'Chaillot National Theater' Adopts 3D Sound

Amadeus designs and installs a 'holophonic' sound system for Chaillot National Theater, with Solid State Logic, Lab.gruppen & Sonic Emotion
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Paris, FranceNovember 28, 2016 — French speaker manufacturer Amadeus, has announced the install of a '3D Sound' system within Paris' Chaillot National Theater. Along with Solid State Logic (SSL), Lab.gruppen and Sonic Emotion, the four companies joined forces to design a one-of-a-kind electro-acoustic sound reinforcement system for the theater, which is one of the most historical and prestigious in France. Amadeus has become one of the premiere manufacturers of high-end sound reinforcement systems for live and installed sound throughout Europe and Asia, while also designing and installing studio monitors. The Chaillot National Theater's new 3D sound system has already been used in the production of original contemporary dance productions featuring choreographers, dancers and actors including, Olivia Ruiz, Jean-Claude Gallotta, Carolyn Carlson, Aesoon Ahn, Antony Hamilton, José Montalvo, Thomas Lebrun, and Rocio Molina.

As the sound reinforcement system used in the Jean Vilar hall (1270 seats) was due to be replaced, Amadeus imagined a solution that would go beyond the limits of traditional technologies such as stereo, 5.1 multichannel format, or any conventional speaker system. The implemented solution uses the Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) technology. Like visual holograms, this 'holophonic' process captures or creates a sound stage by preserving spatial information: the distance and direction of the sound sources used.

"This technique allows to replicate the sound field's physical properties. Wherever they are in the theater, the listener keeps a coherent perception of the sources' localization," explains Marc Piera, Chaillot National Theater's Sound Department Manager.

"I personally consider that the systems using a single-dimension speaker network, like line arrays, are inept for sound reinforcement in most theatre buildings," adds Piera. "These systems were primarily designed for open field concerts, where the audience area is very wide and very deep, and most of the time, on a flat or lightly sloped ground. They create a uniform sound pressure field, but most often they degrade the sound image for most of the audience. The Jean Vilas hall's intrinsic technical, acoustical, physical and mechanical properties led us to prefer an original sound reinforcement system, based on a 'holophonic' concept. Listening conditions are thus identical for all spectators, wherever they are in the hall."

The Jean Vilar hall's bleachers are segmented in four sub-spaces, each of different dimensions, seat numbers and slopes. The bleacher's curvature is almost exponential, with 16°-, 23°-, 25°- and 35°-slopes. The control room sits 12 meters above the ground. The spectator area has a surface of 1122 sq. m (33m-deep, 34m-width).

Piera continues, "A traditional line source system, with constant or variable curvature, placed in a classical configuration, would inevitably have affected the sources' localization, according to Haas' effect. In the 1940s, this German scientist established that a source's localization is given by the direction of the first sound reaching the ear (direct sound). If the difference between the spectator's position, the primary source and the secondary source grows, the this effect becomes stronger."

Chaillot National Theater Technical Manager, Denis Desanglois, says "The Chaillot National Theater is one of the five national French theatres. For a long time, it was an iconic 'theatre for the people' symbol, linked with famous names like Jean Vilar then Antoine Vitez. This place offers a large stage for dancers, with a viewing angle and a visibility on a par with their vitality. Our continuing mission is to develop and to support creation and diffusion of the works, and to foster their encounter with the widest audience possible."

"We intended to replace our sound reinforcement system, which had not been completely satisfying until now," explains Desanglois. "We wished to abandon the stereophonic paradigm, the line array-type. So we implemented a WFS-based system prototype and asked the companies we were working with for their feedback. Some technicians were totally initially disoriented, but eventually everyone was happy, technicians and artists alike. The sensations of listening are completely different, wherever you are in the hall, you experience the same sound, that's pretty amazing."

"We even integrated a 24-speaker ramp in the front end of the stage, to avoid the usual 'sound hole' first row of seats!" Desanglois concludes.

