Immersive sound systems are finding homes in all types of installations, from museums, to event spaces, to live performance venues. Now, with help from speaker manufacturer Amadeus, the Domaine des Étangs “hotel resort” in France has a system, too.
Located in Massignac, the resort spans a thousand acres of unspoiled natural land including forests, pastures, and ponds, to go with an 11th-century castle, fully renovated and decorated with contemporary works of art, detailed landscaping, six tenant farms, a former dairy (La Laiterie), a vegetable garden, a wellness center, Gallo-Roman baths, two swimming pools, a floating tennis court, and a top-rated gastronomic Michelin-starred restaurant. La Laiterie is a new gallery space within the Domaine des Étangs complex that is dedicated to exhibitions about the Meeting of Art and Nature.
"As we collaborated in advance of the sound system installation with Amadeus experts, we were able to get rid of the speakers' common aesthetic nuisances and at the same time ensure a sound quality at a level rivaling the most famous concert halls," said Manuel Gomez, architect and music lover, who was in charge of the renovation work for La Laiterie, where the sound system comprises 44 speakers made by Amadeus and the Holophonix spatial sound processor.
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"This space had to be able to host art exhibitions, events, acoustic or amplified music, electroacoustic music creations, etc., without having to modify, reconfigure or move speakers according to the application,” said Gaëtan Byk, Marketing Manager for Amadeus. “The sound system had to be as versatile, scalable and integrated as possible. It appeared obvious to develop our project around the Holophonix processor."
Mezzanines excluded, the hall is roughly 75 x 30 feet and incorporates 32 Amadeus PMX 5 coaxial speakers integrated at inferior purlins at mezzanine height: ten evenly spaced speakers lengthwise and six speakers across the width. Eight low-frequency Amadeus ML 12 SLIM bespoke subwoofer speakers are integrated into the low section of the walls, spread out with four speakers on each side lengthwise along the walls. In addition, a new purpose-designed “slim bass” speaker, named UFD 215, is integrated under each mezzanine.
Holophonix is an integrated hardware and software product designed by Amadeus in collaboration with the STMS (Sciences et Technologies de la Musique et du Son), a laboratory founded in 1995 and hosted in the IRCAM premises. The processor ensures a specified coherency between all speakers, each receiving a dedicated audio signal. Several standard presets were designed on location according to the rooms' specifications to enhance the system versatility and adaptability according to the needs of the installation or event.
The basic audio configuration uses three virtual sources, and synthesizes the signal on all loudspeakers, according to the WFS (Wave Field Synthesis) principles. The first source is stereophonic, it processes the output signal of the Lumin U1 player/streamer, used to play high-resolution music tracks. The two other sources are monophonic, synthesizing the audio signal coming from Shure ULXD4D digital wireless microphone receivers. They can easily be moved in real time, to follow the actual position of those using the microphones.
The hardware offers a quasi-unlimited number of spatialization buses, each one able to run one of the different sound algorithms available, including: Higher-Order Ambisonics (2D, 3D) Vector-Base Intensity Panning (2D, 3D), Vector-Base Amplitude Panning (2D, 3D), Wave Field Synthesis, Angular 2D, k-Nearest Neighbor, Stereo Panning, Stereo AB, Stereo XY, and Binaural.