Yamaha helps Flipside Soundsystem to reach new heights at this new bouldering gym.
It came as something of a surprise to Flipside Soundsystem when the company was approached to design and install the audio system at a new bouldering gym in Copenhagen, Denmark. Happily for all concerned, choosing Yamaha loudspeakers and processing has helped to make for a very contended customer.
“Pretty much everyone at Flipside enjoys a fair amount of indoor bouldering, so we were both surprised and excited when Josh Glanville and Francesco Ragazzi of Beta Boulders asked us to work on the sound system for their new 10,000ft2 bouldering gym,” says Flipside managing director James Cooper. “Our first instinct was to want to achieve something that sounded better than the gyms we all climb in.”
Although Beta Boulders has state-of-the-art climbing and training areas, it is also much more. With a yoga studio, cafe and co-working spaces, it is designed to bring people from all over the Copenhagen area together.
“We connect people through climbing, work, culture and we needed an audio system that could be used by any staff member, but flexible enough so it could be used across different type of events and scenarios,” says Francesco. “We wanted to make the space come alive, without the background music being too low or sounding too different across the various spaces. And we needed it in a short time-frame.”
We wanted to make the space come alive, without the background music being too low or sounding too different across the various spaces. And we needed it in a short time-frame - Francesco Ragazzi of Beta Boulders
This meant that Flipside had to cover both large, reverberant areas in the climbing zones where higher SPLs would be needed, and more intimate zones for the yoga studio, cafe and changing rooms. “In the climbing areas we had to design out the risk of either ending up with loud and quiet areas or ending up hearing more reverberant sound from the room than from the speakers,” says James.
Yamaha loudspeakers in the sound system designed by Flipside
The answer was 36 Yamaha VS4 and VS6 full range, surface mount loudspeakers in a multi-zone system managed by an MTX3 matrix processor. The system’s seven zones cover the main climbing area, competition bouldering area, training area, yoga studio, reception and bar, changing rooms and the office space, with control by four Yamaha DCP series wall panels.
“For the main climbing area, we had to work out an asymmetrical speaker pattern which allowed for the irregular shapes of the bouldering walls,” says James. “We chose VS4s for all areas except the competition area, where we went with the slightly larger VS6s to allow extra headroom for big events where microphones and louder music would be needed."
The system is managed by the matrix processor MTX3 with the DCP wall panels providing simple and convenient control of the system from throughout the building.
“Flipside provided a product flexible enough to allow for alterations to the final installation after the equipment was delivered, producing a top-quality system in an extremely short-time frame,” concludes Francesco.
“We love how the installation sits in the background without being visible, but the sound level is absolutely homogeneous across the different spaces. It has undoubtedly improved the customer experience and perception of our facility, compared to a traditional gym. The sound level is clean and homogeneous, without the obvious loud / silent spots you can find in most climbing facilities. It’s been such a success that we are already planning an expansion to the system.”