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Club Systems International - Boston Nightclub News  Best Superclub  Club Systems International - Boston Nightclub News
Nightclubs - Club World 2007 "BEST OF" Nominees - Nightclubs Avalon, Hollywood
John Lyons and Steve Adelman tend to do things in a big way when it comes to the Avalon franchise. But when the smoke had cleared after their renovation of Hollywood’s 40,000-square-foot Palace nightclub, very few expected to behold not one but two clubs, each with their own décor and sound system. The lush, Moroccan-themed Spider Club caters to the Hollywood elite with an outdoor patio and EAW’s Avalon speaker line, while the main stage’s sound was dramatically improved by EAW’s KF760 line arrays. Whether you’re a band member or a DJ, the change has definitely been for the better. –JH

crobar, New York
For the first time in its history, the undisputed heavyweight champion of New York nightlife had to fight for its crown this year, against uptown upstart Pacha. But crobar proved its mettle by upping the ante on its international bookings, further developing Victor Calderone’s popular Evolve monthly, and making one of the slyest moves in clubbing history: The club stopped the bleeding caused by neighboring bottle service lounges by inviting one into its underused VIP room. Pink Elephant is now where the Prop Room once was, giving the money crowd a place within crobar’s cavernous walls. Because if you can’t beat them, absorb them. –DS

Mansion, Miami
Open since February 2004, Miami’s 40,000-square foot Mansion still uses the same arsenal to seduce: old-world elegance, grand-scale detail, and tons of technology. Apparently, no one can resist. This year alone, the club hosted every conceivable celebrity and DJ, not to mention live performers as diverse as Peaches and Wyclef Jean. It’s also received sponsorship coin from major corps like McDonalds, Cingular and Acura. And that’s just during the week. Solid weekend weeklies keep the Miami public coming back, even as other South Beach hotspots cool down. –KLM

Pacha, New York
The European nightlife brand’s first North American location wasted no time creating its own mystique. But even when things went wrong, they were oh-so right. The boys in blue shuttered its highly anticipated December 11 grand opening, just as resident DJ Erick Morillo was getting started (something about the overly enthusiastic crowd in the street). Like most newly-opened clubs, they had to scramble for a New Year’s Eve booking. But magically, Carl Cox became available (and baptized the Dynacord sound system in sweat). The power went out on resident Jonathan Peters’ triumphant summer return, resulting in an impromptu sidewalk hoedown by evacuated fans. Security guards served them ice pops. Such events helped eclipse the club’s island-white Ibizan heritage, and develop its rough-and-ready NYC appeal. –DS

Pure, Las Vegas
Who needs superstar DJs? Pure discovered this year that the way to a Vegas crowd’s wallet is through its deeply American lust for celebrity. So the 40,000-square-foot club spent its budget on appearances – everyone from Eva Longoria to comedian Jamie Kennedy to Nick Lachey, who of course brought along their equally fabulous friends – instead of performances. Not that the guy at the decks is a slouch: Mash-up DJ AM holds down a weekly residency (for which’s he’s a “Best Resident DJ” nominee). The party-with-the-stars approach – plus the Turbosound rig, 14,000-square-foot terrace, and attached Pussycat Dolls Lounge – helped Pure win the Vegas club wars (you can’t even get near the ropes on the weekends), and put it on par with top clubs worldwide. –KLM

The Church, Denver
After years of “Best Club” competitiveness (and two wins, in 2003 and 2004), we decided to upgrade The Church to “super” status this year, its tenth in operation. That makes the 32,000-square-foot, six-roomed club the only between-the-coasts super; a monument to dancefloor decadence (yes, that’s original stained glass) and involved ownership: The Christou family runs five other venues, including Vinyl and Shelter, reinvesting in each as necessary. Dedicated tech Mike McCray keeps the JBL speaker and mixed lighting systems in top shape for the dedicated throng of reformed ravers and other assorted beat worshippers.–KLM

Best Club
Cielo, New York
With two consecutive wins in this category, Cielo proves that you don’t have to be big and mean to get noticed, or become beloved. The tiny (3,400 square feet), elegant, single-room club’s brand is so strong that it’s seemingly immune to competition: You just can’t get the intimate, comfortable Cielo experience anywhere else. And patrons and performers alike know it. Perhaps the most telling trend is the recent spate of big-room style DJs – like crobar resident Boris and Space Miami’s Oscar G – who have opted to play Thursday night “small sets” for Cielo’s sunken dancefloor. –DS

Fur, D.C.
Every major city’s got a glitzy club to call home, and in D.C., it’s Fur. The club boasts 12,000 square feet of dance space, 30-foot ceilings in the main room, a 100,000 watt EAW Avalon system (installed by Ohm Productions), and enough popularity to afford a rigid velvet rope policy (no sneakers, hats or T-shirts). It’s also got Glow, one of the only weekly trance parties in the nation, which attracts big-name headliners like Tiësto and Above & Beyond. Complimenting the main room’s hi-tech wonderland are chic adjoining lounges that boast hi-def TVs, comfy couches, and a cigar menu. –DS

Mur.Mur, Atlantic City
This category’s newest nominee, Mur.Mur came out of the box this summer with not only pounding sound (Funktion-One by Sound Investment), unique lighting (a dancefloor full of Pulsar Chromaspheres, by SJ Lighting), and the support of mega-cool Atlantic City home hotel Borgata, but also instantaneously packed parties on Fridays, Saturdays and industry-night Mondays. The 8,600-square-foot venue opened as a bottle-service-oriented alternative to Borgata’s restaurant/nightclub Mixx, and proved itself as in-demand as its obvious Vegas inspirations. A long escalator descends patrons into a rectangular room with a central dancefloor, flanked by banquette rows and posh VIP corners. This layout never gets old. –KLM

Smart Bar, Chicago
Renovating a local favorite is a tall order, especially one that carries the music-centered torch for serious purists. But when Smart Bar revealed its new look and sound in February, there was nary a complaining hipster. With a sleek but not impractical design by Thomas Shoner Associates (which snagged a “Best Interior Design” nomination), and thunderous Funktion-One bass by Sound Investment, Smart Bar upped the ante without losing its sneaker-wearing soul. We responded by upping its ranking: It’s nominated in the “Best Club” category this year, after winning the NightStalker Award in ’06. –KLM

Tao, Las Vegas
The 42,000-square-foot Tao entertainment complex in The Venetian hotel is the definition of excess when it comes to dinner and dancing. And in its second year, the Jason Strauss and Noah Tepperberg venue pushed for even bigger, higher profile events. Tao’s dancefloor became the first-ever Vegas after-party spot for Madonna’s recent tour-stop (even though her gig was at the MGM Grand). Then there was Jay-Z, who literally played the last stop of his Hangar Tour at Tao. Dance music fanatics can also call the club home now: the Global House Sessions party heats up the dancefloor with DJs like Erick Morillo and Bob Sinclar. –DS

Best Lounge
couchez Couchéz, Santa Barbara
This high-design lounge sets a sultry pace for the citizens of Santa Barbara, with its titanium pearlescent paint job, see-through go-go dancing stage and VIP area where the white leather beds are adorned with Versace buttons. Sayeth Dave Chesal, Martin Professional’s club kingpin who helped the Sound Stage Systems team with design: “It’s the sexiest venue I’ve ever done.” The 6,000-square-foot venue is broken into three areas with three 150-foot dancefloors each. With chill house and lounge music as the soundtrack and a runway-styled layout, it’s no wonder the venue attracts the beautiful crowd. –DS

