Case Study: Phantaci, Malaysia

Hurrairah bin Sohail and integrator RSR Pro Sound & Lighting discuss how a straightforward audio and video installation for a retail outlet was tweaked and elevated to help the space differentiate itself from the competition.

AV installations for retail spaces are unique. The end user needs AV technology to capture the attention of customers and retain it. At the same time the products deployed need to help the retail space differentiate it from its competitors while also blending in with the aesthetic chosen by the interior designer. It is the unenviable task of the integrator to make the AV system perform the many functions that are demanded.

Phantaci, a clothing and apparel retail chain founded by Jay Chou, opened its first store in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia choosing a space in the bustling Chow Kit region of the city. The building itself used to be a pub and was selected due to the aesthetic value of a spiral staircase running down the middle of the three floor building.

RSR Pro Sound & Lighting was engaged as the integrator while Page Innovates was also involved as the exclusive distributor for HK Audio.

While Phantaci required both video and audio systems, the latter was the main focus of the project. Sheila Wong, manager of Phantaci in Malaysia, comments: “Phantaci was founded by Jay Chou who is a a world famous musical artist. Keeping this in mind, we had to have quality audio for our space and this was our foremost priority.” Richard Phong from RSR Pro Sound & Lighting provides more details: “The interior designer was very involved with project. We had to match the speakers and their placement with the ID’s vision for the aesthetics. This was an important part of the project.”

Design for the audio system started from these two points of conception and Phong details: “We came up with different design choices for Phantaci based on different placement and fixtures for the speakers. Each design had a different coverage pattern and throw of sound. We selected the design and tweaked it based on feedback from the end user regarding their needs and the expected crowd placement in the space.”

Point of difference

Phantaci has chosen a unique way to differentiate itself from other retail outlets. Wong from Phantaci says: “Many retail outlets engage rental services for catwalks when the need arises. We decided t have a permanent catwalk on the second floor. We feel this gives our customers a unique experience and helps us set ourselves apart.”

LG displays provide visuals on this floor of the retail space. On the back-end a Focus Media 1x4 HDMI splitter and Focus Media extenders are used to transmit video from a DVD player. The requirement for video was not extensive and the content is managed by the staff at Phantaci.

Keeping this in mind, RSR Sound & Lighting ensured that the video system deployed was user friendly and simple to operate.

Phong says: “The video deployment was simple and easy. Phantaci just needed to get video from point A to point B and vice versa. Not much switching was required and the design was very straightforward.”

To further enhance the staging of the catwalk, Effect Factory Mini LED moving lighting has been deployed. A Net.Do A200 stage light controller at the back-end helps with operations. Audio for level two is delivered by four HK Audio Elements Sub AS subwoofers in conjunction with four E435 satellite speakers and two Nano 305 FX speakers. Six HK Audio IL80CT ceiling speakers can also be found and are used for background music.

Phong talks about the different types of speakers chosen: “The ceiling speakers deployed are just for the background music. These are what Phantaci uses on a daily basis to provide audio for the space. The additional Nano speakers and Element speakers are used for the catwalk area or when events or shows are being held. They are only engaged when needed.”

The audio system for the catwalk was also the main challenge that the integrator faced on this project. Phong narrates: “Our challenge was to match the audio system with the expectations of the client. It was difficult to predict how the space would be used and what events they will be staging. This meant that it was difficult to predict where the crowd would be seated or whether people would be walking around and mingling. If the MC is walking around with a wireless microphone would that cause feedback? Add to this the fact that the second level has a lot of hard, reflective surfaces and even glass incorporated into the interior design and we had a space that was acoustically challenging.”

The due diligence done during the design period helped overcome the aforementioned challenges and Wong from Page Innovates says: “The HK Audio Element speakers can be stacked. But we needed to place the speakers such that there was full coverage for the space and proper audio distribution.”

A Yamaha MGI2XU mixer is used to control the audio system and two Sennheiser microphones can be found for input. Adrian Wong from Page Innovates talks about the importance of the Yamaha mixer: “The mixer was essential for the project as it allows the staff to control the audio system. It also provides an easy way for Phantaci to bring other audio equipment into the house audio system. For example, at the launch event Phantaci invited a DJ to come and play and they were just able to connect the Pioneer DJ system to the Yamaha mixer and use the house audio system.”

The Phantaci outlet has been operational since August 2018 and the end user has reported no issues or complaints with the audio and video systems.

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