A considered approach
Beta Boulders is an innovative facility in Copenhagen with a variety of functions, including a space for indoor climbing (bouldering), a cafe, yoga and fitness studios, and a space for co-working and meetings. When founders, Josh and Francesco, approached Flipside to design a sound system for their new 10,000 square foot bouldering gym, the team were thrilled.
James Cooper, Managing Director at Flipside recalls: “From the beginning, it was clear the sound system could be relatively simple to set up, but we wanted to achieve something that sounded far superior to the quality that we’re used to hearing in our indoor climbing gyms, and this meant carefully considering our approach to get the best sound possible.
“Covering such a large area as the expansive space at Beta Boulders tends to involve the use of a 100V line system and the trick is to work out positioning with great precision. The risk is either ending up with inconsistent sound, with loud areas and quiet areas in a single large space or ending up with more reverberant sound from the room than from the speakers themselves. We managed to get the positioning and balance just right, with Francesco praising us for the clean and homogeneous sound free from obvious loud/silent spots you can find in most climbing gyms.”
Designing a unique layout
All in all, Flipside used 36 speakers divided into several zones, including the large main climbing area, competition bouldering area, training space, yoga studio, reception and bar, office space, and even the changing rooms. The focus was on providing clarity and sound quality throughout the various spaces, to create a sustained atmosphere and ensure customers enjoy their listening experiences across the facility. Francesco “wanted to make the space come alive” with background music maintaining a stable volume level across the site, so that is exactly what the team did.
“The unusual and irregular shapes of the walls in the main climbing area meant that we had to design the speaker pattern to suit the asymmetrical layout,” Cooper explains. “Quite a bit of planning was conducted off-site, but with a good amount of time for on-site tweaking and fine-tuning. In the end, a space like Beta Boulders – with such versatility in terms of function and design – will always involve some on-site adjusting to ensure the system works to the highest standard for the specific environment and all its quirks.
“We chose smaller Yamaha VS4 speakers in all areas other than the competition area where we went with the slightly larger VS6 model. This was to allow for extra headroom and to pack more of a punch for big events where microphones and louder music would be required.
“Every part of the system is controlled via the Yamaha MTX3 (still our go-to matrix) and a series of DCP wall panels placed in various zones. Due to the fact we needed a bit more power to play with, we opted for Powersoft’s Canali range of install amplifiers over Yamaha’s XMV amps that we would usually use for this type of system. We adapt to each and every space, and thus, any compromise that better suits the venue, is a compromise worth making.”
Additional visual set up
Besides the audio, Francesco also chose Flipside to provide and install their CCTV system. There are a total of 24 cameras around the site covering all areas, as well as bullet cameras built to withstand Denmark’s harsh weather conditions. This can all be monitored from local monitors, computer or from anywhere via the smartphone app.
“In the end, it was a challenging installation process with our team working nine days straight, mostly due to the huge amount of cabling that went into the expansive site,” Cooper adds. “We got through almost 4km of copper between the sound and CCTV systems. All that hard work was well worth it and did not go unnoticed. Beta Boulders is an incredibly impressive space and a top-notch climbing facility. It was a great pleasure to work with Josh and Francesco and set them up with fittingly fantastic sound and CCTV systems. We look forward to heading back soon to deliver three 100V subwoofers to place inside the climbing walls themselves – and hopefully, we’ll get a good bit of climbing in too!
Francesco commended Flipside’s efficiency, stating, “The guys understood our requirements and our space and delivered a top-quality installation in an extremely short time frame.”
- 36 Yamaha VS4 & VS6 speakers throughout
- Yamaha MTX3 matrix
- 2 x Powersoft Canali amplifiers
- 4 x Yamaha DCP wall panels for control
- 24 channel Dahua CCTV system