MARTIN AUDIO SCORES WITH VIPS TO WORLD EXPO
WIZARD PROJECTS OVERSEE ALL-PURPOSE OMNILINE IN SHANGHAI
Among the 192 countries participating, the creativity behind the Australian Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010 has become one of the talking points of this year's event. By the time the exhibition closed on October 31st, 2010 over 8 million visitors had taken the journey through Australia's pavilion.
At an investment of $83 million, the pavilion marked Australia's largest ever commitment to a World Expo - and it took a top creative team to pull it together.
Under the design direction of think!OTS (TOTS) the team was tasked with conceiving a unique thematic infrastructure and exhibit combining dynamic design with natural imagery. In collaboration with TOTS, Wood Marsh provided the architectural services that led to the unique shape - this was then constructed by TOTS' partner in the project Bovis Lend Lease.
In planning the technical production TOTS contracted Paul van der Ent from Wizard Projects in Australia to be the executive technical director of the project and to provide technical design services and procurement. Both TOTS and Wizard have previously been involved with a number of pavilions at expos for the Australian Government.
Wizard in turn contracted Technical Audio Group (TAG) to provide a no-compromise audio solution for both the Pavilion and VIP conference area to meet Wizard's design.
Wizard's brief to the audio company was to maintain the utmost quality in the Australian Government's VIP area - but in keeping with the high quality internal features, including the finest Australia marble, timbers and custom design wool carpet.
The VIP area, which overlooked the Act 3 atrium space of the pavilion with its great illuminated flower pods, was designed for a high level government business programme of presentations and seminars, and included VIP entertainment. The brief therefore included a requirement for the highest gain before feedback during lectern presentations (and lapel mic use only)! When in entertainment mode the system was required to cope with live performance ranging from singers to bands.
The room measured 25 metres long but only 10 metres wide, allowing events to be set up in either portrait or landscape format.
TAG's inspection of the brief pointed to only one product that could fulfil the criteria - Martin Audio's OmniLine micro-array system. The brand certainly met with Wizard's approval, since the company has used Martin Audio products in earlier Australian Pavilions (at Expo 2000 and 2005).
'OmniLine is unique in so many ways,' observes TAG technical director, Tony Russo, 'the form factor, the modern appearance, the wide dispersion - but more importantly the sound quality.
'People are amazed at what this baby can do - there is nothing around that is this small, but which can produce the SPL that OmniLine can.'
Presenting this for the VIP visitors to the Australian pavilion was hardly a leap of faith for TAG, who have used the system in many applications in the past - from high level SPL performances to ultra-critical sound reinforcement in difficult environments.
'I've had nothing but praise and extreme amazement from people at what OmniLine can do; the ability to deliver full bodied hi-fi sound is so rarely found in our industry.'
The VIP system in Shanghai featured four drops of eight elements each (with the individual hangs separately powered and processed). Sub bass was provided by two Martin Audio AQ212 architectural speakers which can be connected when required.
'The beauty of OmniLine is that the cut off point is a genuine 75Hz,' continues Russo. 'Therefore that dislocated sub-to-satellite sound that I hate in other systems is non-existent. In fact for most events the AV staff don't even connect the subs.'
Using Martin Audio's predictive software determined the splay angles and equalisation required as a starting point for the design of the system. 'Unlike a lot of prediction programmes this has been vetted by the best electro-acoustic experts and passed with flying colours. Even with the most powerful DSP that I had at my disposal I found that I only needed a handful of filters to make the system sound perfect.'
The difference, Russo explains, is that 'the real design has already been done by Jason [Baird] and Ambrose [Thompson] at Martin Audio in the actual box. The 'engine' is perfect - no cheating with countless EQ's, and typical of a real Martin Audio product.'
Wizard provided two completely separate systems so that the room could be quickly reset at a moment's notice. And the move certainly paid dividends.
'I am extremely proud of the VIP area - and the comments from all involved has been astonishing (particularly from the real VIPs),' summarised Wizard Projects' Paul van der Ent.
Further information from:
Maureen Hayes, Martin Audio
Tel: +44 (0)1494 535312
Fax: +44 (0)1494 438669
Jerry Gilbert, JGP Public Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1707 258525
Fax: +44 (0)1707 267140