EM Acoustics delivers sound to the UK’s first digital art gallery

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Billed as London’s first permanent immersive digital arts experience, Frameless opened in October. Housed in a 2,800m² space that was once a cinema, it offers visitors a multi-sensory and multi-dimensional way to engage with some of history’s most iconic works of art.

Frameless uses over 479 million pixels delivered by one million lumens of light, with a score of classical and contemporary music delivered by 158 speakers from EM Acoustics.

Software engineer Dan Higgott was tasked with creating an audio system that would cover the entire site. He worked in tandem with Autograph, who handled the audio system integration and data networking used by the audio and video systems.

“The primary focus was the four immersive screening rooms and flexible corporate event space, but we needed audio coverage in every public area of ​​the venue, from the entry doors to the restrooms,” he says. . “An additional challenge was that all the technology had to be invisible to the public. Some of the immersive rooms have black ceilings where you can hide projectors and speakers, but in the two largest rooms, even the ceiling space is part of the experience. So I knew early on that I would need to hide speakers in the wall cavities.

After modeling the space to determine the optimal speaker positions, Higgott had to adapt the design to physical reality – some of the wall cavities in which the speakers were to be placed were only 18 cm deep. After researching the various options on the market, he settled on the EM Acoustics EMS-41 for the smaller cavities. “It’s an impressive sounding box, when you consider how small it is,” says Higgott. “Also, because it’s a passive speaker, there was no need to worry about cooling or powering the tech hidden in a wall.”

Higgott specified the R8s as the full-range speaker in every room. “The level of clarity and detail you get with the R8 is second to none,” he says. “And the 110° dispersion was perfect for our application, because wider dispersion would increase the spatial sweet spot we could deliver in rooms.”

In two of the screening rooms, the R8s are deployed in a “quadruple” configuration which formed the backbone of the sound design. To increase spatial audio resolution and lower the sound image, so sounds can be localized in projected images, the EMS-41s were built into custom-designed wall openings. In one room, EMS-51s were attached to the top of the projection surfaces.

Subwoofer options are provided by a combination of enclosures, including S-48s, depending on the space constraints of each area. Spatial audio processing is handled by Innovate Audio’s panLab software.

Playback in all rooms comes from the QLab in Figure 53, with system processing handled by Q-SYS Core Nanos. The site runs on Dante, from QLab to amplifiers. The speakers are driven by a range of EM Acoustics amplifiers comprising six Di06D units and six Di20D units from the company’s new eight-channel Di range.

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