One audio option would have been to take an “audio guide” approach, he explains. That would likely include an audio tour via headphones worn by visitors. That, however, wouldn’t foster the type of collaborative learning experience that Stouenborg and its client are trying to foster, Jørgensen says.
So for audio playback, the system incorporates 57 Meyer Sound loudspeakers, including UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers and USW-1P subwoofers. It also features various low-voltage loudspeaker models that allow DC power and audio signal to be delivered over a single cable, reducing installation costs.
They include the MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers, UP-4XP 48 V loudspeakers and MM-10 subwoofers. “These loudspeakers are very efficient in terms of power draw, requiring perhaps half the current compared to an approach using multiple rack amplifiers and long loudspeaker cables,” says Jørgensen.
The audio systems are seamlessly integrated with video in several areas of the aquarium. In the foyer, specially edited footage from the BBC is delivered via Sanyo projectors, and a theater area adjacent to the main fish tank features a giant projection surface that can be lowed to show wide-screen HD content from a pair of edge-blended Sanyo projectors.
Automated show control for audio, video, and programmable lighting (employing a GrandMA2 desk) is orchestrated via the D-Mitri platform, while user instructions are inserted via a Creston DIN AP2 master controller linked to CNX-8 button panels. Live presentations in the theater are aided by a Sennheiser EW 572 wireless microphone system, with mixing and routing also accomplished by D-Mitri.
The project was challenging to say the least. Stouenborg began designing the system in 2006 and the very final stages are still being implemented at press time, according to Jørgensen.
“The actual implementation took about 7 months, but 11⁄2 of those were just spent on [automation] programming.”