Ghostbar, Dallas
Situated at the top of the W Hotel, ghostbar gives Dallas a taste of the high life. Sure, the 11,000-square-foot, 495-capacity lounge hosts top-notch party DJs Steve Aeoki, WishFM and Graham Funke, playing ‘80s, mash-ups, rock and hip-hop on an Infinite Audio sound system. But that doesn’t mean there has to be a dancefloor: 34 tables crowd the space where it should be, all of which are sold out a month in advance on the weekends. That, plus celebrity regulars like Owen Wilson, Tony Romo and Cuba Gooding Jr., make this hotspot a place to be seen. –DS

Privé, Miami
Club World’s first-ever “Best Lounge” winner, Privé is just as vital four years later. The 8,600-square-foot hotspot is nestled within Opium Garden, and gets so packed during peak months that moving laterally is not an option…and that’s with one of the strictest ropes in the city. Rockster promoters Betty Ford take on Thursdays, Lapdance Tuesdays plant real live strippers on the bartops, and throughout it all, the flow of celebrities—hosting promotional events, making paid appearances, coasting in and out unannounced and wreaking fabulous havoc—is endless. –KLM

Slide, San Francisco
Everything old is new again, at least when Inner Circle Entertainment’s George Karpaty decides to take a one-time Prohibition-era speakeasy and transform it into a state-of-the-art 21st century restaurant, bar and DJ salon that acknowledges its past without living in it. Once you enter the club via the – you guessed it – custom-made slide, you step into an 1,800-square-foot hideaway complete with honey-onyx backlit bar, hardwood floors and 8,000 square feet of mahogany siding (designed by Pamela Pennington Studios, up for “Best Interior Design”). The club’s potent JK Sound-designed, Club World-nominated system is deftly camouflaged into the décor, proving that one doesn’t have to sacrifice power for timeless elegance. –JH


Tabú, Las Vegas
A three-time “Best Lounge” winner, Tabú may have broken the mold in the first place. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, there’s plenty to interact with at this stunning MGM Grand nightlife standard: from the models moonlighting as cocktail waitresses, to the ultra-chic décor layered with visual projection eye-candy. Not to mention the bevy of international DJs dropping in to play records, including Carl Cox himself. Plus, popular urban-hip party Super Slide Sundays features Melle Mel of the Furious Five, and Mr. Freeze from the Rock Steady Crew. Even with Vegas morphing all around it, Tabú is standing strong. –DS

Best New

Cherry, Las Vegas
Lounge king Rande Gerber's first full-fledged dance club had to be perfect. So the Midnight Oil crew decked out Cherry in natural walnut, glass, and onyx; filled it with two million dollars' worth of sound (by Sound Investment, nominated for "Best Sound System") and lighting (by SJ Lighting, nominated for "Bes Lighting System"); and sprung for a laundry list of fantastical details: outdoor VIP cabanas with their own sound and video systems, mouth-shaped urinals imported from Holland, a chrome pit that alternately spews water and fire. It's a fittingly luxurious nightspot for the expansive Red Rocks resort, which is nestled in the hills outside Vegas like a sparkling desert oasis. –KLM

club paris

Club Paris, Jacksonville
For the love of nightlife! Who cares if we can't get rid of Paris Hilton? Sure, a 21,000 square foot clubbing complex built with her five-year, contracted endorsement may sound like celebrity marketing overkill. But Fred Khalilian, the man behind the Paris chain—which includes a location in Orlando—claims that the inspiration for the club is actually Paris, France. That explains why the entire place is pink (Hilton's favorite color), and why the heiress attended its grand opening, in oh-so-trendy Jacksonville. The club also boasts two "Best System"-nominated efforts from Sound Stage Systems: a custom six-way speaker system, and an extensive LED and dancefloor lighting installation. –DS


Mur.Mur, Atlantic City
The long and lanky venue inside the beautiful Borgata could easily go bottle-to-bottle with its Vegas counterparts. With premium sound and lighting, celebrity resident DJs (DJ AM played its July opening), and bottle service adapted from successful sister club Mixx, the club/lounge screams everything but "New Jersey." Even dancing on banquettes takes on an upscale vibe here, with rich leather and wood completing the VIP motif. Twenty-five tables can't nearly accommodate the masses attempting to enter... but isn't necessitated selectivity a beautiful thing? –KLM


Pacha, New York
Pacha may be the first new club to hit the ground sprinting, with 40 years' worth of momentum. The original Pacha opened in Stiges, Spain in 1976, and has since spawned over 25 locations in exotic cities all over the world. New York's chapter—the first in North America, and former site of the infamous Sound Factory (winner in this category in 2004)—opened in December 2005, and contains 30,000 feet spread over four floors. A sizzling Dynacord alpha concept sound system, installed by Infinite Audio, fuels the main room, where an oversized DJ booth, paneled with Traxon LED squares, is the center of all the action. Under co-owner/music supervisor/resident DJ Erick Morillo's guidance, hard-to-book jocks have already come out to play, including Jeff Mills and Danny Tenaglia. –DS


Slide, San Francisco
As a fledgling club space directly below the San Francisco nightlife mainstay Ruby Skye, Slide indeed proves that less can be more. Boasting a set of custom-made EAW loudspeakers especially designed by JK Sound's Michael Lacina and Kenton Forsythe, the club also possesses a Dolby Lake processor usually reserved for high-end tour solutions to fine-tune the audio experience to unprecedented levels for a nightclub. Commanding the system from a refurbished baby grand piano-turned-DJ-workstation, local jocks like DJ Solomon have turned a former basement space into Ruby Skye's equal. –JH

ultra bar

Ultra Bar, D.C.
The team behind D.C.'s Fur applied their winning ways to a smaller venue this April, and opened the 12,000-square-foot, four-level Ultra Bar. With Crest-powered EAW sound by Ohm Productions (nominated for "Best Sound System"), an energizing green laser bounding throughout the high-ceilinged space, a top floor VIP lounge called Chroma, and no less than four DJs spinning everything from hip-hop to house, the venue's got something for punter and lounger alike. A large chandelier and dramatic arches add vintage appeal to the main room, kicking in some elegance to the party-hardy vibe. –KLM

Best Sound System

Cherry Las Vegas, Sound Investment
Nightlife guru Rande Gerber wanted it all—power, quality, and flexibility—and Chicago-based Sound Investment Audio delivered. Gerber's first full-fledged dance club, Cherry features an audio system with over 100,000W of power, all-digital signal paths, and multi-zone remote controls. The brawny, brainy SIA system really gets the dancefloor moving. "We've floated the floor," explains designer Dan Agne. "The subs excite the flooring and you can feel it up your feet."

Located in the lavish Red Rocks Casino and Resort, Cherry's sound is suitably sophisticated and upscale. The system features Funktion-One loudspeakers in custom chrome cages, audiophile Class A/B amplification, and individual touch panels which offer networked volume control and audio source selection for the poolside cabanas and various VIP areas. –JL

club paris

Club Paris Jacksonville, Sound Stage Systems
Following the success of Club Paris, Orlando, Paris the Heiress and business partner Fred Khalilian decided to bring the celebutante brand to decidedly downscale Jacksonville, Florida, of all places. Fortunately, the sprawling city seems to have been an inspired choice; business is booming, thanks in large part to a sound system that rivals those found in well-known clubland locations like New York, Las Vegas, and Miami.

