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Amptec resurrects historical site in Belgium

Sound solutions supplier Amptec takes Belgian exhibition visitors on a journey into the ancient past.

For the exhibition Sagalassos, City Of Dreams, staged at the Gallo-Roman Museum in Tongeren, Belgium, Amptec was enlisted to provide a 270° film screen surrounding a 3D scale model of the ancient Turkish city of Sagalassos. “Although Amptec is mainly known as an audio distribution company, this project illustrates how we act as a team-player in delivering an overall solution. Alongside our own specialised staff for turnkey projects, multimedia company Maverick ICS and Watchkraft, taking on camera work, sound recording and postproduction, were involved,” says Frank Geerts, sales manager with Amptec. Whereas Amptec took on the co-ordination of assignment, Maverick ICS designed the projection set-up, supplied the projection hardware and was responsible for the movie concept, directing and part of the post-production. “The challenge was to revive the poetry of the Sagalassos archaeological site in the mountains of Anatolia, Turkey, concentrating on the exact reproduction of the architecture and giving the audience the impression of being there,” says Johan Schelfhout, managing director at Maverick ICS. “The key element was to offer the public a 270° image without distortion.” The footage was shot by Peter Fizgal of Watchkraft, using a multi-single viewpoint camera resulting in some 24 terrabyte of high-quality 12k video material.” For audio recording, Fizgal used a DPA 2006C microphone and a Nagra LB digital field recorder. “I decided to use external audio recording gear alongside the camera, and opted for the new DPA 2006C microphone because of its twin-diaphragm technology, making it the best choice for the assignment,” comments Fizgal. “Throughout the project, audio plays a supportive role adding to the perception of the exhibition; people hear the cold wind blowing in the morning, the crickets at high noon…” The concept was to show ‘l’architecture pure’ without any human activity; the actual shooting was done in a week, followed by two months of intensive post-production. In the Gallo-Roman museum, a projection system consisting of five synchronised high-definition video servers and a five-channel Barco projection system using simulation class projectors was put in place. The cylindrical projection screen with a diameter of 7m and a height of 2.5m is flown above the city of Sagalassos scale model. “Audio reproduction in a museum requires extra measures,” continues Geerts. “The sound system must have controlled and well-defined dispersion characteristics, concentrating the sound projection in one specific area. We also had to think of a system that would allow the museum guides to adapt the overall volume when a guided tour passed along the Salagassos projection.” The sound signal for the projection was routed from the five video servers, connecting the optical digital outputs with three d&b D6 amplifiers. “These amplifiers are equipped with digital inputs and the conversion from the optical signal to AES was quite simple,” explains Geerts. “The volume of the amplifiers is centrally controlled via the projection’s main programmable logic controller allowing museum staff to adjust the output volume of the whole system with just one control.” The 5.1 surround audio configuration is completed with five d&b White range 4S speaker cabinets containing one 4” speaker and one coaxially mounted 0.75 dome driver, hidden in the projection structure, and one 12S subwoofer. “The white range enclosures are a novelty within d&b’s install speaker systems,” adds Geerts, “They are very easy to work with and have a very discrete look.” Sagalassos, City Of runs until 17 June and expects over 120,000 visitors.