Visitors hear 400 tracks of custom-recorded audio, which are mixed, timed, and processed by the D-Mitri system. Sound arrives through 57 self-powered Meyer Sound loudspeakers, which are installed throughout the exhibit areas to accompany visitors’ views of more than 20,000 fish and other aquatic life in the 53 aquarium tanks – all of which is augmented by the striking whirlpool-inspired architecture.
“In most aquariums the underwater experience remains apart and behind glass,” commented Arne Kvorning of exhibit designers Kvorning Design and Kommunikation. “At The Blue Planet, the underwater experience comes out and surrounds the audience, due in large part to the sound and lighting design.”
Anders Jørgensenof Kastrup-based AV consulting and integration firm Stouenborg served as both sound designer and project manager for the installation. Working in close collaboration with Kvorning Design and Kommunikation, Jørgensen seamlessly integrated a variety of unique soundscapes with corresponding lighting and visual effects in each exhibit area.
The 57 speakers are made up of the low voltage (to reduce installation costs as DC power and audio signal is delivered through one cable) MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers, UP-4XP 48 V loudspeakers, and MM-10 subwoofers. These are supplemented by UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers and USW-1P subwoofers. The D-Mitri sits at the heart of the concept, managing all audio functions and show control commands for Coolux Pandoras Box Server systems and a MA Lighting GrandMA2 light desk.
“With D-Mitri, I could work with an almost unlimited number of audio tracks, instead of being confined to stereo or 5.1 surround,” says Jørgensen. “I could load all of the tracks I created in the studio into D-Mitri and do the final mix in the aquarium, fine-tuning the intricate mixes in the rooms where they would be heard. This capability, when combined with Meyer Sound’s SpaceMap multichannel panning software, gave me the perfect tool.”