News & Event 
    News & Event
  • 4D Cinema Installs A Sound System for the Senses

    2017-11-16 16:15:39

    Setting the scene


    In just under four minutes, the London Eye takes visitors on a multi-sensory adventure across the city. As audiences stand inside the purpose built auditorium they encounter a snapshot of London complete with the physical sensations of touch and smell. Snow, wind, bubbles, even fireworks, are just some of the many in-theatre effects that make this major attraction one of the leading cinemas of its kind in the UK.


    Establishing objectives


    There can be few harder working environments for an audio system than this. Located within London’s historic County Hall building, the 4D show works on a constant loop whenever the London Eye is operating, approximately eleven hours a day, seven days a week.


    By 2013, just four years after opening, and with an average of 160 visitors passing through every eight minutes, it was decided this busy facility was in need of a complete renovation and technical upgrade.


    With a history of working with the team behind the London Eye, integrator Southby Productions was tasked with the job of specifying and installing a new sound system that could deliver consistent audio coverage and more. “Our brief was to increase the standard of the audience’s listening experience and provide the loudspeakers that would deliver the audio special effects in a dynamic and memorable way,” explains Director, James Southby.


    Establishing the specifics of the room was paramount. “At times it is possible that only a few people are passing through and we are also mindful that many are small children or wheelchair users, so not everyone is at a similar height, unlike a seated auditorium. Steve Jones from d&b Application Support and Education and I created the sound design with these variables in mind,” said Southby.



    The solution


    Southby and Jones selected a system based on products from the Installation range. The main system, comprising 10As was integrated behind the new screen, while the discreet 8S loudspeakers were chosen for the vital surround system.


    The entire installation is managed via the d&b R1 Remote control software. “Exactly what was needed for a program of this type,” confirms Southby.


    The attraction’s New Year shutdown provided a two-week window for all renovations. This made coordination with other contractors essential, with new cable runs being made as the building work progressed.


    Southby: ”In effect we only had a couple of days to set up. The room had been acoustically treated during the refit to isolate the sound from other parts of the building; County Hall is not only protected but contains organizations that are very separate from each other.


    We could not be absolutely sure how the room would finally sound as it was effectively being built around us.”


    With the new system in place, and a year of continuous playback later, “They’re?all very pleased,” reports Southby. “The audio experience has enhanced the whole performance as it plays such a big part in delivering the special effects to the audience. So I’m happy to say we’ve ticked all three of the big boxes: we were on time, on budget and the audiences leave with a smile on their faces.”


    “They’re all very pleased... we were on time, on budget and the audiences leave with a smile on their faces!”


    *Source from news article of d&b audiotechnik in 2015

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