The premise of Soundcheck (1420 K St. NW, DC), a stylish new nightspot, is to bring the feel of the recording studio to the club scene. As a person who has spent a fair amount of time around recording studios, I was very pleased to have the opportunity to experience that feel firsthand at their recent grand opening party on Thursday.
From the street level entrance, one descends a staircase to the below ground facility. Few things isolate sound transmission like good old Mother Earth, so this is in keeping with the theme. The walls along the stairway and corridors are lined with Aurelex-type acoustic foam and cork, reminiscent of studio interiors (Dr. Wallace Clement Sabine, creator of the absorption coefficient for sound, would be proud).
Upon entering the main room, one is greeted by a sound system that is neither harsh or overbearing. Line array-type speakers buttress the DJ booth, complemented by a satisfying aggressive low end. Speakers are also part of the decor, inset into the glowing lucite cubes that serve as drink tables.
The interior of the Soundcheck nightclub (Photo by Joy Asico)
Thankfully the lighting system is not modeled after that of a typical recording studio, as the latter seldom have use for mirror balls. Here, we are treated to a high tech assortment of moving heads and L.E.D. PAR lights. In addition to the huge video display behind the DJ booth, there are numerous other screens lining the walls from the dance floor to the VIP room. Compliments to the people who set up the opening night promotional reel, nicely done!
On the night we attended, the music started out low to allow for conversation and mingling. It was nice to hear a P.A. system that maintains clarity and power even at low levels, such that it doesn’t drown out discussion. Clearly, the DJ was eager to break loose and drive the system a little harder, which he did as the evening progressed. At the higher levels, the system still maintained thick lows and clear high end. I predict it will keep the dancers in motion on many nights to come!
The disco balls are a welcome touch. (Photo by Joy Asico)
Parklife DC contributor Neal Keller is a professional sound engineer at Omega Studios as well as DJ of the long-running 80’s Dance Party at Tropicalia! For more on Neal, visit http://www.80sdanceparty.com.