middle East was trusted with the job of integrating this system after Bla Bla Dubai’s management was impressed by Pulse’s extensive portfolio of work with other venues across the city including Nikki Beach Club, White Beach at Atlantis, LSB, Brass Monkey, and Wavehouse.
Pulse opted for a complex three-zone audio configuration driven by Powersoft amplifier platforms purchased from local distributor, ProLab.
“I strongly recommended Powersoft to the client as it excelled compared to other brands during the tender process,” comments the project’s audio design consultant Bengan Hovgard, who was key in the recommendation of Powersoft for this particular job. “Their products have myriad strengths, namely their system integration flexibility, intuitive power sharing and software features, and the availability of presets for many brands. They are also incredibly reliable, and the support is second to none.”
“In terms of the amplifiers, there aren’t many products on the market other than Powersoft that can handle this quantity of channels with ease,” says audio project manager at Pulse Middle East, Jacopo Fois. “There were so many different zones and speakers, but with the ArmoníaPlus software it doesn’t matter where you’ve assigned your speakers, you can see them as individual objects and adjust them without a moment’s thought.
“This makes it very easy to return to the project later on to make adjustments, and for remote management too. You don’t have to find all the schematics and drawings and figure out what’s connected to where, you just open the file, go to the speaker and do what you need to do.”
With regional lockdowns still an issue that has necessitated that many workers stay at home, the ability to be able to work remotely on the Powersoft amplifier platforms was an advantage for Pulse in terms of time efficiency.
Fois continues: “The monitoring tools in the amplifiers also make it very easy to manage such a massive system and troubleshoot issues when they arise - if there’s an issue with a particular speaker or speaker line, for example, it’s very simple to connect remotely, navigate to the speaker, check its signal and impedance graph, and identify the problem in a matter of minutes, without setting foot in the venue.”
The raft of Powersoft products specified for Bla Bla Dubai were distributed between three distinct ‘AV rooms’. In the first, Pulse installed 13 x T604’s, a Quattrocanali 2404 DSP+D, a Quattrocanali 1204 DSP+D, and a Duecanali 804 DSP+D, while the second room’s audio system required four T604’s, two Quattrocanali 2404 DSP+D, a Quattrocanali 1204 DSP+D, and a Duecanali 804 DSP+D. In the final room, Pulse deployed nine T604’s, two Quattrocanali 2404 DSP+D, and a T304 for stage monitoring.
“As there wasn’t a high demand for touring products at the time, the flexibility of the T Series amps really helped,” says Fois. “Obviously they’re not designed for installation, but they still do a fantastic job. One nice feature was the ability to pipe control and Dante down one cable, which reduced the number of required network switch ports. With the sheer number of amps in each AV room, this made a lot of difference between using one network switch in each compared to two.”
Despite the three AV rooms being distributed throughout the venue in order to minimise cable lengths, some of the long runs could not be avoided. The Damping Control on the Powersoft units allowed Pulse’s engineers to compensate, keeping a consistent subwoofer response throughout the venue.
“On such a large installation, the physical size of the amplifiers was also important to minimise floor footprint in the venue,” says Fois. “This meant that we could fit all 144 channels (or 175,000W of potential power) into just three racks.
Pulse created a signal processing ‘super matrix’ for Bla Bla Dubai with three Symetrix Radius NX series processors (one in each AV room), which serve as the core of all the audio routing throughout the venue.

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