Over the rooftops of Qatar
Exclusive Sound at ‘The Rooftop’ St. Regis Doha
A first class drink. It’s called ‘Wood is Wood’. Never heard of it. A suprisingly smoky liquid invades the tastebuds, exploring their selective zones while from far above the eye glances at the illuminated hotelpool’s olympian size. Its blue gleam in the brown glass. Rather a lot inside it, too and like everything in the hotel, of prime international quality: the smoky taste arises from Scotch Whisky. Added to the mixture is homemade lemonade boasting palmsugar from Malaysia, vinegar from France and rum from Venezuela. Caramel, lemon, chocolate bitter and orange marmalade, just like ‘The Rooftop's’ entire furnishing, are from Italy. The English DJ switches between titles. Across its 40x18 metres, the roofterrace is flooded with evenly pounding and crystal clear sound. The loudspeakers come from Austria. All 36 of them.
Miguel Escada, founder of the Portuguese Pro-Audio company ‘Auditiv’ and the one in charge of sound installation sketches the beginnings: “The task was clear right from the start. The bar ‘The Rooftop’ on the roof of the St. Regis Hotel Doha was to be seamlessly integrated into the uncompromising concept of the illustrious St. Regis chain of hotels. All over the world’s most beautiful places, the chain, which is part of the luxury brand Starwood, represents exclusive and select accommodation. The supreme rule, from Bora-Bora to New York, is consistent quality. This is why for ‘The Rooftop’ in Doha a renowned lebanese designer was engaged who would do justice to the visual demands, the director of food and beverage Marco Syrbe comes from Germany, and I was supposed to guarantee that guests as well as artists up here would be provided with a unique experience,” says Miguel Escada: “The operators wanted the best sound in the city.”
Slowly but surely the terrace is filling up. Since its opening the hotel’s population of international guests and tourists is joined by a steadily rising number of locals. Right hand raised to the heart, a salutation among acquaintances. The music is growing louder. The seats in the central positions are set aside to make room on the dancefloor.
“Lambda Labs caught my attention through projects like Wall of Bass and it soon became clear that we had found a partner who would know how to realize my ideas. The installation had to maintain a highly even sound distribution across the entire hearing and dancing area, especially in the low frequency range, and it had to possess a precisely reflected stereo signal with an excellent and also very even impulse response,” continues Miguel Escada, “and it had to be weather-proof. Besides, once the later hour turns the bar into a nightclub, it calls for very high SPLs and all of this had to be realised in an optically appealing fashion, like the one I was able to find with Lambda Labs: discreetly beautiful state-of-the-art loudspeakers as a matter of course. Most of them are custom made with a shiny white Polyurethan coating and actual white woven frontfabric.”
By now club atmosphere reigns on the rooftop. It is loud. The guests cheer in anticipation of the next bass drop. 14 white MF-15A create a 40 metre horizontal line source and provide the entire rooftop with consistently dry bass, its weight pumping the warm air onto the sternum. At 100 Hz 8 opposing black and white TX-2A take over to radiate a well tempered and enjoyable performance across the terrace. The bar’s superstructure being higher than the opposing glass front, the TX-2A on the bar side were installed overhead, thus raising the high tone units to the same level as the TX-2A mounted on distance rods on the glass front. This guarantees a more homogeneous sound reproduction. The EPS System makes it possible.
The 6 VIP lounges situated on the left and right hand side of ‘The Rooftop’ are also located within the range of the MF-15A line source and, coupled with 2 wide dispersion CX-1A loudspeakers on the frontside, are incorporated into the musical events. The DJs can hear themselves on the high resolution CX-3A stereomonitoring right next to the DJ pulpit and feed their music into the faultlessly digital control unit.
Time to leave. The work is done. A few days later an email from Venue Manager Angelo Tamizi reaches Lambda Labs’ inbox:
Dear Lambda Labs Team,
i can honestly say that I was very impressed with the professionalism of your engineers and the work conducted from the start of the project all the way until the initial launch of the Rooftop Lounge.
As for the sound and quality of the actual product, I can without a doubt tell you that during my 20 plus years in this industry I have come across very few systems that won’t even come close to what Lambda has achieved! The sound is clean and crisp!
It was an absolute pleasure to work so close to the Lambda team on location that made the Rooftop Lounge the only venue in the middle east with a sound system that will literally blow you away.
Can’t wait for my next project with Lambda Labs.