Based on Huygens' Principle (1678), the idea of Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) was developed in the Netherlands in the 1980s by the Delft University of Technology. WFS concept makes it possible to synthesize "sound holograms" by simulating acoustic waves produced by virtual sound sources. To do this, the system uses a large number of loudspeakers, regularly spaced and used conjointly. They are each controlled with a delay and a gain to form a wave that emanates from the desired location of the virtual source. This process is repeated for each sound source in the sound scene. The major benefit of the WFS technique is to create a coherent sound field in an extensive area, therefore preserving the fidelity of the spatial image - the position of the sources - even for listeners located at the periphery of the zone or for listeners moving within the zone.

Michel Deluc, Amadeus' R&D Manager, continues, "Edgard Varèse, one of the twentieth century's pioneering composers in terms of sound spatialization, said a century ago: 'tomorrow's music will be spatial'. At Amadeus, we have believed in this statement since the Company's beginnings, in 1992. We worked with the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), to develop the multichannel sound spatialization equipment used in their Espace de Projection (ESPRO). This led us to develop the install's 339 custom-made loudspeakers. Transposing this technology for the Chaillot National Theater, thus allowing large audiences to experience it, is a thrilling and edifying challenge."

SPEAKER PLACEMENT:

A first line of passive coaxial loudspeakers has been integrated in the front edge of the stage (in a 12cm-deep, 18cm-high volume). These 24 loudspeakers, variants of Amadeus PMX 4 model, form a large-scale 'sound bar'; they are evenly distributed across 18m, with 75cm between each adjacent speaker. This first line seamlessly covers the first row of seats.

Piera adds, "Since the Renaissance, people placed close to the stage are, paradoxically, the less privileged spectators. Limelight, candlesticks or oil lamps, generated a dense fog, intruding between spectators and the stage. A few centuries later, this fog left, only to place a 'sound hole' there for the same spectators. Electro-acoustical sound reinforcement aimed for these first-row spectators is often too inefficient, if not missing. Staging allowing, a small'front fill' speaker is tolerated at best. Here, Amadeus' sound ramp is seamlessly integrated to the location's scenography, and it's perfectly dimensioned for our purposes; it redefines the perception of sound and, at last, offers these spectators a real sound and sensory privilege."

The second line of loudspeakers is made of 11 Amadeus UDX 15 active coaxial speakers, with remote bi-amplification. These loudspeakers are evenly spaced across 23.5m (identical spacing between each of them), and they are placed at 9m height. This line covers the first two thirds of the bleachers. A third line is made of 11 Amadeus UDX 12 active coaxial speakers with remote bi-amplification. It is hung to the second technical bridge.  These loudspeakers are evenly spaced across 23.5m (identical spacing between each of them), and they are placed at 9m height. This line covers the first two thirds of the bleachers. A fourth 'Surround' line is made of 6 Amadeus UDX 12 active coaxial speakers, with remote bi-amplification. These are hung to the second technical bridge.  A unique bass reinforcement system is set up on lateral first level technical bridges, on left and right-hand sides. It is made of 6 Amadeus MAESTRO subwoofers, each hosting two long-excursion speakers, loaded by a folded hyperbolic horn. Rear acoustic wave rejection is optimized via a specific baffle.

This sound system is completed with an SSL Live L300 digital mixing console, used with two Network I/O SB 8.8 (8 analog I/O each) and two Network I/O SB i16 (16 analog inputs each) Dante stageboxes. The SuperAnalogue technology used in these SSL-developed interfaces ensures clarity and precision.

Philippe Guerinet, Director of International Sales for SSL and SSL France Manager, said, "We were impressed by the warm welcome received by our SSL Dante solutions in the live and broadcast sectors. With their Dante media networking technology, Audinate are clearly leaders now, with more than 350 manufacturers and more than 800 Dante-enabled products. Their approach is innovative, reliable and affordable in every aspect, the Chaillot National Theater install is an excellent illustration of this."

