Case Study

Brighton’s all-rounder

Creating the atmosphere at Socialite

Adding to Brighton’s rich musical backdrop, situated in the midst of the Lanes lives Socialite; a lifestyle restaurant, bar and roof terrace specialising in quality food, drink and entertainment. The space benefits from dimensional transcendence or a ‘Tardis-like’ aesthetic as its outward appearance would suggest a secluded bar with small al-fresco dining area at best, but the interior begs to differ. Socialite offers a prominent, fashionable space and thanks to an AV install from Flipside it is now built for pure musical appreciation.

“A few years back, people used to go to a restaurant, have their three-course meal and then move on elsewhere to enjoy cocktails and entertainment in some form,” explains Socialite Co-Founder, Barry Vera. “But previously, I’ve experienced lifestyle restaurants that are all-encompassing – you’re there for more than just the food, you’re there for a full evening experience.”

Long-term solution

To accommodate both intimate and large-scale events for DJ’s, bands and solo artists, Socialite called upon AV specialist Flipside to assist with a full-proof system installation. “We wanted something that we didn’t need to think about upgrading for a long time and could control on our own quite easily,” Socialite Co-Founder, Adam Elliott adds. “We also wanted something that could capture the music, without being over aught with high bass or tinny speakers and we were pretty fortunate to come across Flipside. I felt like we were all on the same wavelength.”

After reviewing several different design options, Flipside opted for a system based around Bosch’s Dynacord Electro-Voice solution. Relying on the EVID Surface S-series mount speakers, 8-inch and 5-inch versions were wall-mounted to the DJ areas, with a 4-inch for the downstairs bar and 5-inch IP-rated cabinet versions installed in the rooftop terrace. “The S-series speakers were the clincher of the whole set up,” recalls Flipside Managing Director, James Cooper. “They sounded really good and can go pretty loud, so they’re a diverse enough range to be able to go in all the different areas.”

Working towards a full Bosch solution route, the venue also has a Dynacord MXE5 Matrix Mix Engine installed with simple control via a TPC-1 Wall Panel along and power from a pair of Dynacord C-series amplifiers. “We really wanted to try the MXE5 – it’s really powerful and yet really simple to understand and easy to use. There’s plenty of control, lots of nice little touches woven into it and the TPC-1 is a brilliant wall panel – it looks great in that higher end hospitality setting. I always find myself falling back on the Dynacord C-series amplifiers as well, they are just really good value – a reliable, solid, decent sounding amp.”

Using the touch panel controller behind the bar, staff have ease of access by controlling different zones at different times of the day. “Some of us are still in the early months of learning and trying to find their feet around it, but it’s a God send in terms of its situation behind the bar, and it works beautifully without a doubt,” Vera states.

Hosting any event

The final AV set up has left Socialite in a position to host events both intimate and large-scale, as Cooper is satisfied the equipment will provide all-round support. “Socialite needed something unique to them and after a few final tweaks and tests and it sounded really good,” he concludes, “It’s given me a lot of confidence in all of the equipment that we used – particularly with the EVID speakers. The reports back to us have been really encouraging.”

A project three years in the making, Socialite has gained significant popularity since its opening. While serving contemporary British dishes and cocktails with global influences, using the freshest local ingredients with a Brighton touch, the real hook remains in the 70s-80s soul/funk classics pumping through building – drawing guests in and making them want to dance all evening.

Reflecting on the AV install, Elliott states: “Everything we do is about quality, we want customers to come in and feel that we haven’t scrimped on anything and that definitely includes the music, which Flipside have really helped us with. When the sound comes out, you know it’s of high quality.”