Designed and installed by Sound Stage Systems, the audio system features Mach tweeter clusters, full-range cabinets, and subwoofers, as well as custom, EV-loaded Sound Stage four-way enclosures. BSS processors manage the audio signals, while QSC PLX Series amplifiers provide the power. Now, that's hot. –JL

Photo by: Kristopher Clark

Duvet New York, AAT
Twenty-two beds, 400 thread-count sheets, a 15-foot jellyfish tank, and a 90-foot glass bar—sound impressive? You haven't heard anything yet. Duvet's audio system is as exceptional as the venue itself; a custom combination of proven design principles, premium components, and artistic installation.

The system features AAT Beyma-loaded slot tweeter arrays, Turbosound Aspect Series full-range speakers and TSW Series subwoofers, XTA digital processors, and amplifiers from both MC2 Audio and Crest Audio. In the booth, DJs will find an Allen & Heath mixer, Pioneer CD decks, and traditional Technics turntables, as well as an AAT patchbay for plugging in their favorite MP3-based music mixing systems. –JL


Pacha New York, Infinite Audio Systems + Jarrod Khoury
Given the personal involvement of long-time Pacha Ibiza resident DJ and über-audio enthusiast Erick Morillo, it's not surprisingly that Pacha New York would be equipped with a sound system designed for serious dance music. Designed and installed by Miami-based Infinite Audio, the club's system features Dynacord alpha concept loudspeakers, EV RL Precision Series amplifiers, and a 115 dB signal-to-noise ratio.

With 30,000 square feet of space to fill, Pacha needed a system that would rock the mammoth dancefloor, please the VIPs, and still allow casual conversation and drink ordering by the bars. Audio coverage was carefully mapped out, and 37 loudspeakers (powered by 36 amplifiers) were installed and adjusted to bring the right volumes to the right spaces. To ensure the system stays in the zone, all audio functions are managed by an EV NetMax controller and IRIS software. –JL


Slide San Francisco, JK Sound
Forced into innovation by the constraints of their space, the owners behiind Slide turned to JK Sound to come up with an ambitious design plan that gives their space the sort of oomph that bigger clubs could easily envy. The basic sound design took the best of EAW's drivers and fit them into custom-made boxes—particularly the DC4/JK's that line the rim of Slide's main dancefloor. Topping it all off is a top-of-the-line Dolby Lake processor, complete with a Wifi tablet PC that can allow engineers to make alterations to any driver on the fly. –JH

ultra bar

Ultra Bar D.C., Ohm Productions
Once known as Home, this popular D.C. nightspot has been redecorated, refitted, and relaunched as Ultra Bar. The venue’s new-and-improved sound system is the work of Ohm Productions, headed by John Fiorito, and features significant sonic improvements to the main floor, as well as the fourth-floor bar area.

Despite budget limitations, Fiorito and company managed to completely transform the venue’s sound, giving Ultrabar’s discerning patrons a truly immersive auditory experience. Upstairs, a revamped bar system featuring EAW FRz Series speakers provides even audio; down on the main floor, EAW Avalon Series DCS2 subwoofers bring the bass. “There’s nothing like that huge horn with the 12-inch woofer,” maintains Fiorito. “It’s much tighter – definitely not the sloppy signature you get with a larger woofer – so there’s a more punchy overall LF sound.” –JL

Best Lighting System

Cherry Las Vegas, SJ Lighting
Unlike many installations, Cherry’s lighting system is carefully integrated into the venue’s interior design. The club’s prominent dome, for example, features 24 custom pipe grids, each the exact shape of the space it occupies. “The overall design is part of the architecture of the space, rather than an afterthought,” explains Stephen Lieberman of SJ Lighting.

Much of the club’s outrageous ambiance comes from a point source LED system featuring 2,000 individually-controllable, color-mixing fixtures on four-inch inch centers. For additional flavor, Lieberman installed 150 10W finger strobes, which create an intense (but not overwhelming) visual effect. A dozen Martin Professional MAC 250 Entours, plus 12 MAC 250 Wash instruments, provide all the movement any lighting operator could want. The complex installation (20 DMX universes!) is controlled by a GrandMA console. –JL

club paris

Club Paris Jacksonville, Sound Stage Systems
Like the club’s namesake, the lighting system at Club Paris is sleek and stylish. Sound Stage Systems specified premium components for the installation, and the resulting rig is both powerful and versatile, giving operators the ability to visually enhance any event.

The main system consists of proven Martin Professional instruments, including MX-10 scanners, MAC 250 Krypton moving heads, Atomic strobes, CX-10 color changers, and Wizard effect fixtures. “Atmosphere” is provided by a four-head Jem Club Smoke system and DMX-controlled fans. Elsewhere in the venue, Martin SCX-600 scanners and Mania effect projectors add to the eye candy, while American DJ Octopod LED systems help set the mood. Sound Stage Systems even equipped Club Paris with a custom, two-head CO2 jet system, the first of its kind in the U.S. –JL


Diesel Pittsburgh, iDesign
Dig the new breed: Diesel’s lighting system is all about the light emitting diodes. The dominant dancefloor visual at this Pittsburgh hotspot isn’t an antiquated mirror ball, it’s a two-storey, color-changing LED wall. Consisting of over 500 Color Kinetics iColor coves, the wall also serves as a luminous backdrop for live acts, with even more LEDs in the ceilings, floors, and behind the bar adding to the overall ambiance.

The brainchild of Michael Meacham and his Miami-based company iDesign, Diesel’s system also features plenty of conventional club lighting for shape and movement. Martin Professional MAC 250 Entours, MAC 300 Washes, MiniMACs, MX-4 scanners, and Atomic strobes offer vibrant visuals at the touch of a button. –JL


Element British Columbia, Team Vassalikaki
Located in the town of Castlegar, Element is the third largest licensed establishment in British Columbia. The club’s lighting system, however, is bigger and better than anything the locals have ever seen. Boasting a bevy of Martin Professional moving heads and effects, the system has finally brought world-class club lighting to Western Canada.

The lavish lighting system was created by Team Vassalikaki – not a company, but a family. “It was a team effort,” notes Florio Vasslikaki. “My dad Nick, my cousin Fred, and my brother George, all played equal parts.” In addition to the Martin instruments and LightJockey control software, Element’s family-affair system features 1,000W PAR cans, Pulsar ChromaPanels and ChromaFloors, and 300 feet of Advanced Lighting LED strips. –JL


Jet Las Vegas, Johns Lyons Systems
In keeping with the club’s name, Jet’s lighting system is fast and high-flying. With a ceiling covered with 120 Traxon LED panels, the space seems even larger than its actual 15,000 square feet. Combine that with half-a-dozen High End Systems DL1 digital light moving head projectors, all fed by a Hippotizer media server, and the result is a swirling, psychedelic show like no other.

As if that’s not enough, Jet is equipped with dozens of moving lights: 36 American DJ AccuScan 250 scanners, 24 Martin Professional MAC 250 Kryptons, and four MAC 550 fixtures offer operators intense visual firepower. For effects, the club boasts Martin Atomic strobes, as well as a pair of Jem ZR33 fog machines. –JL


Pacha New York,
Jarrod Khoury + Robyn Parasrm

While Miami-based Infinite took care of the audio aspects of the 30,000-square-foot Pacha New York installation, the lighting design was really the work of technical director Jarrod Khoury and Robyn Parasrm. Khoury was also responsible for the design of the venue’s artfully articulated, motorized spider truss.

