Vector in an article at Sound:Check
an interview with Ricardo Flores, founder and CEO of audio and lighting company, RFDesign
Newly opened nightclub My Way is on track to become one of the most prestigious nightclubs in Mexico. Located in Mexico-Toluca road, the site exploit the advantages of analog sound equipments, and lighting and video systems with spectacular qualities. Four terraces and their different areas inside, make a site with lots of personality. Ricardo Flores, creative director; Luis Diaz, lighting programmer and Carlos Bahíma, audio consultant, disclose the technical scope and development of this unique entertainment place.
It is Ricardo Flores, founder and CEO of audio and lighting company, RFDesign. A legend in the design and installation of equipment in night clubs in Mexico, who narrates his work process in creating My Way: "We had some delays in the process overtime, so at some point we convened to discuss if the project suffered changes or how it would be affected by delays. To that point, I stated that the project was outdated, and for me, was not new. At that time new nightclubs appeared with mechanical setups and very innovative systems and we did not want to stay behind".
"So I decided to change from triangle-shaped LED pixels that I had envisioned initially, to triangular LED screens", Ricardo mentions. "Obviously, this change brought with it many things that had to be considered, starting with weighting issues and control equipment as well as cost. However, the owners of My Way, as always, gave me complete freedom. After this, we focus into special ordering custom-made triangular LED screens and also had to change the lifting systems due to the weight. We changed some electronics and that was how the screens went from pixels to LED video screens, with surprising results. By having this capability, it is possible to do any kind of animation with them".
Regarding installation and working with the lighting equipment that would give My Way a unique touch, CEO of RFD explains: "Fortunately, we have a team of professionals who work with us. The rookie guy has 18 years working with us. My mechanical equipment supplier, Mr. Emilio González, is a good friend of mine since fifty years ago. We have known since we were teenagers, and together we were involved in the projects of the great clubs in the country as Magic Circus or Baby'O. We did a lot of club projects and he was always who built the mechanical systems for them".
"With regard to electronic systems for equipment programming", continues Ricardo Flores, "we have an engineer named Juan Carlos Morales, who really is a genius. We explained to him our needs and he was responsible for designing all the electronic part; the installation crew are also professionals. All this is a teamwork headed by Luis Diaz and I, but it is a team of professionals".
"The whole project of My Way is comprised of five areas", Ricardo says; "The bar, the cube, the disco, the terraces and the members lounge. The good thing about this is that the VIP area of the place has its own terrace, with its own fireplace and restaurant, that however, communicates with the other terraces coming from the cube or bar. Each of the terraces has its own music.You can have a different kind of music in each of the terraces or join them, but the best part is that whether you can put a DJ to play music on the terraces on a Sunday for example, you can also have the option that inside each of these areas, you can take the audio signal from each of the other working areas too. This is a system that does not exist in Mexico because there are no so many venues in one place".
"In My Way we installed a genuine sound in the style of the seventies, complemented with the latest equipment; we try to get that warm sound of analog systems of those years, with five-way speakers, and with Ifra Bass technology. Most of the system's components are made in Mexico, with results that are plain to see for everyone".
"I started working with Ricardo because he needed different ideas from people outside the media, to be combined with theirs", Luis Diaz explains. "Suddenly he told me he needed someone to interpret him. Someone who had a fresher vision. That way I joined. I found out that he had a considerable amount of time working on the project of My Way and once I learned the details of it, I got pretty excited because this was something big, innovative and with areas that allowed to challenge many of our concepts".
"My job is to translate the ideas of Ricardo. He draws everything in Autocad and I carry out the mechanisms part", Luis Diaz explains. "I program all inventions. I give them the management intended. We have our electronics technicians who make all of the devices so that everything can communicate. For example, the lighting console was one of the things that had to use a sophisticated software . In addition, the lifting systems have to be handled with a very precise software named Cuelux Pro. This is a dutch software that has the same operating principle that a lighting console, but on a computer. Here in Mexico Windows-type programs are used; however, this software is a computer program used in a lighting console. Finally, as much work needs to be done with video, we looked for a properly program for this task. We choosed Resolume VJ that handles lots of video sources, can make effects, and schedule and save them as a lighting console".
Regarding the type of lighting equipment that were used for My Way, Luis says: "We used LED screens; in this case custom triangular screens were used. DTS lights were also used in combination with wash luminaries to fill the dance floor. We made a video-wall non-traditional way in which multiple LED screens are not simply joined together, but also we put on the outline of each of the screens some LEDs dot-type, which are small hemispheres one inch in diameter with nice deep colors. "
"The LEDs were integrated into the design as a functional part of a whole. Not as stand-alone highlighted lights. Everything has to be fitted to the project's consistency. Often is common to just buy twenty lights of a kind, thirty of another, hang all together and then you have your nightclub. In this case, the characteristics of the project claimed that everything was comprehensive. So all equipment was custom-made. All of these equipments should be handled by the same type of process so that they should be easy to operate. Also we wanted a type of control without limitations, that allow the operator to have control of everything", Luis continues. "The main lighting desks we used are a Vector Red and an Ultra Violet from Compulite", explains the lighting specialist. "Actually it is used for television studios. In fact, they are not designed for nightclubs or discos, but allow great control, accuracy and a touch that no computer software can give."
In a city like Mexico, where the entertainment offering of any kind is huge, places like My Way always will be appreciated, a world class club where spectacular is the trademark. The nights will never be the same.