As night-time descends on Japan’s ‘city that never sleeps’, the metropolitan centre of Tokyo offers a sensory overload of lights and sound for all to behold. And the trendy upmarket district of Ginza is home to the glass-fronted Tokyu Plaza skyscraper where, on the sixth floor, a remarkable new Nightclub and DJ Lounge has opened to great acclaim.
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RAISE Tokyo is owned by prolific Japanese venue operator Lounge Operation (operator of other Tokyo venues including Sel Octagon, Ce La Vi and Plus) and offers a sensational VIP nightclub experience for both Tokyoites, celebrities and visiting tourists.
The club boasts a bold mission statement to ‘re-define the nightlife experience’ and few could disagree when gazing out across the stunning high-rise Tokyo cityscape from the twenty-seven metre high, floor-to-ceiling glass frontage of the nightclub.
The stylised design brief for the 800 capacity, 740 square metre venue is evident throughout, and the chrome Void speakers, which are almost highlighted as design features, add to the futuristic style of the venue.
“The high-end audio installation in Raise is the first time we have specified Void Acoustics for a Lounge Operation venue – but the GM is a Void fan and was keen to see the brand deployed throughout the club, not only because of the audio excellence but because of the design aesthetic of all Void products”, explains Tocci Satoru, Director of eastaudio inc. and Tokyo Sound System Laboratory – the long-term exclusive distributor for Void Acoustics in Japan.
The audio installation is significant and Tocci and his team believe they have delivered a well-balanced audio-scape despite the constraints of limited space and various other unique challenges. The distinct designs of bespoke chrome coloured Tri Motion and Airten V3 loudspeakers adorn the dancefloor, supported by a substantial number of Venu V2 and Stasys 118 subwoofers which are deployed throughout the venue to ensure even diffusion, clarity and seamless sound. The ArcM 12 acts as an exceptional DJ monitor whilst the amplification is supported with the Bias D1, Bias Q1 and Bias Q2 (all perfect amplifiers for this type of club lounge install). The system also includes the first Japanese installation of the Arcline 218 sub, and is completed with Cirrus 6.1 ceiling speakers.
A specific request from the operator was to have the Royal VIP area (located behind the DJ podium) to be enhanced with a significant bass ‘experience’, and so a Venu 215 V2 subwoofer is embedded behind the VIP sofa.
But one of the biggest challenges for the team was unexpected and unique to the club. Within the venue there were no interior walls from which to hang fixtures, and so the entire sound system needed to be strategically mounted using bespoke structures. “The inability to hang speakers was a major constraint to the sound plan,” explains Tocci, “and we really had to think outside the box to achieve the end vision desired by our client.”
“The glass is polyhedral and has no parallel surfaces, so there are no standing waves from reflections,” he continues. “Acoustically, the room is not as bad as one might expect. The ceiling, however, has a height of twenty-seven metres and the glass is shaped to tilt inwards as it goes up, so the sound pressure of the bass is not reduced even on the upper floors. To reduce noise spill, we improved the absorption to minimise the transmission of the sub on the floor and used a Forward Directivity Isolator (F.D.I) system. F.D.I suppresses resonance by surrounding the array with a unique structure to prevent sound leakage, whilst at the same time improving the impulse response and directivity. This results in a ‘tighter’ bass and a more natural sound.”
The result is impactful and out-of-the-ordinary. “Of course, as well as the beautiful aesthetics of the speakers, the sound quality is outstanding,” comments Tocci. “And perfect for the discerning VIP club-goers at Raise. As a nightclub in the heart of Tokyo’s prestigious Ginza district, the speakers needed to be stylish as well as of an exceptional audio design,” he continues.
The sonic end result is sensational as Tocci comments “It is a luxurious club, and the sound quality is equally luxurious and of an extremely high definition. And this has most certainly been acknowledged by many of the club goers who have been lucky enough to get their hands on a highly sought-after ticket to Raise.”
Mr Taro Fujita, General Manager for Raise Tokyo is thrilled with the results. “Raise is a club located in an exclusive neighbourhood where Tokyo’s best VIPs and celebrities gather. We are pleased that the sound quality and aesthetics of Void’s speakers complements the high-end club perfectly. A Void sound system can accommodate the wide variety of music genres and the wide range of music played by the famous DJs who are playing at our club. In addition to which the bespoke silver chrome finish of the speakers are a significant visual addition to the interior design of Raise Tokyo.”