"Audio over IP allows us to put the stageboxes where needed, with minimal and redundant cabling, and to connect on the network all kinds of Dante-enabled gear: Amadeus sound reinforcement system, SSL L300 console, SSL Network I/O stageboxes, and every other ancillary equipment needed. This network approach notably allows us to solve classic problems, like signal distribution without adding any TDM routers; there's no loss, either noise induced in the audio signals, and latency is particularly low. Last but not least, the technical solutions chosen by the Chaillot National Theater ensure total flexibility and an astonishing audio quality, for a surprisingly affordable budget," states Guerinet.

Severine Krouch, Sound Stage Manager, concludes: "The design philosophy brought by these two famous brands, Amadeus and Solid State Logic, with their sonic signature and their prestigious pedigrees, allow us to work every day with studio monitoring-grade sound, extended to a very large scale, and to innovate with the sound at the very heart of the artistic creation."

List of the products installed in Chaillot National Theater :

Amadeus
Custom-made sound ramp, made with 24 PMX4-type loudspeakers, 4-ohm version (4'' LF + 0,4'' HF): 1 unit
2-way Active Loudspeaker Amadeus PMX 15 (15'' LF + 2'' HF) : 4 units
2-way Active Loudspeaker Amadeus UDX 15 (15'' LF + 2'' HF) : 11 units
2-way Active Loudspeaker Amadeus UDX 12 (12'' LF + 2'' HF) : 17 units
Push-pull subwoofer, with ultra-high efficiency, hyperbolic folded horn and custom-made baffle (2 x 12'' LF): 6 units

Solid State Logic
Network I/O SB 8.8 Dante stagebox (8 Mic/Line analog I/O): 2 units
Network I/O SB i16 Dante stagebox (16 Mic/Line analog inputs) : 2 units
Console SSL Live L300: 1 unit

Sonic Emotion
WAVE II 3D sound processor (64/64 MADI I/O)

Lab.gruppen
C10:8X power amplifier (8 x 125 W/8 Ω, analog I/O): 3 units
IPD 2400 digital power amplifier , with DSP (2 x 600 W/8 Ω, analog & AES3 I/O): 32 units
C88:4 power amplifier (4 x 1250 W/8 Ω, 4 x 2100 W/4 Ω, 4 x 2200W/2 Ω, analog I/O): 2 units
Lab.gruppen NLB 60E NomadLink remote control: 1 unit

About Amadeus
Amadeus develops, manufactures and sells a wide range of high-end sound reinforcement loudspeakers, studio monitors and various signal processing interfaces that combine its own custom innovative technology with stylish design, for the professional audio industry. Created in 1992 from the collaboration between the French designer Bernard BYK and the scientist and musician Michel DELUC, the Amadeus brand has grown to become a leading supplier of high-end audio solutions and services for theaters, opera houses, museums, recording studios, research centers and touring concert sound rental operations. All development and product manufacturing is centralized in Amadeus headquarters in France, with field offices and authorized distributors located in Europe, Asia and UAE. For any complementary information, please contact Amadeus: info@amadeusaudio.fr, or visit: amadeus-audio.com/en/

About Solid State Logic
Solid State Logic is the world's leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for music, broadcast, live and post production professionals. For more information about our award-winning products, please visit: solidstatelogic.com

About Sonic Emotion
Sonic Emotion is the specialist for 3D sound entertainment since 2002. Beginning with the sound technologies originally developed for academic use, Sonic Emotion applied its expertise in the field to offer a scaled down version of the technology to meet the demands of consumers and professionals. Sonic Emotion's Wave I 3D sound processor is installed in a growing number of venues for live sound reinforcement, theaters, clubs, parties and audio-visual immersive installations. Fot further information please visit: www2.sonicemotion.com

Amadeus and Philharmonia are registered trademarks of Amadeus France. All rights reserved. All other registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.