50 Bunda St, Canberra 2601
(02) 6253 2091 or academyclub.com.au
Canberra’s largest nightclub, Academy, is now lit up with a new Robe moving light installation from locally-based Elite Sound & Light. It’s designed to provide the best lighting and visual experiences for EDM club nights and visiting live artists.
Elite’s Darren Russell was asked to propose a design, and his primary concern was to spec fixtures that would give the flexibility and variety of effects needed for long periods of operation, that would enable the club to have a completely different look and feel according to its programme that night.
Academy has an 800 capacity main room and a 150-capacity Candy Bar upstairs, which features a glass wall along one entire side. There is also a VIP section.
The Robe fixtures chosen are LEDWash 600s, DLS Spots and Pointes, all from the ROBIN series – eight of each. The new rig is three times the size of the previous lighting system, but consumes less than half the power. The lights are installed on the house trusses in the roof – giving positions over the stage and part of the dancefloor – positioned so that they can have the best effects throughout the space, with two of the DLSs rigged on a bulkhead over the bar.
The fixtures were chosen for their ability to offer near infinite variety. They are used for big room looks, for washing the front, rear and sides of the stage and for feature highlights like gobo projection. They are also used for spotlighting two enormous mirror balls for retro disco moments, and a giant rotating Academy logo.
“We are hearing plenty of comments saying that the club is completely new,” says Darren.
In his design he followed the 101 principal for good club lighting, which involves first laying down base washes and then layering on top of these with effects, specials and clever programming. He started here with the LEDWash 600s which he loves for their smooth colour mixing and the rich array of hues and shades. The DLS’s and The Pointes then come in with all their fun visual elements – between the two types of fixtures, there is massive scope for creativity.
The club’s regular operator Atley Jones runs the rig day-to-day using a ChamSys Maxi-wing and a PowerMAC running MQ software.