Meyer Sound D-Mitri Orchestrates Immersive Sonic Experience at The Blue Planet, National Aquarium Denmark

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July 1, 2013

With D-Mitri, I could work with an almost unlimited number of audio tracks, instead of being confined to stereo or even 5.1 surround. I could load all of the tracks I created in the studio into D-Mitri and do the final mix in place, in the aquarium. We could fine tune the intricate mixes in the rooms where they would be heard and combined with Spacemap this gave me the perfect tool.”

Anders JørgensenSound Designer and Project Manager

Brand new and now the largest aquarium in Northern Europe, The Blue Planet (Den Blå Planet), National Aquarium Denmark is winning accolades not only for its magnificent variety of marine life but also for its striking whirlpool-inspired architecture and its leading-edge use of imaginative sound design. To support an immersive undersea experience, more than 400 tracks of custom-recorded audio program are mixed, timed and processed through a Meyer Sound D-Mitri digital audio platform for distribution to 57 self-powered Meyer Sound loudspeakers installed throughout the exhibit areas.

Both the conceptual sound design and the on-site system design for the aquarium were the work of Anders Jørgensen of the AV consulting and integration firm Stouenborg (Kastrup, Denmark). Working in close collaboration with exhibit designers Kvorning Design and Kommunikation, Jørgensen conceived an approach that would seamlessly integrate dynamic soundscapes – each recorded and mixed for a specific exhibit area – with the lighting and other visual effects. The D-Mitri system was at the heart of the concept, managing not only all audio functions but also show control commands for the Coolux Pandoras Box media servers and the GrandMA 2 lighting desk.

“With D-Mitri, I could work with an almost unlimited number of audio tracks, instead of being confined to stereo or even 5.1 surround,” comments Jørgensen. “I could load all of the tracks I created in the studio into D-Mitri and do the final mix in place, in the aquarium. We could fine tune the intricate mixes in the rooms where they would be heard and combined with Spacemap this gave me the perfect tool.”

Using this advanced technology, Jørgensen was able to create unique, flowing soundscapes that ideally complemented the visual experiences. “In most of the world’s aquariums the underwater experience remains apart and behind glass,” notes Arne Kvorning of Kvorning Design and Kommunikation. “But at The Blue Planet, the underwater experience comes out and surrounds the audience, due in large part to the sound and lighting design. But the sound is in no way intrusive, but rather creates a unique sense of ambience in the space.”

Jesper Horsted, COO (Chief Operating Officer) for The Blue Planet, found the difference particularly striking at the aquarium’s largest exhibit. “In the underwater tunnel and in front of the ocean tank, the sound design works in harmony with the subdued lighting inside the tank and in the cathedral-like space in front of the window. Stouenborg have managed to create an intimate underwater experience – this in spite of a large room often filled with a considerable number of visitors.”

All of the loudspeakers in the system are self-powered models (MM-4XP, UP-4XP, UPJ-1P, MM-10 and USW-1P), with most utilizing Meyer Sound’s proprietary low-voltage technology. The DC powering is delivered over a single cable alog with the audio signal, allowing lower cost installation techniques.

“These loudspeakers are very efficient in terms of power draw,” adds Jørgensen, “requiring perhaps half the current compared to an approach using multiple rack amplifiers and long loudspeaker cables.”