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WET's Glacia Chills with Mickey Hart and Meyer Sound

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"The Meyer Sound system was ideal for Glacia, as it was important to control sounds around the perimeter and still deliver the extraordinary lows that the composition contained."

- Mickey Hart
Composer, Glacia

Glacia, placed just inside an entrance to Las Vegas's Crystals luxury retail district, greets visitors with a chilling, otherworldly experience. Thirteen self-regenerating 15-foot-high, sculpted ice pillars create a mesmerizing visual effect as they rise through a reflecting pool. Simultaneously, a fluid mix of cosmically generated sounds produced by percussionist Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead permeates the space through an 11.1 Meyer Sound surround system.

Glacia is one of the latest creations of Sun Valley, Calif.-based WET, the team also responsible for the soaring Mirage Volcano, which features a celebrated soundtrack by Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain. Conceived by Hart and WET's Jim Doyle, the sounds for Glacia are an outgrowth of a continuing collaboration with astrophysicists, computer scientists, and NASA. As part of the project, data collected from astrophysical sources is "sonified" into the audio domain. These sounds were further spatially processed by Hart, and augmented by additional percussive tracks, to create the subtly hypnotic "tonal poem" that immerses visitors in the Glacia experience.

"Since glaciers point to the sky, that's where I looked for inspiration," explains Hart. "It turns out that the sounds that are transformed from the heartbeat of the sun, the big bang, and other cosmic events complement Glacia's visual effect. The Meyer Sound system was ideal for Glacia, as it was important to control sounds around the perimeter and still deliver the extraordinary lows that the composition contained."

Designed and calibrated by WET's Jim Scheffler, the installed Meyer Sound system configuration comprises 11 UPM-2P loudspeakers and a single UMS-1P subwoofer. Hart's multi-channel soundtrack is played back through solid-state devices with most outputs routed to create adjacent stereo pairs.

"The UPM-2Ps do their job extremely well," observes Scheffler. "It has the same smooth, linear response as the UPM-1P—which I've used many times before. But as soon as you move outside that tight conical pattern, there's a dramatic drop-off. It's exactly the effect we needed."

"Our relationship with Meyer started with the Mirage Volcano," Scheffler adds, "and they have since become our sound provider of choice. Meyer Sound boxes are hands-down the best I can put in any system."

Glacia provides a refreshing welcome to Crystals, a shimmering, 500,000 square-foot upscale shopping environment designed by Studio Daniel Liebeskind and Adamson Associates Architects. Crystals is the retailing hub of CityCenter, an $11 billion multi-use complex that encompasses casinos, showrooms, a convention center, and five resort hotels.

October, 2010

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UPM-2P

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