BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 2011: The recently-renovated Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall is located in Qianmen Dongdajie, Chongwen District, just east of the old Qianmen Railway Station. Its four floors provide a comprehensive overview of Beijing's storied past and a brave vision of its promising future. In addition to conventional display cases and photographs, the exhibitions include light boxes, sculptures, and a highly detailed scale model of the city. Most notable, however, is the 3D multimedia auditorium on the top floor, which features one of the world's largest 3D screens. When the auditorium's audio processor had to be replaced, A/V integrator Sanecore Group installed a new Symetrix Jupiter "zero learning curve" digital signal processor.
The 3D multimedia auditorium comfortably seats two hundred visitors in a space of four-hundred square meters (4,300 square feet). The room is purpose-built to multitask. In addition to
showing a 3D movie about Beijing, the room regularly shows feature films (both 3D and 2D) and provides a forum for conferences. Three Barco Galaxy projectors provide crisp, precise imaging. The room's sound system is as impressive as it is flexible and features a full 5.1 surround sound system for a compelling 3D experience. When the 5.8 meter by 20 meter screen was installed in 2007, it was the largest 3D screen in the world. The city simulation movies that were created for the exhibition hall take visitors through the city, both old and new, in a way that is educational and entertaining.
"The original processor, which was not a Symetrix by the way, stopped working on November 3, 2010," said Alan Ho, design specialist with Sanecore Group. "I know the exact date because replacing the unit was so time-sensitive as it brought everything to a screeching halt. Together with the staff at the Exhibition Center, we decided to replace it with a Symetrix Jupiter 8." Because Sanecore Group is China's premier pro audio and lighting distributor and A/V designer/installer, it has been responsible for many of the country's most ambitious A/V systems.
Jupiter's allure was its promise of "zero learning curve." Borrowing the obviously successful "app" paradigm from smartphone technology, Symetrix engineered the Jupiter hardware to take on a multitude of audio processing tasks via application-specific software apps. Users select an appropriate app using the intuitive App Finder utility at Symetrix.co and upload it to the Jupiter hardware. In an instant, the Jupiter hardware is perfectly configured for the task at hand, and a plug 'n play computer interface makes tweaking the audio simple. The 3D multimedia auditorium uses the Sound Reinforcement #9 App, which provides matrix mixing, equalization, and speaker management.
"We were very pleased to use the new Jupiter system," said Ho. "The physical installation was quick, and the entire system was tuned in under an hour. In contrast to the prior processor, the Jupiter is infinitely flexible, and we were able to choose an app that would satisfy all of the demands of the 3D theater. Changing the default settings was easy in the elegant Windows GUI that is provided." In addition to replacing the processor, the Jupiter also replaced an analog equalizer and other miscellaneous analog technologies.
The three current flavors of Jupiter hardware, Jupiter 4, Jupiter 8, and Jupiter 12, differ only in their input and output counts. Jupiter 8, with eight inputs and eight outputs, was well matched for the 3D multimedia auditorium. A Soundcraft GB8-32 delivers eight output groups to the Jupiter 8, which in turn provides signal to a modest rack of QSC ISA amplifiers. An EAW sb184C subwoofer complements a surround array composed of Renkus-Heinz PNX full-range loudspeakers.
"Because the Jupiter replaced not only the failed processor, but also a number of analog processors, the signal chain shortened considerably," noted Ho. "Previously, the system connections were complicated and the sound quality suffered as a result, both in terms of fidelity and noise. The new Jupiter-based system is much cleaner, owing in part to the transparent sound quality of the Jupiter hardware and software and in part to the simplified signal chain. It's crystal clear and stunning. There is no distortion."
Reliability was also a critical factor in the choice of a new processor. After all, the operators of the 3D multimedia auditorium had just experienced how quickly things can grind to a halt in the absence of a functioning audio processor! "A failure reflects poorly on the city," explained Ho. "The Exhibition Hall is located on the southeast side of Tiananmen Square, one of the most attractive sites for both national and international tourists. The exhibits and the 3D movie are educational not only for visitors to the city, but also for the residents of the city itself.
"The staff at the auditorium gave very high praise to the Jupiter system," concluded Ho.
ABOUT SYMETRIX Sound professionals rely upon the performance, value and reliability of audio mixing, routing and processing products from Symetrix. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1.425.778.7728.