With a reputation spanning over 15 years, the Night Cat in Melbourne’s Fitzroy (and now also the City) has been home to everything in the name of groove, swing, soul and funk. The original Fitzroy hotspot has a truly unique layout with a circular stage in the middle of the venue allowing boppers and movers to view the band doing their thing at any position 360° around the stage. This open format not only gives the Night Cat a really cool vibe but also makes its sound requirements quite particular.
Max Vella, the owner of both Night Cat venues and long time musician, insisted on having the best gear for his venues. Coming from a musical background, the importance of quality audio is part of his DNA and when the time came to choosing the right system, it was Nexo and Xilica all the way. Given the challenging characteristics of the venue’s layout, the fit out for the Fitzroy Night Cat needed to be delicately crafted.
The end result was a strategic positioning of 2 x Nexo S1230’s flown at one end of the stage aimed toward the dance floor and 4 x Nexo PS10’s evenly flown across the opposing end facing the open space between the stage’s edge and the bar. Max specifically requested that the sound be even at every point between the stage up to the bar and neatly drop off in volume at the bar to ensure staff could take drink orders (bites when they can’t hear you). By angling the PS10’s carefully, this was successfully achieved. Max notes that the Nexo range is “one of the very few brands that offer a speaker which can give a tight and focused sound in the direction the speaker is pointed”.
The venue is also transformed into a dance studio through the week and two classes are held simultaneously; each with their own mic’d up instructor and flash dance soundtrack. This configuration was made possible by using a Xilica 8080 system which allows for programmable presets. The current program enables the Night Cat to move from a full club system to a split between the front and back speakers essentially creating two separate PA’s. Each side of the venue (being each side of the system), is balanced so well that both can be run simultaneously without the sounds from either interfering with one another. Max comments that “the Nexo’s have a big sound that’s in your face but people can still speak to each other without yelling”; something that works very well when both club nights and dance classes are being run. But that wasn’t all the Xilica provided the Night Cat Fitzroy in terms of functionality…
As many club owners will surely confess, noise complaints occur occasionally and it can be difficult to manage. Max reveals that one of the big attractions of the Xilica 8080 is the exceptional 31 band GEQ which provides the ability to “cut problematic frequencies that are particularly exaggerated outside of the premises and reduce the number of complaints”.
The Night Cat’s city venue has a very different shape and style with a long, rectangular room spanning over 45 metres. The aim here was to achieve a big sound from the front stage that reached all the way to the end of the room. This was done by installing 2 x Nexo PS15’s and 2 x Nexo 15 Bass Extenders at the front of the stage and flown high. With that amount of grunt, ensuring the sound would travel all the way down was guaranteed. An additional Nexo PS8 was also installed half way down and flown in the center the room to off-set delay and provide additional fill.