A total of 158 of the brand’s loudspeakers are in place at Frameless, the first permanent immersive art centre in the UK, where 479 million pixels are projected with a million lumens of light.

EM Acoustics delivers sound at UK-first digital art gallery

Billed as London’s first permanent immersive digital arts experience, Frameless opened its doors in October. Housed in a 2,800sq m space that was formerly a cinema, it offers visitors a multi-sensory and multi-dimensional way in which to engage with some of history’s most iconic works of art.

Frameless utilises more than 479 million pixels delivered by a million lumens of light, with a score of classical and contemporary music delivered by 158 loudspeakers from EM Acoustics.

Software engineer Dan Higgott was tasked with creating a sound system that would covering the entire site. He worked in tandem with Autograph, which handled the audio system integration and data networking used by the both audio and video systems.

EM Acoustics delivers sound at UK-first digital art gallery

“The primary focus was the four immersive projection rooms, and the flexible corporate event space, but we needed audio coverage in every public area of the site, from the entrance doors to the toilets,” he says. “An added challenge was that all the technology had to be invisible to the audience. Some of the immersive rooms have black ceilings where we can hide projectors and loudspeakers, but in the two larger rooms, even the ceiling space is part of the experience. So I knew early on that I would need to conceal loudspeakers within the wall cavities.”

Having modelled the space to work out the optimal loudspeaker positions, Higgott had to adapt the design to the physical reality – some of the wall cavities in which loudspeakers needed to be placed were only 18cm deep. After researching the various options on the market, he opted for the EM Acoustics EMS-41 for the smaller cavities. “It’s an impressive-sounding box, when you consider just how small it is,” says Higgott. “Additionally, because it is a passive speaker, there was no need to worry about cooling or providing power to technology hidden within a wall.”

EM Acoustics delivers sound at UK-first digital art gallery

Higgott specified R8s as the full-range loudspeaker in each rooms. “The level of clarity and detail you get with the R8 is second to none,” he says. “And the 110° dispersion suited our application perfectly, as a wider dispersion would increase the spatial ‘sweet spot’ we could deliver in the rooms.”

In two of the projection rooms, R8s are deployed in a ‘quad’ configuration that formed the backbone of the sound design. To increase the spatial audio resolution and pull the sound image lower, so that sounds could be localised to the projected images, EMS-41s were embedded in custom-designed wall apertures. In one room, EMS-51s were rigged to the top of the projection surfaces.

Subwoofer options are provided by a combination of boxes, including S-48s, depending on the space constraints of each area. The spatial audio processing is handled by Innovate Audio’s panLab software.

Playback in all the rooms comes from Figure 53’s QLab, with system processing handled by Q-SYS Core Nanos. The site runs over Dante, from QLab right through to the amplifiers. The speakers are driven by a range of EM Acoustics amplifiers including six Di06D and six Di20D units from the company’s new Di eight-channel range.

Reference : AVinteractive