Pacha’s numerous fixtures are almost all Robe. “I’m a big fan of using one brand,” notes Khoury. “I hate when you walk into a club and see three different yellows. I like to have the room uniform.” The massive lighting system is controlled via a High End Systems Hog iPC, “the most user-friendly board,” according to Khoury. The club also features a showpiece DJ booth conceived by David Sullivan. Paneled with Traxon LED reflector tiles, the booth itself can display text, animations, and a funky frequency analyzer effect. –JL

Best Video System

Myth Minneapolis, Metro Sound & Lighting
This 36,000-square-foot space is actually two venues in one. While Myth has separate sound and lighting systems for dance music and live performances, its massive video installation does double duty. Fortunately, with a video wall, four giant projection screens, and dozens of LCD and plasma screens, the sophisticated system has the power and flexibility to energize both types of events.

Designing the dual-use Myth system required creativity as well as technical skills, but Randy Keeley of St. Paul, Minn.-based Metro Sound & Lighting obviously enjoys a challenge. In order to maximize the system’s visual impact without limiting the available stage area or adversely affecting the audio, Keeley used special retractable, acoustically transparent video screens in front of the live sound rigs, giving the crowd more of what they want in less space. –JL


Element British Columbia, Team Vassalikaki
Like the club’s lighting system, Element’s video installation was a family project. The command center of the system is an Extron video matrix switcher, which pipes the desired visual content to different projectors and displays throughout the venue. To keep things simple, they used premium analog cable throughout the installation. The system also features an integrated universal remote RF system with IR eyes for both live feeds and added security.

Three powerful BenQ DLP projectors illuminate retractable screens, so patrons can enjoy crisp, colorful imagery anywhere in the club – even in the middle of the dancefloor. Eight 42-inch plasma screens complete the system, giving extra viewing options to VIPs and everyone else socializing at the bar. –JL

Studio 6

Studio 6 Atlantic City, Powerhouse Sound
At 6,000 square feet, Studio 6 isn’t exactly a big club, but its video system is huge. In order to attract discerning patrons from nearby casino hotels, the venue has been equipped with some of the latest and greatest video gear on the planet, and the resident DJs rock dance DVDs, not vinyl.

The Studio 6 booth is well-equipped with Numark DVD players, video monitors, and an A/V mixer, as well as a pair of Pioneer DVJ-X1 decks. A sophisticated Edirol system allows the DVJs to interact with the crowd, mixing live feeds from the booth and the dancefloor with clips from the media server, text, or even company logos. A 32 x 32 video matrix provides independent control over each of the club’s displays and projectors. –LSF


Sol New York, Alba Creative
The Sol video philosophy straightforward: Take nine enormous projection screens, arrange them around the center of the club, and feed them high-quality content all night long. To make it happen, New York-based Alba Creative built everything around a Green Hippo Hippotizer media server system, which provides independent feeds to each of the nine projectors.

The Hippotizer system provides operators with eight media layers, soft-edge blending, color balancing, and a host of other advanced features. Clips can be rotated, scaled, and mixed to taste, and with 18 different effect engines per media server, Sol patrons never have to worry about seeing the same thing twice. –JL

Best Interior Design

Cherry Las Vegas, Rockwell Group
No detail was left unattended in the making of nightlife mogul Rande Gerber’s newest nightspot, Cherry. New York designer David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group started with a palette of colors and textures, crimson, suede, leather, wood, glass and mirrors. A seven-foot sculpture of cherries, made by Takashi Murakami from the adjoining Red Rock’s Hotel & Casino, greets guests. The circular dancefloor is floated and the ceiling is domed and covered with black and mirrored tiles to hide the speakers. From there he added the “ohh” factors:  a dramatic mirror tunnel pool deck with fire/water fountains, VIP rooms with retractable glass. All that said, people love the bathrooms best, with smoke and one way mirrored, “not quite” coed stalls.


Shelter Denver, Maria Christou
Designed by the matriarch of the Christou clan—which expertly owns and operates Shelter, The Church (“Best Superclub” nominee), Vinyl and a host of other Denver venues—Shelter is 26,000 square feet of urban hominess. The open-plan look is inspired by city loft living, with vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, staircases and airiness to spare. Each of the four rooms offers its own intrigue: the main room features a split-level DJ booth, while downstairs the Milk Bar threatens in orange-lit black and white; the Green Room lives up to its name; and the Jazz Room, bearing pics of classic musicians, black-lit along the walls, is for serious chill-out. –KLM


Slide San Francisco, Pamela Pennington Studios
Set in an underground Prohibition-era speakeasy, San Francisco’s Slide is all about “Great Gatsby”-era sophistication, sumptuousness and yes, excess. Pamela Pennington, primarily a residential designer, gave the space a warm, backlit onyx and faux-marble bar, modern chandeliers and an incongruent wood floor for period charm. The DJ console is a gutted white piano, around which flapper types congregate to dance. And no, the name isn’t about the downfall of the jetset; it highlights the club’s most novel feature. Those who don’t take the stairs can tumble into vice on a custom-made 360° slide. –DC

smart bar

Smart Bar Chicago, Thomas Shoner Associates
When Thomas Shoner and company came to redesign Smart Bar in Chicago, their primary goal was to clean up, interpret and reintroduce the two level club while embracing its over-two-decade history of being a dance and rock music institution. “It was always a black box,” Shoner remarks. “We interpreted it as rocker disco.” Distressed surfaces like mirror balled tiles and scalloped tiles constructed from sewn and upholstered foam give crowds plenty of visual stimulation. An illuminated wall now separates the noisy front bar from the dancefloor. And a new lounge area in the back offers custom, wraparound deep seating. History is preserved. –DS

Best Party

A/V Las Vegas, Steven Lockwood
Promoter Steven Lockwood’s ever-popular A/V party has a new home at super-hot JET. With an open space and fifteen 50-inch plasma screens strategically placed throughout, VJ Roonie G – “Best Resident VJ” winner last year, and a nominee again this year – commands the high energy crowd using his pop-infused audio-visual display. Nowhere else does future-forward technology so directly result in good old-fashioned partying. High profile events, like Cirque Du Soleil’s release party for their Beatles “LOVE” CD, attract a high volume of locals, celebrities and elite who jitter to the visual bits. –DS


Asseteria New York, Rob Promotions
What can we say about the Ass that hasn’t been said before? This weekly Sunday blow-out and two-time “Best Party” winner is still going strong, whipping theme events out of its super-sized, portable, fog-spewing butt cut-out; featuring rotund go-go girls and boys who can work Show nightclub’s strategically placed poles; enlisting international DJs like Superchumbo and Behrouz, who snap photos of the madness from the booth, as if they’ve never seen freaks in a club before. Creator Rob Fernandez promises that “Asseteria: The Compilation” will be conquering record stores near you in ’07. And after that, the world. –KLM


