An Interview With Damian Murphy, Founder Of Pure Groove Systems
On June 5th, 2014 I was able to see a private demonstration of Pure Groove System’s new line of speakers, subwoofers and amps. It was a memorable experience, not only for the free tacos and tequila, but simply because these were the best speakers I’ve ever heard. They premiered in Miami earlier this year during Miami Music Week and they have been steadily gaining support from DJs, promoters and producers worldwide.
While at the event, I got to sit down and talk with Pure Groove Systems founder Damian Murphy about some of the finer details about their products and his involvement with the team.
You first debuted the Pure Groove speakers in Miami this year. What products did you debut?
Well we did three different venues simultaneously with a different system at each venue. We did the Cafeina Wynwood which we used six TH-118 subs and two SH96HO’s. We also did the Surfcomber where we used two of our J1’s and two of our BC415 subs for the main dance floor area. And then the Ice Palace, we used six of our BC415 subs and although we brought four of our J1’s, we only ended up using two as four was too much sound for the 5,000 capacity room. The response was phenomenal, particularly from audiophiles who said they’d never heard a sound system so defined and so clear.
Have any EDM artists experienced “love at first listen” for Pure Groove speakers yet?
John Digweed was actually at the first demo we had with our partners, and was really impressed. Richie Hawtin, Sasha, Dirtybird and Deep Dish too. Pretty much anyone who’s played on them have really liked the systems.
What sets Pure Groove speakers apart from other brands in the marketplace?
Without a doubt, the patented designs; what’s “under the hood is where the magic happens.” Our systems deliver more power and definition with fewer speakers, reducing the amount of phasing often associated with line array systems. Each of our speakers has been designed to take maximum advantage of drivers. Other companies use multiple speakers for coverage, whereas we use full range point source technology, which allows us to put multiple drivers of different bandwidths into a single horn and make them behave as one single full range horn. For example our SH96HO speaker has 11 drivers inside designed to work together to produce a pure uncolored sound. The SH stands for ‘synergy horn,’ which is a patented design by Tom Danley.
How did you first discover Danley Sound Labs?
I have been a promoter for 25 years, based in LA and Atlanta, and was contacted by Danley through an old friend who said they wanted to demo a sound system. The systems were amazing, unlike anything I had heard before. The Danley team were a breath of fresh air to work with, very genuine, and very passionate about what they do. We immediately connected and Pure Groove Systems was born.
What was lacking in the current loudspeaker/club sound system market that Pure Groove now brings?
Until you hear our systems, you don’t realize that there is anything lacking. Other systems are loud and bassy, which unfortunately is the standard and what people expect. Our sound is very pure, powerful and defined. There is no distortion so you could have a conversation on the dancefloor without screaming at each other, but at the same time you can still really feel it. It’s very immersive, we like to say it’s sound that reaches around and hugs you.
When you guys talk about power to size ratio, how much of difference are we talking about? In comparison, how large is a competitor’s product versus a Pure Groove speaker?
To give you perspective, we used a total of 22 speakers to cover a 10,000 person capacity area at Lightning in a Bottle Festival. As a promoter I know that any other company would have needed at least three times the amount of cabinets to cover the same size area. Also, our power consumption peaked at 110 AMP’s which is unheard of for a system that covers that size area.
When it comes to doing sound design for a venue, how do you begin? What are some of your ultimate goals when creating a sound system?
We have a special program that calculates system designs based on the dimensions of each venue. Every venue is different and this software allows us to customize our systems to maximize the coverage so that the sound quality is consistent throughout the area.
How is it different to design sound for a nightclub as opposed to a stadium or performance hall?
Acoustics play a major role when designing a system, size of the space and audience location are two other major factors we consider when designing a system. Typically open space locations require more power than enclosed spaces due to the lack of reflective surfaces.
We understand that your focus is speakers, but how important are other factors like mixers, turntables, and cables in working together to make a great sound system?
The job of a good sound system is to reproduce clean and powerful sound and make it available to everyone in the audience. In order for this signal chain to be optimal only professional grade instruments and equipment should be employed from the offset. In essence, garbage in garbage out, skimping on cabling and not using balanced cables where applicable will only raise the noise floor and introduce unwanted noise. The music played should also sound good (no low bit rate mp3s or poorly mastered music). Having all these areas covered will only allow the sound system do what it does best, reproduce great sound with ease.
Any plans to develop portable sound systems for mobile rigs?
Yes, we’re working on a few things right now but can’t really talk about it at the moment.