AHA Livestage

Situated among the modest brick buildings of downtown Fredericia, AHA Livestage has given this small Danish city a lively gathering spot for members of “Generation X”— along with any others who delight in the unique music and culture created by this generation.

The lighting and interior décor reflect the trends of the 80s and 90s, and the bar offers a selection of drinks apropos of the time. But certainly, on weekends, the main draw for packed crowds is the music of the era, both live and in DJ sets, as reproduced by a discreet yet powerful audio system.

From the outset, the owners decided to spare no expense to make the establishment one of the finest of its kind in northern Europe in terms of all amenities. Fortunately, this no-compromise approach was made possible by a passionate entrepreneur grown up in Fredericia and desired to create something of lasting value for the city.

With music at the core of the concept, it was critical that audio and acoustics conform to the highest standards. Noted Fredericia sound designer Tim Høyer was enlisted as technical consultant on the project, and for the audio systems he brought in Stouenborg, one of Denmark’s leading systems design and integration firms. Eddy Bøgh Brixen of Ebb-consult acoustical consulting was tasked with assuring the ideal aural environment.

For the distributed loudspeaker systems, the first choice for both Høyer and the Stouenborg team was Meyer Sound. The goal was first to create a very low reverberation time and then to deliver premium quality sound – with the option of high undistorted levels – uniformly throughout the space.

To realize this goal, the acoustic design specified a ceiling construction of sandwiched acoustical panels in order to achieve minimal reverberation across the full frequency spectrum. The final measurements revealed an RT60 average of 0.85 seconds from 63 Hz to 12.5 kHz. To ensure uniform, full-bandwidth coverage, Stouenborg employed Meyer Sound’s MAPP acoustical prediction software to design the system of 78 self-powered Meyer Sound loudspeakers that now evenly blankets the 600 square-meter venue.

For the front end of the system, Stouenborg and Høyer specified a Yamaha digital matrix and an Allen & Heath mixing console.

Live music is built into the name of the club, and AHA Livestage even has its own quartet of musicians – dubbed The Hollywood House Band – to support visiting vocalists. When live music isn’t on tap, DJs keep the party going with visual support from the LED screen behind the stage. “Sound is at the center of the AHA Livestage experience,” summarised technical consultant Tim Høyer, “and the tonality, wide frequency response as well as the quality of the installation have been crucial for the club’s success.”

Now a thriving enterprise, AHA Livestage demonstrates the importance of developing a unique concept and then executing that concept at the highest level. According to the venue’s web site, the concept here centers on the sounds of artists like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Phil Collins, George Michael, Peter Cetera and Irene Cara. “AHA represents vibrations and moods with sounds from when Generation X was young,” the site continues. “We want to take our audiences back to the energy that prevailed musically from the late 70s through the 80s and into the early 90s. This is where we come from, and where we belong.”

For the audio and acoustic team, a no-compromise approach to quality assured that everybody in the club would experience that sense of belonging to their unique musical generation.