Misshapes, New York
Young DJ collective Greg.k, Leigh Lezark and Geordon Nicol comprise the MisShapes, party promoters whose weekly Saturday night shindig attracts a bevy of hipsters, ironists, fashionistas and celebs to get a groove on at Don Hills. Late last year, the two-year-old, press-favorite bash had its finest moment: Madonna showed up to collect cool kid points, and to spin songs off her new album alongside resident DJ Junior Sanchez. Flowers of the Killers, Hillary Duff and Kelly Osbourne have also guest DJ-ed. There’s no other party out there with a brand strong enough to sop up Madge herself. Rock on. –DS

mixed elements

Mixed Elements, San Francisco
Given their solid business credentials outside the nightclub world, Trevor Hewitt and Brendon Coen have certainly proved to the San Francisco massives that they know the meaning of hard work. But ever since 2001, they’ve been helping smartly dressed and well-heeled professionals play hard in a fun and accepting atmosphere, where both the crowd and DJs- ranging from Josh Wink and Mark Farina - feel compelled to let loose. Musically, ME’s mixture of high-end house, trance and hip-hop have helped Hewitt and Coen expand the brand into a record label and a marketing/travel agency, but the party is always the first thing people fall in love with. –JH

we rock

We Rock Hip-Hop Miami, Empire Events
Time to bling yourself out and dress up in your finest ghetto fab, because Empire Events’ We Rock Hip Hop is representin’ on Fridays at Miami Beach’s Mansion, and very few party promoters know how to serve up the jet-setting hip hop lifestyle better, baby. Resident DJs Mr. Mauricio, Irie and Juan Mejia k warm up the crowd while guest hosts like Wilmer Valderrama and David Navarro and performers like Ludacris and Scott Storch keep a well-dressed and gorgeous clientele feeling special. Small wonder, then, that this club keeps outshining the competition in the glutted South Beach market. –JH

Best Resident DJ
dj am

DJ AM, Pure
The man at the forefront of the mashup revolution is Adam Goldstein, aka DJ AM; and no city has championed the new format (at least in its mainstream incarnation) as readily as Vegas. AM’s Friday sets at “Best Superclub” nominee Pure are all-American mix tapes gone mad, smashing grizzly rock with growling hip-hop, power pop with slow jams, and novelty tracks with full-on classics. Enjoying the ADD-ified madness are celebrities from the A-List to the Z. Win or lose, AM’s willingness to plant roots at a single club, despite his current hotness, makes him a resident DJ champion. –KLM

oscar g

Oscar G, Space
After years of homelessness, G returned this year to Space, the room that made him CWA’s first-ever “Best Resident DJ” in 2003. With him he brought the deep and dark style that’s always been his DJ-ing hallmark – and the defining sound of main room Space – but also new, more minimalist influences that show the breadth of his good taste. Combine those fresh sounds with G’s old-school style of room-rockage – thinking thematically, layering tracks, teasing acapellas…you know, DJ-ing – and you’ve got big room mayhem every Saturday. –KLM


Cedric Gervais, Space
Gervais’ is the fairytale resident DJ story. A French Riviera expat (how cool is that phrase?), Gervais was the youngest resident DJ ever at legendary Paris gay club Queen, before relocating to Miami in ’98. Now, he’s three years into a residency at downtown überclub Space, where he plays shimmery yet tough progressive for the loyal terrace crowd. The gig got him the attention of Ultra Records, which released his debut album “Experiment” in October; and booking agency Chaotica, which is busy getting him gigs the world over. Loyalty has its rewards. –KLM



Francois K, Deep Space at Cielo
The man, the myth, the legend – and two-time “Best Resident DJ” winner – is carrying the banner of dub into yet another year, via his weekly Deep Space party at Cielo. Each Monday (yes, Monday), K. weaves a multi-genre journey championing the spacey, the groovy, and the bulbous, without ever losing its sense of fun. He also books the night’s stridently diverse guest performers, which have ranged from downtempo mavens Voom Voom to techno star Stacey Pullen to K’s old Body & Soul partners Joe Clausell and Danny Krivit. This year, he supported dubbiness from the studio too, creating a vocally sparse remix of super-band Coldplay’s “Talk” for EMI. –KLM

larry tee

Larry Tee, Bank Saturdays at Element
New York nightlife fixture Larry Tee can really work a party, as the gay-leaning mixed Saturday crowd at Element will attest. They gather for Josh Wood-promoted trash-and-vaudeville party Bank, and Tee’s unique style, which he calls “maximal.” “Maximal suggests you’re playing the best of everything,” he says. “I don’t like the same-song-all-night vibe.” Element’s crowd responds to his noisy mix, which combines electro-house, oldies and tribal. And for those on the cutting edge, Larry doesn’t exclude selections from the bleepy, blurpy minimal house genre – as long as they’re good. –DS

Best Resident LJ
mike d

Mike D, crobar New York
Last year’s winner in this category, the lightman’s lightman boasts over 20 years’ experience, including lead gigs with Junior Vasquez at Tunnel, Twilo and Palladium; and an international tour with Sasha & Digweed. At crobar, he commands the Martin Professional moving lights with a MA Lighting grandMA console every Friday and Saturday night into the wee hours, working non-stop. And aside from his operator duties, he’s also the club’s light tech, with the ability to take apart ailing fixtures and put them back together again, good as new. –DS


Johnny Eubanks, Oz New Orleans
It takes a lot of flash and panache to get noticed in the gay club world, and Johnny Eubanks has proven himself a real stunner over the years, with a lighting style as theatrical and flamboyant as your average Bourbon Street drag queen. He’s quite versatile as well, handling straight cabaret performances like Oz’s Revival shows with the same ease as he does the club’s DJ nights. This versatility served him well when Katrina detoured him into Memphis club Backstreets. But with improved gear upon his homecoming, he’s set to do further damage next year. —JH


Andris Kasparovics, 1015 San Francisco
Former NYC live event lighting guru Kasparovics is excited about the prospect of networked LED systems. “It’s nice to see chases again on the dancefloor,” he said. “1015 opened our newly renovated Cirque Lounge with an eight-foot ceiling that had a large circular grid of 1,200 LED nodes running animation around the room. People were losing their balance just standing there staring at the ceiling!”

But it’s Kasparovics’ kinetic and dramatic style with moving lights that heightens the club-going experience for 1015’s patrons. His lighting philosophy? “Darkness is a good thing.” –DC


Dougie Lazer, Duvet New York
Lazer learned the LJ trade at Sound Factory under owner/legend Richard Grant. Now he’s the principal of his own company, XS Lighting & Sound. Even though XS’s business covers event clients like A/X, JetBlue and Bergdorf Goodman, Lazer always has nightlife on his mind. “It’s in the clubs that I let my imagination run wild,” he says. Duvet’s white beds made the space look more like a furniture showroom than a hotspot, but Lazer’s Color Kinetics LED installation, and his manipulation of the traditional dancefloor fixtures, eliminated the retail vibe. –DS

Best Resident VJ

Chris Biggins + Cagan Yuksel, crobar NY
“It’s all about synchronizing with the DJ and the crowd,” says VJ Chris Biggins. Half of Biggins’ and partner Cagan Yuksel’s visuals are created at home in pre-production, but the other 50% are done on the fly, in total synch with the surging crobar crowd. Using a technique they call beat match visuals, the duo “play” regular and 3-D images to a 4/4 beat – an effect that went over well with Bad Boy Bill, who had them do the entire visual aspect of his live “Behind The Decks” DVD. Biggins and Yuksel also synchronize recorded images with live people shots from wireless, hand-held cameras, controlled by an Edirol V4 mixer. –DS


Psyberpixie, Revolution Ft. Lauderdale
Looking like she stepped out of a fast-action anime, Marina Rao, aka Psyberpixie, is an emerging VJ whose on-the-fly blends splash across Revolution’s many plasmas and single centerstage big screen. Her show combines a montage of fast “micro” cuts with lots of frames, depicting a techno-organic blend of visuals pulled from multiple video sources, graphics and 3D animation. The goal? “To make a visual symphony of thought-provoking pixels.” Fast on the rise in the South Florida scene, Psyberpixie has provided visuals for Carl Cox, Crystal Method and Josh Wink, as well as corporate events for MTV and Reebok. –DS


