HARMAN Professional Solutions Creates Waves with Custom Audio System at Hydropolis
December 13, 2016
LONDON – Creating the innovative and interactive exhibit, Hydropolis, required a customized audio solution by HARMAN Professional Solution. Located in Wroclaw, Poland, the immersive experience posed a challenge with its multi-zone audio needs coupled with its historic location in a 19th century underground clean water tank. ESS Audio, HARMAN’s Polish distribution partner, created a system which includes nearly 150 JBL loudspeakers.
Hydropolis was conceived as a multimedia experience which required specific components and systems to be installed. The €16.2M ($17.1M) project is divided into eight themed zones and covers an area of 4,000 square meters (43,055 square feet). Such a large-scale installation provided acoustical and logistical challenges. There was a tremendous advantage to have HARMAN supply the full line of audio products from within a single portfolio for this project.
“We were able to devise a single, well thought-out system which met Hydropolis’ unique requirements,” explained ESS Audio Director Witold Karalow. “Speaker selection was crucial to this project because acoustics in this space were challenging. This included everything from JBL pendant speakers to Dante-enabled processors.”
Aside from the acoustics, another challenge was to create a giant matrix system, which is where the Crown Amplifier Switchers proved vital. Different soundtracks are fed to each of the different zones which include such themes as Ecology, The Planet of Water, The Depths, The Ocean of Life and The Relaxation Zone. In addition, there are several temporary exhibition spaces which have their own audio requirements.
“Thanks to an informed product selection, visitors are able to engage and interact with highly intelligible and consistent audio as they travel through the eight zones,” Karalow continued. “The decision to transport the signals over the Dante protocol provided an obvious and flexible solution. The advantages of this included higher channel count, lower latency and automatic configuration.”
JBL components selected consist of products from the Control Contractor series. This includes 38 Control 65P/T full range pendant speakers, which incorporate JBL’s Radiation Boundary Integration technology to provide consistent, wide coverage throughout the space. These are accompanied by 24 Control 62P ultra-compact satellite pendant speakers that are visually discreet.
Elsewhere, 50 Control 29AV-1 and a pair of Control 50S/T subwoofer / satellite packs have been deployed along with 14 Control 25AV and three Control 30. Finally, 13 LSR4328PA studio monitors are also part of the installation. Assigned to these are Crown’s state-of-the-art DriveCore eight-channel amplifiers offering ultra-efficiency and economy. These consist of six Crown CT 875, 12 Crown CT16S, 16 Crown DCi 8|300N (300W) and two Crown DCi 8|600N (600W) amplifiers as well as 12 CT16S amplifier switchers.
The digital network is based around three I/O-configurable, Dante-enabled BSS Soundweb BLU-806 DSP’s, a BLU-BIB eight-channel input expander and eight BLU-BOB’s which adds a further 64 outputs, increasing the size of the matrix. There is also provision for BLU-3 wall-mount remote volume/source control switches for local operation.