Audio Theory 3: Listening Blog 2
My Aeon is a nightclub that is home to Melbourne’s psytrance and techno scene, and has undergone several renovations to improve the acoustic quality and experience of the space.
My Aeon ground floor (My Aeon 2021).
The space in 2015 had a bar and chill area upon entry and a long, narrow corridor past the cool room and storage space to the dance floor. Beyond that was a large outdoor courtyard with another stage. This setup kept the bar quiet, however the back was quite loud, especially with the outside stage running all night. After a renovation the following year, another dance floor was created upstairs to replace the outside stage, and the ground floor became one open space (Webb 2016, para. 3). This reduced the dance floor claustrophobia however without the rooms separating the bar from the dance floor, much acoustic treatment was needed to reduce noise for bartenders and to comply with local SEPP N-2 regulations.
In an interview (Webb 2016, para. 4), club curator Bassiray claims that a “significant amount [was] spent on acoustic treatment and sound engineers,” and the “rooms are essentially being designed like sound studios.” The treatment takes ideas from the Live End Dead End (LEDE) design where there are two distinct acoustics – the ‘dead’ part of the room attenuates “first-order reflections which cause the most colouration,” and the ‘live’ end remains untreated to “retain the reverberant tail” (Fazenda, Angus & Cox 2015, para. 12). In My Aeon this allows the majority of the space to sound natural while reducing early reflections for the dance floor and DJ. For this effect, broadband absorbers line the ceiling, behind the decks, and entry wall opposite the speakers. Drywall is used on the dance floor sides to absorb reflections without creating a fully ‘dead’ sound.
In the ‘live’ end, the bar space and chill area is quiet enough to hold a conversation and be functional for staff. This is aided by positioning the bar behind the staircase to block direct sound, and creating a live yet diffuse chill space with furniture and bare brick walls after reducing early reflections on the dance floor and entry wall.
My Aeon’s acoustic treatment also serves to reduce noise escaping. The entrance is a short, snaked, and thickly lined with foam which reduces sound when the front door opens as there is no direct path out. Similarly the courtyard exit was recently renovated to include a small space covered in foam and second door to reduce sound outside.
Typical LEDE room setup (7btin 2021).
For a building the size of a small townhouse, My Aeon’s renovations and treatments have been incredibly effective for patrons, performers, and workers whilst maintaining a natural atmosphere. Its acoustics make it easy to pull a mix, hear customers, and be fully engrossed in loud blasting music all in the space of one room.
Ellie Walsh Boiler Room set (Walsh 2019)
Fazenda, B, Angus, J & Cox, T 2015, ‘The SOS Guide To Control Room Design’, Sound On Sound, viewed 2 November 2021, https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/sos-guide-control-room-design
My Aeon, Functions, online image, viewed 5 November 2021, https://www.myaeon.com.au/functions
Walsh, E, Ellie Walsh @ Boiler Room, My Aeon, online video, viewed 5 November 2021, https://www.facebook.com/djelliewalsh/videos/2406219762934514
Webb, A 2016, ‘After an extensive makeover, the venue will reopen in June under the programming guidance of Funf's Darius Bassiray’, Resident Advisor, viewed 2 November 2021, https://ra.co/news/33238
7btin.net, lede control room design, online image, viewed 5 November 2021, https://7btin.net/lede-control-room-design/