DUBROVNIK, CROATIA – JANUARY 2011: The history of Dubrovnik, a walled port city on the Adriatic Sea in modern-day Croatia, runs deep. Its origins are controversial, but it is thousands of years old and has weathered centuries of control from an array of nations and empires, as well as centuries of independent rule. It was one of the first nation states to outlaw slavery and has enjoyed political neutrality amid its often-turbulent surroundings. Although an earthquake destroyed much of Dubrovnik’s ancient architecture in the seventeenth century, some still stands and the remainder claims a longer history than any extant city in the New World. Visia Dubrovnik 5D Theatrum (VD5T) celebrates the city’s rich heritage with state-of-the-art experiential technology, including a 3D projection theater with vibrating seats and wind effect plus the ability to deliver up to nine different languages simultaneously. Tehnozavod-Marusic d.o.o. of Zagreb, Croatia designed and installed the A/V
system, relying on SymNet open-architecture DSP technology to perform amazing feats of routing logic and audio processing.
Mario Srbis, head of the A/V Department at Tehnozavod-Marusic, led the effort to make VD5T a completely enveloping experience. Among the visual components of the system are a virtual reality system, a stunning water projection screen, a 3D digital cinema projection system, and even a fog machine. On any timeframe, such an involved project would be challenging, but Srbis and colleague Petar Klicov had only two months to install, program, and tweak the system in time for the bustling tourist season.
“The reliable hardware and intuitive programming software of Symetrix’ SymNet and SymNet Designer were indispensable. It really helped us finish this job on time,” remarked Srbis. In all, three rooms required A/V systems. The first, a modest “World Network” room, needed only Internet infrastructure and a modest in-ceiling audio system. The 3D Cinema and the Show Room were considerably more involved. In the off-season, the 3D Cinema serves as Dubrovnik’s only theater of its kind.
“The sound in Cinema room is exceptionally clear, with even coverage from the front row to the back, from the left to the right,” said Srbis. A great deal of effort was involved in calibrating the sound system, aligning speakers, setting delays to achieve the best possible frequency response at each of the room’s one-hundred-four seats. The SymNet 8×8 DSP, with a SymNet BreakIn12 and a BreakOut12 to augment the input and output counts, was the ideal processing system for such a job. SymNet gave us the flexibility and the horsepower to handle the 5.1 playback system, together with the multiple language outputs, and to permit several input sources for greater flexibility of the space.”
KCS cinema speakers powered by Ecler amplifiers provide life-like imaging and authentic sound. In combination with two KCS C-218-A subwoofers, vibration chairs add to the realism of the presentations or, in the off-season, studio movies. Srbis and Klicov modified Euroseating chairs with Clark Synthesis tactile speakers tweaked by SymNet processing. The “chair” output feeds a DAS Audio processor to add delay to each of the ten rows such that the entire low-end system, including the subwoofers, is time aligned and consonant. Tri-amped KCS-7802 full-range boxes deliver the rest of the audio spectrum.
Srbis gave the VD5T the ability to play nine or ten languages simultaneously. The main show in the cinema room, “Time Machine,” was produced with stems for music and sound effects that are separate from the voice-over narration. The former send to the 5.1 system and the latter send to a Bosch Integrus infrared wireless system. Visitors select their preferred language and then listen through Sennheiser headphones. To avoid a jarring disconnect between the music and sound effects, which clearly emanate from outside the listener’s head, and the narration, Srbis and Klicov cleverly recorded the narration using a Bruel & Kjaer Head and Torso Simulator. The resulting sonic imprint “externalizes” the narration when the users wear headphones and makes the presentations at VD5T aurally seamless.
The Show Room system is similar to that of the Cinema Room, most notably employing the same separation of narration from everything else. DAS Audio Avant active loudspeakers deliver the music and sound effects, and a SymNet Express 4×12 Cobra DSP provides all of the requisite input processing, routing logic, and output processing. Srbis used an AudioScience ASI6316 CobraNet soundcard to inexpensively extend the Show Room’s output count. Stardraw and AVIT touchscreens provide control, via the SymNet DSPs, of the entire system. Most importantly, operators can shift from multi-lingual to mono-lingual mode or from museum mode to standard-cinema mode at the touch of a button.
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PHOTO CAPTION The stunning Visia Dubrovnik 5D Theatrum located in Dubrovnik, Croatia uses Symetrix SymNet 8×8 DSP to handle routing logic and audio processing for its 3D Cinema, the Show Room and the World Network Room.