Butter NC brings Turbosound club sound to Charlotte
It's not often that I will post a blog entry about a nightclub, but when I read about this sick place over in Charlotte, North Carolina, I had to share with everyone the details. The club is called Butter and it holds up to 400 people in 8300 square feet. The music bumps through Turbosound TCS speakers and the decor has a nice mix between "NYC, South Beach, and Vegas"...my favorite places to visit in the entire Country...
Located in Charlotte’s Music Factory entertainment district, Butter NC is an 8,300 square-foot space that has taken the Charlotte club scene to a new level, with lush design concepts, superior service, and a sound system that envelopes up to 400 guests with an upbeat mix of electronica, hip-hop and top 40 music. Local design and install firm Eye Dialogue chose Turbosound TCS speakers to pump up the volume and provide distinctly different vibes on Butter’s two levels, each with its own DJ.
ButterMention the name “Butter” as a night club and most people think New York, where that nightspot revolutionized the evening out by combining a high-end restaurant with an exquisite nightclub experience on the same premises. With his North Carolina roots and a passion for entrepreneurship, Butter co-owner Scott Sartiano decided to bring his distinctive nightclub concept back home. “I wanted something intimate and classy, yet not overdone. It has a touch of New York, South Beach and Vegas all rolled into one,” he explains.
“It’s a total visual experience; they pulled out all the stops in designing this space,” says Entertainment Technology Designer Jack Kelly of Eye Dialogue Lighting & Sound in Charlotte, who designed and installed the club’s audio systems. “But the big thing for the owners was the sound. They wanted it to feel like the sound was all around you instead of originating from one end of the room. That presented a lot of interesting problems.”
To address this “directionless” directive within a fairly limited budget and specific limitations on the number and locations of loudspeakers, Kelly settled on a combination of Turbosound TCS Series speakers to meet the club’s goals. “Replication of audio in a club setting isn’t like a concert or trying to reproduce a CD. People expect to hear a lot of sub,” he explains. “But at the same time, it’s got to be clean and distortion-free at any volume. It’s a challenge. I was looking at several different manufacturers, but when I heard a demo of these speakers, especially the subs, I really liked what I heard – big sound, tons of headroom, and super clean. And they’re really not as expensive as their reputation. They just sound that way!”
Butter is divided into two distinct areas, each with a separate DJ and sound system. The main dance club is on the bottom floor, while the upper level houses a lounge with VIP area. Clubgoers enter on the second floor, which features curving walls and 16-foot ceilings. “It’s a difficult space. The curves help and they softened it up with fabric treatments to make it less reverberant, but the building is an old warehouse with cement floors, so there are a lot of reflective surfaces. Basically, we have one speaker up in each corner of the lounge, aimed down and in. The subs are on the ground, inset in the walls,” notes Kelly.
The four main speakers are Turbosound TCS122s, which radiate in a 60x40-degree pattern. The two TCS-B218 subwoofers feature dual 18-inch drivers that can reproduce frequencies down to 25 Hz at volumes up to 142 dB. “The 122 horns delivered exactly what we needed, and those new TCS B218 boxes subs give us a really full sound, even with the tall ceiling,” Kelly enthuses. “The sound of that sub just blows me away, and it’s really not that expensive. It’s really an awesome box.”
Down on the first floor, Kelly used a similar scheme for both the main dance floor and the lounge, adjusting his product choices to fit the size and shape of the spaces. The dance floor is the loudest room in the club, requiring an immersive audio experience that remains clean and undistorted, even when the room hits 115 dB. This is accomplished with Turbosound TCS-1561 3-way speakers with 15-inch horns above each corner of the main dance floor, radiating in a 70x40-degree pattern. These are augmented by four floor-standing TCS-B218 subs spread evenly around the periphery to create the bass-heavy club sound the club was striving for.
The first floor lounge, a smaller space with 9-foot ceilings and a slightly more restrained vibe, employs four TCS-121C mains with a pair of TCS-218C subwoofers. “Those are Turbosound’s Contractor Series,” explains Kelly. “The first floor lounge is a smaller space, so it didn’t require quite the kick we have on the dance floor, and these boxes were perfect for that.
With an open staircase connecting the two levels, the final key was finding a way to get Butter’s two main sound systems to play nicely together. “Most of the time, they are playing two different styles of music. The stairwell is the key, because there’s a landing area where the bathrooms are, and that’s where the sound intersects,” explains Kelly. “We had to find a way to make it the sound intelligible there without jumping through too many hoops.”
The solution was to add a single 8-inch speaker on the landing, with a wall switch to select the music from either space. “If you reinforce the mids and highs of the music that is dominant on the landing – which varies from night to night – suddenly you’ve got clear sound,” he notes. “Theoretically, if both sources are the same volume on the landing, it wouldn’t work. But that hasn’t been an issue.”
The installation at Butter is perfectly aligned with Eye Dialogue’s emphasis on the insightful use of new technologies and proven equipment to create elegant solutions in both lighting and sound. “I like the scientific nature of audio design,” Kelly states. “You’ve got a space, you’ve got a budget, and you’ve got a goal. So really, for any given situation, there’s always a best solution. At Butter, we achieved the owner’s vision of world-class audio in a visually oriented venue, and the new Turbosound TCS Series speakers were a critical part of that equation.”
Co-owner Scott Sartiano emphatically agrees. “Great sound is vital in every club, so we always use the best available,” he says. “In this case, that meant Eye Dialogue and, in turn, Turbosound, and it has not disappointed. The sound in Butter is clean and crisp, yet powerful. You can’t help but notice the sound quality while you are there. I’d like to think it has become a welcome fixture and staple in Charlotte nightlife.”
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Kareem Julien (AKA DJ Blaze) has been a hip-hop, R&B, Reggae, and Club DJ since 1993. DJ Blaze has reviewed over 100 pieces of DJ Equipment and continues to provide the DJ community with high quality DJ gear reviews and updates related to DJ equipment and DJ culture.
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