Roonie G., Jet Las Vegas
“It’s like watching MTV in a nightclub,” says Steven Lockwood, marketing director for JET in Las Vegas, about Roonie G’s action-packed show for weekly party A/V. Last year’s “Best Resident VJ” winner takes music videos and manipulates them the way a DJ scratches a record, integrating pop-culture references like Napolean Dynamite and “Baby Got Back.” The locals dig G’s high-energy cuts, while tourists and newcomers go nuts watching the show on fifteen 50-inch plasmas. And the hype around this one-man audio-visual show has recently caught the attention of MTV, which featured Roonie in its first episode of “My Super Sweet 21.” –DS


Russell Edwards, The Docks Toronto
The University Of Wales alum has been tech captain of The Docks since the entertainment complex’s inception. When he’s not constructing DJ booths, reconstructing sound systems, spec-ing new lights or curing that week’s gear hiccups, Edwards finds time to master and operate the club’s extensive (and growing by the year) video system. The dedicated visualist even creates his own material by clipping up music videos, and recording life’s odder moments on his trusty video cam. “With my own footage available to scratch on the Pioneer DVJ-X1’s, my slides and banners on my PC, the third world of BrashLive!, and the hands-on loops of my Arkaos, I really am in heaven,” he says. –KLM

Best DJ Product
xone 3:d

Allen & Heath Xone:3D
The Xone:3D combines the best attributes of a traditional analog DJ mixer with a comprehensive MIDI control system and a high end multi-channel USB soundcard, allowing DJs to integrate computer-based digital media into their live performances. The mixer section features four multi-input stereo channels, as well as VCF filters, resonance and frequency filters, plus an assignable LFO with depth control.

The USB soundcard has eight channels, and can be fed from the main mix, FX1, or direct from the channels; and features a SPDIF optical and coaxial interface. The USB connection can also send and receive audio and MIDI data to or from a laptop. The dedicated MIDI control sections on either side of the mixer section offer eight faders, 16 knobs, 10 encoders, 50 switches, and two custom jog wheels for use with popular DJ software. –JL


Cortex HDC-1000
This USB-compatible controller gives DJs the power to cue, play, manipulate, and even scratch digital music files. The Cortex HDC-1000 also allows users to search their music databases by artist, title, genre, words, or phrases, so finding the right track, right now, is easy—even with increasingly massive music catalogs.

The HDC-1000 can also be used to play and control audio and data discs with any compatible USB CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive. The unit even allows users to connect and recognize multiple storage devices simultaneously, so DJs can mix regular CDs with files from iPods or other MP3 players. –JL


Denon DN-X1500S
The DN-X1500S offers club DJs a host of sophisticated features, including eight-channel input matrix control, parametric EQ, and fader start on all channels. Denon’s flagship mixer also boasts individual PFL input meters, 45 mm faders, and the manufacturer’s proprietary Flex Fader crossfader.

Onboard DSP gives DJs the ability to slice and dice tracks on the fly with digital effects like delay, echo, filter, flange, and auto pan. The integrated, eight-second digital sampler can be utilized with audio from any of six mixer sources, with edit options including single playback, loop, reverse, and reverse loop, with overall pitch control adjustment of up to +/- 100 percent. –JL


Ortofon Digitrack
The DigiTrack cartridge is designed specifically for playing the coded vinyl “records” that are used to control digital DJ applications like Serato Scratch, FinalScratch, Virtual DJ, PCDJ Scratch, but it can also be used to play traditional 12-inch singles. This allows DJs to scratch and mix digital tracks with real records, without having to stop and switch needles in the middle of a performance.

The Ortofon DigiTrack combines optimum output (8mV) of coded information with reliable tracking and minimal record wear. Thanks to the unit’s spherical stylus, DJs get a clean signal for controlling MP3 files, and their precious (and expensive) coded records last longer, too. If they decide to throw some 12-inches into the mix, they don’t have to worry about swapping cartridges, aligning needles, making tracking force adjustments, or trimming audio output levels on the fly. And the DigiTrack’s full 20-20,000 Hz frequency response ensures that those records will sound as good as possible, too. –JL


Soundcraft Urei 1605
The UREI 1605 offers many features that will appeal to club installers and sound engineers. The rear connector panel, for example, can be rotated for either tabletop or rackmount installation, and the input and output gain controls can be set to accommodate almost any conceivable sound system.

The 1605 also gives DJs the features they want, too, such as convenient top panel aux input connectors, three-band isolator EQ, and EQ on the headphone output. The mixer boasts seven stereo channels, aux sends on every channel, and a variable response VCA crossfader. Club owners will appreciate the mixer’s external mute function, which silences all of the music channels, but leaves the booth microphone on, allowing the PA to be used for emergency announcements. –JL


Best Sound Product or Series

Crown XTI Series
This amplifier line is designed to deliver serious wattage to the dancefloor, without sucking up precious clubland resources like electricity, rack space, or capital. The Crown XTi 1000, 2000, and 4000 feature high-efficiency switch-mode power supplies, so they can rock the house without tripping circuit breakers. Even the flagship XTi 4000, which puts out up to 1200W per channel, uses a standard 15-amp Edison plug, thus minimizing electrical service worries.

The XTi Series amps also provide computer connectivity via USB, allowing setup via the included HiQnet software. Built-in DSP lets users set crossover points, make EQ adjustments, and time-align speaker drivers, eliminating the need for (and expense of) additional rackmount processors. Thanks to proportional speed cooling fans, XTi Series amps can handle brutal 2-ohm loads all night long, and keep the party going until morning. –JL



dbx DriveRack 4800
The DriveRack 4800 is the latest and greatest addition to the popular dbx DriveRack series of system processors. Featuring all the familiar processing functions, as well as some nifty new algorithms (like Advanced Feedback Suppresion), this unit offers users complete sound system control. Its 96 kHz processing engine and standard digital I/O provides enhanced frequency response and reduced latency, while an optional CobraNet card gives users added installation and operation options.

The DriveRack 4800 also features Harman Professional’s latest proprietary HiQnet protocol, which allows users to monitor and control signal routing and processing of multiple DriveRack 4800 units from various locations, all using standard Ethernet routers and wireless access points. –JL



EAW SB1000zR
The SB1000zR is a high-output, large-format subwoofer designed for applications where the fatter sound of dual 18-inch drivers is desired. The cabinet’s innovative speaker mounting maximizes cone area while minimizing frontal area, combining acoustic performance with a relatively compact configuration: That means more bass without sacrificing valuable floor space. Subwoofer arrays are doable, too.

While the basic SB1000 design has been around for a while, the zR model features new-and-improved drivers for added efficiency, extended frequency response, and longer life. With a calculated axial output of 139 dB (peak) and an operating range of 28-156 Hz, this subwoofer has sonic capabilities that are practically seismic. –JL



JBL Professional VLA Series
JBL’s Variable Line Array Series modules are based on the company’s proven VerTec Series systems, but designed specifically for permanent installation and with more horizontal horn coverage options. The six large-format, horn-loaded modules are available in three different coverage patterns (30, 60, and 90 degrees), giving designers the ability to vary the horizontal pattern within an array, while still maintaining the desired vertical directivity. Now clubs can enjoy big line array sound on the dancefloor, but more reasonable volumes near the bar.

