David Sutherland brought in ITAV to integrate the A/V solutions at his new film studio and theatre themed family attraction, Whoa! Studios. With a product specification citing sound quality, flexibility and ease of use as the priorities for the audio setup, Paul Ivory of ITAV chose to work with Harman distributor Jands for the sound design.
Whoa! Studios features a children’s adventure playground and a modern family restaurant, as well as a state-of-the-art studio and theatre, which stages performances of the live action, puppetry and miniature variety. The theatre’s flagship show is entitled Custard’s World and was written by BAFTA winning screenwriter Bob Baker or Wallace and Gromit fame.
Jands project director Paul Edlin designed a fully integrated and networked audio system for the theatre and restaurant. The design was laid out to keep the audio signal digital as much as possible and called upon a Soundcraft Vi3000 console, BSS Blu-806 signal processor and Crown DCi amplifiers to be installed in the theatre. The signal was ultimately fed to JBL CBT 70 speakers that were deployed across eight individual zones around the theatre, including in the green room and backstage. The audio outputs in both the live film studio and theatre were configured in 7.1 and 5.1 respectively to create localised sources for each of the puppets that enter from various points around the room.
Mr Ivory is happy with his choice of CBT 70 speakers. ‘They are great for speech and music. The array of the speakers is perfect for having clear sound for the front and back end of the room.’
Actors have been provided with AKG MicroLite HC81 headworn wireless microphones, reportedly selected for their combined comfort and reliability. The Soundcraft ViSi Remote app has also been configured with the Vi3000.
‘Vi3000 controls all the actors and playback audio within the main theatre and on the second layer it controls audio in the second theatre,’ explained Mr Edlin. ‘So the main theatre can be running a show and the second theatre can simultaneously run another show with audio controlled via the ViSi iPad app.’
Meanwhile, JBL pendant speakers have been installed throughout the restaurant and mezzanine areas. ‘You can walk throughout the café, into the parent’s area, toilets, the shop into the entrance way and the sound is all even, it is not overbearing in any area,’ said Mr Ivory.
For the rest of the A/V solutions, such as projectors, lowering screens and lights, control is offered by a touch panel system via an automated process combining Audio Architect and AMX systems.
‘We wanted to try and do something that was magical,’ concluded Whoa! Studios owner Mr Sutherland. ‘We wanted to exceed expectations. I didn’t think it would be as good as this result and that makes it all worthwhile.’