Best known for the summer Film Festival, the city of Cannes, located on the French Riviera is famous for attracting the rich and famous by oozing luxury in all forms.

Steeped in history, the Palm Beach Resort was closed for a number of years, before undergoing a huge transformation to restore it to its former glory. The new complex is now home to two nightlife outlets – Medusa and GOTHA – operated by Cannes-famous duo, David Barokas and Patrick Tartary.

Long-term friend and contractor, Colorsonic, headed up by Managing Director, Gerard Giraudon has been working with David and Patrick for more than 20 years, and has spent the last three years planning their latest venture. Gerard’s favoured partner, Samy Chams, owner and founder of Prospect Design, who assumes the role of architectural and interior designer, has also been part of the journey.

The evening for most begins at Medusa, a cabaret restaurant with a difference that takes its name from the Greek myth for ‘femme fatale par excellence’, which embodies the power of femininity.

Medusa has two dinner services – 8pm and 10pm – with guests drinking in the bar area throughout the entire evening. During the dinner service, a cast of performers from singers and dancers to trapeze artists interact with the audience to create a 360º show performance.

When it comes to design, everything is under the management of Gerard and Samy. Samy said: “Everything has to be designed by us, it’s not just the ceiling, the walls and the floors, and then handing it over to someone else. Some architects work like that, but not us – we decide as a team. We propose what we want to achieve to the client and, if they are happy, we go to our partners and specialised companies to draw up a detailed plan.”

The design started with the 1930’s history of the building using some brass materials and rusty colours, even the shape of the tables is a nod back to the original form. “There has to be a balance between the technology and interiors, we want cutting edge for everything, not just the audio and lighting, so we also look for new materials and new designs. Most importantly, we don’t copy ideas; you will never see anything that looks like this venue anywhere else in the world,” Samy continued.

That said, Samy takes a very keen interest in the audio setup in the venue, not only from an aesthetic perspective, but from a listening angle, too, as it’s all part of creating the sumptuous ambience. And, on this occasion, he is over the moon with the TW AUDiO installation. He continued: “I think this sound system is more delicate, in comparison to other brands I have worked with in the past. You can go from very low to very high, and that is a great advantage. TW AUDiO do more than sell a sound system, they sell a design. The sound is perfect, there are no delays inside or outside, just everyone listening to the same audio experience.”

When specifying the PA, Gerard needed to keep in mind that Medusa has three modes – restaurant, cabaret and club – so it was essential the system was flexible, and capable of background music, live performance and DJ sets. At the same time, the owners wanted the system to be as discreet as possible.

Coupled with these requirements is the fact that the venue is half indoors and half outdoors, split by glass bi-folding doors that stretch the full length of the elongated room. The solution was to install one system inside and one outside, however, they do function as a single solution. Gerard explained further: “Inside we had to consider reverberation times, as well as the fact the room is essentially open on one side. We needed enough power from the cabinets to provide even coverage across the space, but not too much, to avoid any interference.”

Inside, Gerard selected 12 TW AUDiO T20i loudspeakers with a 90º by 50º dispersion angle mounted horizontally around the perimeter of the room. To supplement the T20i cabinets, Gerard also selected two TW AUDiO B30 subwoofers, and eight TW AUDiO B14i subwoofers, the latter of which was specifically designed by the company for this project, at Gerard’s request.

He approached TW AUDiO founders and brothers, Bernhard and Tobias Wüstner to ask if they could collaborate on a customised product. Bernhard furthered: “The B14i was the first of two products we developed for this project. Both were necessary to be able to fulfil the sound requirements and both were critical to producing the perfect sound. I feel with the B14i we have created something really special.”

At just 24cm in height, the newly designed B14i allowed Gerard to place the subwoofers into spaces the height of a typical eight-inch subwoofer, in this case, mostly under the sofas. What makes the B14i even more special is that TW AUDiO placed a specially developed 14-inch long excursion driver in a bandpass enclosure when designing it, which provides up to 6dB more SPL compared to a traditional double eight-inch subwoofer of identical size.

Outside, with the obvious difference in acoustic environment, Gerard opted for 18 TW AUDiO M10’s – a significant amount for the size of the space, but he had his reasons for the quantity. “There are a lot of loudspeakers outside to avoid any noise issues. It’s a big area to cover, but we didn’t want any sound to leak out, as we are situated on the beachfront. The M10’s have a short throw, so the sound isn’t projected too far and lost, but coverage is even thanks to the quantity of boxes. Present, clear, natural sound is what we strive for and we have definitely achieved it here, thanks to the adaptable range of products from TW AUDiO,” he said.

Amplification for the system is taken care of by eight Powersoft X4DSP+ETH amplifiers with built-in DSP, three for inside and five for outside. The two companies often work together, with the products containing standard presets for a quick and easy setup.

Completing the audio line-up at Medusa is the DJ equipment, which comprises a further four TW AUDiO M10’s powered by a single Powersoft Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+Dante amplifier, Pioneer CDJ-2000 NXS2 multiplayers and Pioneer DJM-900 NXS2 DJ mixers, as well as a Yamaha QL1 mixing console for the live show performances and two Pioneer Pro Audio XPRS 10’s for DJ monitors.

At Medusa, the majority of the lighting fixtures are hung on a truss grid outside, so the movers can really highlight the show performers, as well as double up as dancefloor lighting, later in the evening.

The weatherproof lighting inventory includes 10 Tronios Tiger 7R moving heads, four BEAMZ LED Orbic Wash Corolle moving heads, 10 BEAMZ Ignite 180B LED 150W moving heads and five Starway 10R beam spot moving heads, alongside a full complement of intelligent fixtures from Briteq, all of which are controlled via a Sunlite FC+ software interface.

Samy said of the completed project: “I’m really proud of Medusa, it’s one-of-a-kind, although it’s the second venue I have built with an integrated show. Everything about it just works, and I have no doubt we will be asked to replicate a similar concept elsewhere.”