Lightstep has built two demonstration suites in Belfast: an underground railway station and a stairwell. Both are simulators in which visitors can experience real-life disasters - the lights go out, soundtracks play at real-life levels and smoke fills the suites.
The audio installation was carried out by Lisburn-based Zest Audio. MD David Honeyford said that the design was based around eight Community R.25 loudspeakers to provide "power and quality". These units, continued Honeyford, "give astounding sound levels with absolute clarity, and no distortion to reduce the illusion."
Four Community CLOUD4 ceiling speakers provide extra coverage, while the system is powered and controlled by two Panasonic BX-500 receivers. A pair of Panasonic DVD players provide the source. This is a dual demo suite and is installed in a 7.1 configuration with three Audica Professional active MICROsubs.
John T Wiggins, VP of Community Professional Loudspeakers, told II: "As a world-leader in audio for large-scale public address, crowd control and life safety, we fully understand the need to demonstrate and prove systems under all conditions. To achieve this it is good to see the Lightstep installation designed to such a high standard. Under the chaotic conditions of real emergencies, maximising both visual and acoustical directional guidance can save lives now and in the future. Community is likewise committed to providing the highest intelligibility emergency management loudspeakers that may be used in evacuation systems. Granted, it may be a frightening experience for visitors now but it is better informed people that will be making what may amount to life and death decisions."