FCTN is a multi-purpose entertainment venue in the heart of Canberra that can host anything from concerts to club nights, exhibitions, theatre, live art, and innovative performances.
Housed in an old renovated movie cinema with charismatic industrial décor, FCTN is a two-tiered basement venue that can cater for up to 1000 people.
The name ‘Fiction’ is a play on the old cinema heritage of the building which occupied it for over three decades. More recently the building was home to Academy Nightclub, which closed a year ago.
The landscape of the venue has been significantly transformed, in particular the original balcony has been changed into a mezzanine that wraps around the club. This area runs as a separate bar that looks down into the club area.
The owners spent ‘a s*&t load’ of money renovating the venue according to Darren Russell, Managing Director of Elite Event Technologies, who were tasked with designing a complete lighting, video and audio solution for FCTN on a permanent rental basis. “The brief we were given is that the club will operate similarly to Academy, in that it would primarily be a nightclub, but they did want to be able to do live entertainment,” he explained.
“We purchased all the lighting and VuePix LED Screens as new stock, but the audio is from our existing inventory. We had the Turbosound Flex Array in there previously when it was Academy, and as it worked really well in the room, we decided to put it back.”
Installed in the club area are six elements of Turbosound TFA-600H either side of the stage with a sub array of six Turbosound TSW-218 subs across the front of the stage and a couple of iQ12s as DJ monitor speakers, all powered by Lab Gruppen PLM Series amplifiers.
Four QSC AD-S10T surface mount speakers are delay fills under the mezzanine in the bar area. The bar upstairs is catered to by six Martin Audio CDD10 speakers and two CSX212B subs, driven by three QSC RMX2450a power amplifiers.
“We designed the PA to be one big system, so we have just one Yamaha MTX 5D Audio DSP to run the whole club,” added Darren.
“We’ve got EXI8 input and EXO8 output expanders upstairs with a separate rack of amplifiers so we didn’t have ridiculously long speaker cable lengths. But essentially it’s one big system, and the whole point of that is the staff will control everything via an iPad.”
Most of the time the upstairs bar and downstairs club will operate as separate entities, but for large events, such as live shows, the owners wanted the ability to be able to sell upstairs as part of downstairs and be able to route any of the audio anywhere. Consequently Darren designed the one big integrated audio system that can be configured on an iPad utilising Yamaha’s fully customizable app.
“We use these DSPs a lot and they really sound good,” he said. “It works great, is priced well and is user-friendly.”
The DJ gear is all Pioneer Nexus MK2 with three DJM-900NXS2 DJ mixers and 12 CDJ-2000NXS2 CD players, essentially two systems of a mixer and four CD players with a whole spare set-up kept on site.
Visually, the club is dominated by a back wall of the Vuepix LED Panels, which provide incredible eye candy and images. Framing the VuePix on three sides are ACME Dotline 360 LED battens, ACME XA-100 hybrid movers, and Martin RUSH Strobe Panels. Together these fixtures form a powerful frame of movement and colour to complement the action on the VuePix.
“The operators in the Club love the ACME Dotline 360 LED battens,” added Darren. “They’re quite cool because their zoom works in two halves in two different segments, so you can get some great effects out of them especially in the air.”
Providing action over the dancefloor are ACME XA-400 spot movers and ACME CM-300ZR-II washes hung from a large square truss grid. A pair of MDG ATME Hazers, one either side of the stage, supply atmosphere with Darren saying the second one is more for redundancy. They are run at only 10% yet still easily fill the venue.
“We tend to always install two into clubs because sooner or later someone will spill a drink in one midway through a gig!” laughed Darren. “Or the bar staff are filling it up in the dark and pour fluid all over the machine!”
Control is via a Chamsys MagicQ MaxiWing and a Power Mac running Chamsys MagicQ and ArKaos Media Master Pro Software as well as a pair of HP E230t 23” touch screen monitors. ACME EN28 Art-Net DMX Converters enable 14 universes of DMX to be utilised in the venue, where everything is running in full load.
“We have a number of club installs that we have done where we have video and we usually install ArKaos along with Chamsys,” explained Darren. “The integration between the two works really well, in fact I’d say ArKaos works better with Chamsys than anything else. Together, they make pixel mapping very simple.”
Elite also supplied Global and CLS truss, Chainmaster one tonne hoists and Chainmaster control, Mojo Crowd Barriers, and Global Stage Deck.