The mid- and high-frequency sections of the VLA Series are horn-loaded for optimum sensitivity and precise pattern control. The high-frequency section features 1.5-inch throat diameter aluminum diaphragm, neodymium high-frequency drivers; the midrange section features an 8-inch cone compression driver; and the low-frequency section utilizes a 15-inch driver. –JL



Martin Audio WS218X
The WS218X is a dual-driver, vented sub-bass system intended for use with large-scale systems like the Martin Audio Wavefront and Blackline series. The enclosure features twin 18-inch drivers, engineered for maximum linear excursion. With a frequency response of 35-150 Hz (+/- 3 dB), and a 2000W AES continuous power rating, the WS218X offers 136 dB (142 dB peak) of lovely low end impact, and the distinctive large-area porting design significantly reduces air noise at all volumes.

The WS218X also boasts birch plywood construction, with a textured black paint finish and perforated steel grill to withstand the slings and arrows of typical nightclub use. –JL


Best Lighting Product or Series

Chauvet Q-Spot 575
This moving yoke fixture gives lighting designers heavyweight punch at a bantamweight price point. The Q-Spot 575 features a color wheel with 10 colors (plus white), prism effects, motorized focus, and a high-speed dimmer/shutter/strobe. The two gobo wheels give users a total of 15 interchangeable gobos, including high-resolution glass dichroic gobos, to provide the perfect look for each party or performance.

With 575W of power, this Chauvet can light up any room. Designers can choose rich, saturated hues for ambiance in the lounge, or go bright and bold for high energy on the dancefloor. The Q-Spot 575 can even be used for theatrical or stage lighting, so it can cover live performances, too. –JL



Compulite Vector Red
Compulite’s newest console is meant for larger venues and sophisticated lighting systems. The hybrid design allows users to control both conventional and automated fixtures with equal ease, making it useful for live performance spaces, high energy dance clubs, and everything in-between.

The console’s dual processor design offers performance and stability, while the familiar Windows XP environment simplifies programming and operation. Three integrated 12-inch TFT touch screens and an interactive toolbar give users instant, intuitive access to all functions. The Vector Red features a 20 GB internal hard drive, 22 motorized faders, 200 virtual playbacks, and 999 cue lists; the console also offers full networking capabilities and can control up to 8,192 DMX channels. –JL



Elation Professional Design Spot 250 White
The Design Spot 250 White is a hybrid fixture that offers spot and wash performance in a single instrument. This versatile, compact, 250W moving head also offers frost, iris, and gobo morphing capabilities—advanced features that are usually associated with larger, more expensive lights.

The handsome, white exterior offers lighting installers and interior designers a refreshing change from basic black fixtures. Designed to coordinate with neutral ceilings and walls, the Design Spot 250 White is perfect for architectural applications, stage sets, lounge spaces, or any environment where dark, anonymous instruments would look uninviting or simply out-of-place. –JL



Nicolaudie Sunlite 260
This lighting control software has been updated and upgraded for 2006. Sunlite now features a fresh design (Windows XP style), a console feature (for connecting external MIDI interfaces), the ability to save/open complete shows, and Easy View 2006, and a beginner mode to simplify (or limit) the use of the software.

The new Master Page feature allows users to control all DMX channels from the same page, and the Groups feature has been redesigned so that all fixtures can be managed from the same window. Sunlite 2006 supports 19 different languages, and includes a real-time, 3-D visualizer and complete profiles for 2000 different instruments. –JL



Robe ColorWash 575 AT Zoom
The ColorWash 575 AT Zoom offers all of the performance of the original ColorWash 575AT, plus a motorized linear zoom, ranging from 8 to 50 degrees, with a fresnel lens fitted as standard. Optional wide-angle lenses can provide even broader beam coverage for stage lighting and similar applications.

The fixture’s high-pressure MSR 575/2 lamp and sophisticated optics provide plenty of power for any clubland application, while its 16-bit DMX resolution offers precise control of pan, tilt, zoom, and dimmer operations. The AT Zoom also boasts a CMY color mixing system, a variable CTO filter, and a color wheel containing five replaceable “slot-and-lock” colors and open—ideal for color correction. –JL


Best Video Product

Chauvet DV Wall HR
The DV Wall HR is designed for high-resolution graphics, including still image slide shows, animated GIFs, Flash animations, PowerPoint presentations, and even full-motion video. With an IP-65 water resistance rating, this unit is suitable for indoor or outdoor use, so it can entertain patrons on the dancefloor, in the bar, or out on the patio.

The DV Wall HR system is capable of rendering 16 million colors with a pixel pitch of 31mm, giving users the power to create vibrant, detailed displays. Each individual module features 2,304 LEDs (786 red, 786 green, 786 blue), but consumes under 200W – much less than conventional video displays. –JL



Edirol V-440HD
The V-440HD video mixer accepts both standard definition and high definition video sources, giving users to seamlessly mix and switch multi-format video signals: up to four SD video and four HD or RGB video sources at the same time. The unit is perfect for venues that aren’t ready to ditch existing SD gear in favor of all-new HD cameras, switchers, and displays.

To compensate for color and luminance differences between formats, the V-440HD allows operators to preview the output and adjust brightness, contrast, hue, and color for consistent, quality video. The mixer also boasts a traditional fader bar for smooth transitions, as well as a variety of built-in wipes and effects. –JL


high end

High End Systems Axon Media Server
The Axon is a rackmount media server featuring the same graphics engine as the High End Systems DL.2 digital light fixture. The unit can be used to feed video to LED panels or large format projectors, and comes complete with a stock digital library of more than 1,000 media clips, as well as 200 available folders for custom media clips.

Like the DL.2, the Axon features Collage Generator and Curved Surface Support functions, but it allows users to choose their own output devices. All of the unit’s stock content is locked down and protected, so operators always have a safe supply of eye candy. The XP Embedded Operating System also protects Axon from drive corruption and O/S degradation over time. –JL



Pioneer DJV-1000
The DVJ-1000 offers the same layout and operation as Pioneer’s popular CDJ-1000MK3, but with enhanced DVD capabilities. DJs can cue, scratch, and loop video as well as audio, using a familiar, proven interface.

The DVJ-1000 can be slotted into existing booth set-ups, and features MP3 compatibility, a brighter and larger display, and studio-quality 96 kHz/24-bit audio. New functions include 4X hyper jog mode and a back-and-forth loop button. The deck also plays both NTSC and PAL DVDs using a built-in standards converter, making it perfect for jet-setting international VJs. –JL


Best Effect Product

Elation Antari Z-1020
The unusual shape of this fog machine allows it to be positioned in multiple ways – flown overhead, mounted sideways on a wall, or simply set flat on the floor – for applications where traditional foggers won’t work. In addition to fitting in just about anywhere, the Z-1020 is capable of producing 10,000 cubic feet of smoke per minute, so it’s capable of creating instant ambiance.

The Antari Z-1020 has a fog-juice capacity of 2.5 liters, and its fluid-consumption rate is 24 minutes per liter at 100 percent output. It features a thermo switch and a low-fluid cut-off circuit, as well as an on-board DMX interface and a wired toggle switch remote control. Like all other Antari fog machines, the Z-1020 is distributed in North America exclusively by Elation Professional. –JL



This innovative device uses a suspended fog generator to create a flowing, flat cloud for video projection – a “screen” made of fog. The system works with standard projectors, and even allows different images to be projected on either side of the FogScreen without interfering with each other.

