TiMax immersive spatial audio solution adds vital dimension to St Michael’s Cave, Gibraltar

Pixel Artworks’ recently completed, immersive visitor experience at St Michael’s Cave on the Rock of Gibraltar, features a TiMax SoundHub-controlled spatial audio solution to complement the intricate projection-mapped visual show.

The spectacular mixed-media show, created deep within the caves themselves, vividly charts the formation of Gibraltar, for visitors to the country’s most distinguishing feature, the rock itself. The ambitious project was commissioned by WrightTech Media, a local digital marketing solutions company.

Viewing the final project before the attraction’s June opening, WrightTech Media director, Christian Wright, underlined the vital dimension audio adds to the visual element of the project, commenting, “The lighting is amazing, the projection is incredible, but the audio takes it to another level. There has never been anything like this in Gibraltar.”

The audio aspect of the project was specified and installed by Raven AV’s Dan Roncoroni, who worked closely with content producers, Zelig Sound, to create the emotive and reverential soundtracks which work with the video content. Dan advised Zelig on the content styles that would work most effectively through the system of caves. Dan credited Zelig’s Matthew Wilcock and Connor Duin, as a huge asset to the project, “They very quickly adapted to creating content for a TiMax installation and coped superbly with the challenging acoustical environment the cave presented.”

Audio content was zoned to highlight and focus on individual features of the cave, such as a huge area of stalactites that resemble an angel with stretched out wings. Dan explains, “I needed a spatial audio processor that could treat these zones independently whilst also allowing content to flow through them all on a cue-by-cue basis, which singled out TiMax as uniquely capable of this.”

TiMax outputs via Dante to a total of 35 EM Acoustics loudspeakers throughout the five zones of the attraction. Zone one hosts 16 EM Acoustics EMS61s and three S12 sub bass units with the four smaller zones each featuring one S12 sub and EMS41s. EM Acoustics provided bespoke weatherproof versions of their standard loudspeakers to ensure they would last in the challenging space the cave presented.

The system is fully Dante-based with Linea Research installation amplifiers in the rack room and Powersoft’s half-rack sized Mezzo amplifiers located within the waterproof projector enclosures in the field. Supplementary inputs to the TiMax are provided by the disguise media server, also via Dante.

A Medialon show controller converses with TiMax, alerting it to each cue trigger. Extra TiMax inputs have been provisioned for events to be held at the venue, with programming accessible via a Medialon-controlled screen that allows the projectors and lighting to be switched to an ambient beauty state and TiMax to background music mode.

Dan concludes, “It was a tricky design but TiMax simplified the process and the sound design really does work in there.”

Info: www.outboard.co.uk/timax.html

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