Full Throttle Entertainment Director Adam Ward has toured with legends such as Tony Bennett and Frankie Valli and experienced everything in the sound game from production management to tour management to front of house engineering and PA design. He worked in America for 14 years in both LA and Vegas. He knows PA and has seen the DJ market grow extensively worldwide. Ward specialises in the design of sound systems for venues, but how does one design a PA system?
“You’ll get a client come to you and they will have an idea,” explained Ward. “Are they doing rock bands or DJs? What’s the space mean to do?” Once you get the design brief, you sit down and look at the space, work with architects and come up with what is best suited to the space.“
We specialise in hi-end DJs like Tiesto and Armand Van Buuren people like that. We specialise in clubs that they would play in. With a lot of the Vegas clubs, money is no option, they would come in and say we don’t care what it costs just build it. We really got to push the envelope.
For someone used to the magnitude of the Euro dance festivals and the elaborate clubs there and in America, Adam is disappointed that Australian club owners haven’t approached their venues with the same adventurous spirit as their overseas counterparts. "Sound systems are such an auditory and visceral experience. It really needs to be where you spend a lot of your money, most of them here don’t realise that,” said Adam. Good sound creates an environment that is comfortable and an environment that you want to be in. If the sound system is painful, too loud or horrible sounding you will actually drive people out of your venue and this obviously effects your bottom line. This is obvious yet many club owners simply just don’t get it.“
Full Throttle works closely with the Australian distributor of Funktion One sound systems, which Ward believes are currently the best in the world. "There are a lot of clubs in Ibiza using Funktion One which is the club Mecca. There area lot of clubs in Vegas, New York, and Miami that are sporting Funktion One. They are the epitome night club system. Funktion One really owns the electronic music market. Beatport just did a vote of the ten best sound systems in America and I think five out of the ten have Funktion One systems.”
Ward has seen a lot in the club world. One of his most memorable experiences was working a club in Vegas when Prince called up and decided he’d like to play a weekend of intimate shows. The venue was also booked for Tiesto, who at the time was the number one DJ in the world. Prince was contracted to finish at a certain time to allow for PA swap over for Tiesto. prince decided on his second night to play two hour
over time, leaving a 3,000 strong Tiesto crowd waiting outside. “they were seething and ready to burst out of their skin. This wave of energy came over the venue as these kids rolled in. The DJ dropped the first track and the place went instantly into mayhem. It didn’t finish until about 11 o'clock the next day.”
With his company and the Funktion One brand, Adam Ward is on a mission. “I believe in sound. It is a passion for me not just a job. What I want to do with Sydney and Australia is introduce people to that really high end audio that I experienced overseas and show people what you can do with sound.”