Room Acoustics

Acoustic of the Hamburg Star-Club

The ‚Star-Club’ of Hamburg is one of the best known places for live music which ever existed. Opened in April, 1962, the ‚Star-Club’ saw rock’n’roll greats from the Beatles to Jimi Hendrix, and from Little Richard to The Nice and Yes before the venue was closed as a live music hall on december 31st, 1969.
After the building had been badly damaged by a fire in 1983, it was completely torn down in 1985. Musicians who had played the ‚Star-Club’, and had lauded the venue for its great sound and atmosphere, said that one of the most important places in regard to the history of rock music had been destroyed with no chanceever to reconstruct it. The chance to reconstruct the actual room acoustics came when we talked to musicians who had been on stage in the ‚Star-Club’, and who gave us many valuable informations in addition to source material found in archives. We attempted to reconstruct the ‚Star-Club’ in every known detail with the aid of the Odeon Room Acoustics software (version 9.1), where the ‚Star-Club’ was modelled in 3D and so a sound reconstruction was possible. At the same time, we recorded music which had been
actually performed in the ‚Star-Club’, making use of vintage instruments and amplifiers, in a dry (almost reverberation-free) studio environment. The recordings can be played back in a virtual Star-Club which comes close to the original venue in regard of room acosutics. Thereby the ‚sound’ of the music as it was performed during the heydays of beat and early rock music can be reconstructed within certain limits. The experimental work we did in the field of applied room acoustics and auralisation could be similarly done for other famous rock music venues (e.g., the Cavern club of Liverpool).

Model of the Star-Club

The following pictures show a 3D-model of the original Star-Club

Simulation Results

In the following pictures one can see the results of the simulation.

Auralisation

The following sound examples are an auralisation at different positions of the
room.

The song is a specially recorded version of I saw her standing there by the Beatles.
Artist: “Napalm-Duo”

 

Drums only – Dry


Drums only – At the bar


Drums only – In the audience


Complete song – At the bar


Complete song – In the audience