Installation is simple – just replace any conventional screen with the FogScreen unit. Because it doesn’t require a rigid frame, the FogScreen allows people to walk through the projection plane. The system uses a dry fog, so patrons or performers won’t get wet from passing through the screen. –JL



Look Solutions Unique2
Based on Look Solutions’ popular, water-based Unique haze machine, this new-and-improved version features a revamped design, finer control, and a more efficient fan for faster haze distribution. The Unique2 is also available with an optional yoke for overhead installations.

The hazer can achieve effects ranging from fine mist to a thick fog; and can fill even large venues with a constant haze, creating the right atmosphere and perfect enhancement for lighting effects. The Unique2 is highly efficient, too: It can provide up to 50 hours of continuous output from just two liters of special haze fluid. –JL



Martin Professional RGB Laser 1.6
The RGBL 1.6 is only slightly larger than a typical DVD player, but it’s capable of producing extremely deep, saturated colors, including an intense blue (442 nm), which allows the creation of pure white like no other laser in its class. The unit also boasts hundreds of pre-installed effects and a cooling system that eliminates the need for expensive and bulky water cooling.

This Class 4 laser can be controlled with any standard DMX controller using 5-pin XLR connectors, and the sealed optics of the RGBL 1.6 prevent dust, fog, or haze residue from degrading its performance. The unit has a prolonged lifespan of over 10,000 hours – nearly double that of competing fixtures. –JL



Omnisistem SpyroFog
The SpyroFog is a unique, moving yoke fog machine. Unlike conventional foggers, this unit can project fog in any direction, giving users the ability to create dramatic, dynamic visual effects. The system uses an external fluid tank, which simplifies installation and maintenance.

Three-channel DMX control allows operators to instantly adjust pan, tilt, and fog intensity. The SpyroFog can pan 540 degrees, tilt 270 degrees, and puts out 8,100 cubic feet of fog per minute. The unit also features a digital display, a pan/tilt inversion option, and a thermal safety switch with auto reset. –JL


Best LED Product


Chauvet COLORtube EQ
The COLORtube EQ allows users to create unique, music-triggered visual effects. Individual tubes can be addressed to respond to one of 32 frequencies, from bass to treble, and then arranged together to create a pulsating, real-time frequency visualizer.

Sold in four-packs, each 40-inch tube houses a total of 144 blue, red, and green diodes, which have an average lifespan of 100,000 hours. The COLORtube EQ system features 16 pre-set patterns, chases, and color flows, while an optional controller allows users to select specific colors. The tubes are water resistant and power-linkable, and provide silent operation with no duty cycle. –JL



Coemar ParLite LED
The ParLite LED is a compact, RBG color-mixing fixture fitted with 36 1W Luxeon diodes. This luminaire is designed to fit perfectly into a standard 12” x 12” truss, and features a die-cast aluminum body, an auto-sensing internal power supply, and a clever double yoke system which eliminates the need for a special stand when floor-mounted.

The standard ParLite LED has a 12 degree beam angle, which can be adjusted by changing lenses and reflectors. The unit features four built-in color-changing and fade programs, as well as master/slave capability, giving users the option to operate the fixture without a controller. The Parlite LED uses standard PAR56 accessories, is available in black or silver finish, and comes in either IP20 or IP66 water-resistant versions. –JL



Omnisistem E-Color LED Panel
Thanks to Omnisistem, lighting designers can enjoy all of the advantages of color-mixing LEDs, but in a panning, tilting fixture. This moving yoke wash instrument is equipped with 324 individual LEDs – 108 each of red, blue and green – which may be blended together to create any desired hue.

Unlike traditional wash luminaires, the E-Color Panel delivers rich washes of light without running up your electric bill. Power consumption is a modest 90W, and the unit can be operated in stand alone, master/slave, or full DMX mode. Movement can be either 8- or 16-bit, depending on user preference, and the LED panel is fully dimmable. –JL



Pulsar ChromaStripX3
Pulsar’s new ChromaStripX3 High Power LED strips provide up to three times the power of the company’s existing ChromaStrip2. Finished in sleek, extruded aluminum and available in four different lengths, this fresh, color-mixing LED strip can be used in a wide range of clubland applications – in coves, under soffits, on columns, or attached directly to almost any surface.

The ChromaStripX3 is designed for use with Pulsar’s established ChromaZone technology for power and control. The unit is available with either a 10 or 20 degree beam angle, depending on the chosen LED panel, so designers can choose the appropriate lighting coverage for a given application. The ChromaStripX3 also boasts an IP65 water resistance rating, so it can be safely used in wet conditions. –JL



Robe StageQube 324
The StageQube LED panel is designed for plug and play video wall type applications. Thanks to the panel’s integrated rigging system, even large displays can be constructed quickly. When equipped with an optional foot plate, the system is self-sustaining, and can be flown from trussing or overhead rigging points.

Individual panels feature medium-high resolution, and StageQube arrays can be controlled by any media player or video server. When used with a Robe Media Hub, it can even be controlled via DMX, offering users intuitive control from the lighting desk. The StageQube doesn’t require an external power supply or control box, because all of the panel’s electronics are conveniently located inside its IP54 housing. –JL


NightStalker Award


Rise, Boston
It started out as a gay club, but in the past year Rise has become very mixed, to the point where “it’s split even,” according to Darrin Morda, co-owner with partner Tom Beaulieu. This year, the 300-capacity, 3,600-square-foot private club hosted a number of international DJ flavored events with jocks like Gabriel & Dresden and Victor Calderone, while Steve Porter and Craig Mitchell held down the fort as residents. People come for the intimate atmosphere and also to party well into the morning, sometimes until nine a.m.: After an inspiring legal fight with the city, Rise is still the only venue allowed to stay open past Boston’s two a.m. curfew. –DS


Sullivan Room, New York
This subterranean dance den in coed-heavy Greenwich Village continues to turn out late-night DJ events to packed crowds, where the room often fills up well past four a.m. With plenty of corridors to get lost in, doors that seem to appear then disappear, and a willingness to book adventurous DJs that other local spots won’t touch, it’s no wonder so many clubbers are proud to call Sully their weekend home. The venue is planning a substantial expansion, and a switch to a Core Audio sound system in 2007. –DS


Stereo, Montreal
With an intimate, old school, one-room setting, househead favorite Stereo is still carrying the music-first flag up North. Despite much-publicized internal upheaval, this year was a strong one, with residents Victor Calderone, David Morales, Hector Romero and Chus & Ceballos playing sets that stretched into the next day. The venue has also diversified its format, and plans to brand stylistically diverse theme nights in 2007: While Saturday will continue catering to house, “Voices” will be tech-prog, “Tribalicious” will be all about the drums, and “Energize” will center on the popular electro-house vibe. –DS


The Endup, San Francisco
In a town obsessed with the latest, shiniest version of everything, it’s amazing how the 34-year-old Endup continues to impress SF’s partiers with a look and vibe as old-school and as comfortable as that old pair of jeans the door staff just let you get in with. Chi-chi clubbers continue to mix it up with the bare-chested gay crowd, and bi-monthly Reggae Gold party feeds the need for an oft-neglected portion of the club community. It’s not the first time you’ve nominated this club as one of your favorites (it won the category in 2004), and we’re sure it won’t be the last, either. –JH

© 2007 Testa Communications.
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