Modus Vivendi and K-array pool resources on new project

Smart home specialist and installer Modus Vivendi has transformed a prestigious residential client’s newly completed pool room into a full-on party audio experience with the installation of a discreet K-array speaker system, enhancing the entertainment possibilities of the space with all-encompassing and vibrant audio.

The client, a homeowner with a passion for music and entertainment, wanted a sound system capable of turning the pool room into a viable party space. “Our brief was to deliver high quality audio in the pool room, but our client didn’t have a clear idea exactly how to achieve that,” says Modus Vivendi director Chris Bethell. “We had worked on several projects around the property, including the network, CCTV, audio distribution and a golf simulator which with its integrated bar was currently doubling as a party space, and so he called me in once he decided to construct an indoor swimming pool with a focus on use as a dedicated entertainment space.”

As a result of meeting the K-array sales staff at the ISE show in Barcelona earlier in the year, Chris and Modus Vivendi managing director Luke Emmott became aware of the Italian brand’s strength of audio quality and the breadth of architecturally sympathetic speaker products that would allow them to specify with a new perspective into residential projects.

With the help of Matt Holland from K-array’s UK distributor, 2B Heard, the Modus Vivendi team offered to set up an audio demonstration while the pool room was unfinished, a bare shell with exposed cabling and un-plastered walls. “He was suitably impressed with the demo, and we started the process of selecting products that would work well in the space,” says Chris.

The objective was to fill the room with even sound coverage with clarity and precision, offering the potential for high SPL when required, while keeping the coverage focused and away from the abundance of reflective surfaces. In addition, the speakers should seamlessly blend into the room’s interior design without compromising on sound quality. Given the pool’s humid atmosphere, it was essential that all speaker housings and component provide high IP rating to ensure long term durability.

2B Heard director Dave Wooster’s K-Framework simulation confirmed that a pair of K-array Vyper-KV102 slim line arrays mounted on the short wall at either side of the 2m x 2m Samsung video screen in a stereo configuration at one end of the pool room would give optimum coverage, and with their narrow vertical dispersion characteristics avoid any possibility of reflections from the water or ceiling to disturb the overall coherence.

“We quickly realised that the low end of the frequency spectrum would require some creative thinking, as our client was not only expecting a big powerful punch but also factoring in the potential for the water and areas created by the huge sliding doors on both sides of the substantially large space to suck out low frequencies,” Chris remarks. “With limited possibilities to position subwoofers in the same plane as the line arrays, we decided to locate two Rumble-KU212 subs at the opposite end of the room, one flush mounted within wall panelling and another behind a curtain, and delay them back to the line arrays, which worked really well.”

Power for the speaker system is provided by a single Kommander-KA34 multi-channel DSP amplifier located in the gym upstairs, which feeds both the line arrays and the subs as well as offering complete control over the loudspeakers with a suite of digital signal processing from one compact unit in 2U of rack space.

With the installation under way, another factor that came into play was that the acoustics in the pool room vary enormously depending on whether the pool cover is on or off, or whether the sliding doors are open or closed and the drapes drawn or open, so calibration had to be done under optimally idealised conditions. “We calibrated with the pool cover off and the curtains closed as being the most frequent use of the room,” says Chris. “Our client was very happy with the first calibration, and over the moon once we’d gone through everything with Dave Wooster and made a few adjustments to the system.”

Aesthetically, the K-array line arrays blend into the room’s overall concept. But rather than colour match to the walls it was decided to retain the contrasting black finish creating a strong and slim visual accent, a feature which was then adopted and mirrored by the lighting designer’s vertical fixtures that line the long wall.

Chris notes, “It plays very loud and it plays very loud without a trace of distortion. We actually limited the system so that there is a fair amount of headroom. Clarity is very good, very crisp and the bass delivery is there when you need it.

“Initially I was all for RAL colour matching the line arrays to the wall to make them disappear, but our client had the idea to make them visible and have the tall, slim light fittings complement the speakers. It works really well and everyone’s super pleased with the result.”

  • 2 x Vyper-KV102 1m line arrays, black
  • 2 x Rumble-KU212 subwoofer
  • 1 x Kommander-KA34 DSP amplifier
No more articles