Amadeus brings The Long Gone Dinosaur to life
Amadeus brings The Long Gone Dinosaur to life
More than 180 Amadeus loudspeakers have been installed at the Beijing National Indoor Stadium for The Long Gone Dinosaur exhibit, due to open this year. The show details the rise and fall of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago and is expected to be open for the next 15 years. It was created by He LiDe and his wife Qin Xiaomei, who are renowned in China for creating the landscape spectacle Impression Liu Sanjie and the Shaolin Temple Kung Fu show.
Amadeus worked closely with sound engineers, designers and artists connected to various French musical, theatrical and research institutions, including Théâtre National de Chaillot, La Gaîté Lyrique, and STMS Lab (Sciences et Technologies de la Musique et du Son). Support was also provided by CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research), Sorbonne University, the French Ministry of Culture, and IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique), as well as Amadeus’ Chinese distributor, Guangzhou SignKing ET.
‘The success of this project cannot be separated from the teams who designed, imagined, implemented, created, and composed using the products and technologies that we installed,’ explained Gaetan Byk, marketing manager at Amadeus. ‘This project is a great joint and global success, a shining example of the rare savoir-faire and technical skills that we have in France. From the beginning of the project, we decided to create a strong team, including people with complementary talents, sensibilities, experiences, and careers; most of them coming from prestigious French institutions, including Marc Piera (Théâtre National de Chaillot), Jean-Marc Harel (La Gaîté Lyrique), Guillaume Jacquemin (Buzzing Light), Johan Lescure, Clément Vallon, and Thierry Coduys – who has acted as the sound engineer for some of the most acclaimed modern composers including Pascal Dusapin, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Luciano Berio among many others.’
Harel led the on-site installation of the Amadeus speaker systems, overseeing rigging, safety rules, audio simulations and calculations. Meanwhile, Piera aligned the entire system.
‘Offering the audience a clear, audible and intelligible sound has been our biggest challenge, considering the high reverberation time of the venue (which is about 4s without an audience), the large quantity of reflective surfaces, and the different types of speaker technology; including point source speakers, line array speakers, horn-loaded subwoofers,’ said Piera. ‘We mainly worked with the dispersion properties of the speakers, rather than the EQs. Optimising the positions in the X, Y and Z axis, as well as aiming the speakers in order to minimise the reflections have been a major part of the whole system alignment.’
The speaker system is based on two main frontal speaker antennas. The upper one is formed from eight clusters of four Diva XL line arrays with one Diva XL SUB. The bottom antenna comprises 13 clusters, each one featuring five Diva XS line array systems paired with a single Diva XS SUB. The left and right sides are covered by four arrays of four Diva XLs with single Diva XL SUBs. In addition, 32 UDX 15 point source speakers are used as top surround loudspeakers. Completing the setup are 12 Maestro II horn-loaded subwoofers, paired with two Lab Gruppen C88:4 amplifiers offering a maximum SPL of 155dB at 25Hz.
The team of Coduys, Jacquemin, Lescure and Vallon visited China mutliple times to create the sound design in accordance with the scenographer and producer’s demands, while also mixing and spatialising the audio content. The team combined classical music with hundreds of sound effects including rain, thunder, wind, storms, meteor strikes and crashing waves.
‘We decided from the beginning to work with our own sound materials, based on our own original recordings, and then we enhanced them using different modular synthesis systems,’ revealed Coduys. ‘Some of the sound material was recorded using Ambisonics recording techniques. We have been using Amadeus' spatial sound processor, Holophonix, to mix and reverberate sound material, played from a Pro Tools HD sequencer, using highly advanced 2D and 3D sound algorithms designed at IRCAM-based STMS Lab. The Holophonix setup featured a combination of six spatialisation buses, each one running one of the different sound algorithms available, including Higher-Order Ambisonics (2D, 3D), Vector-Base Amplitude Panning (2D), and Wave Field Synthesis.’
The IanniX graphical open-source sequencer was used to design and write spatial trajectories in a 3D space with direct manipulation of the sound and music score. The audio creation was encoded using Holophonix and then recorded on a 64-channel digital TASCAM multitrack recorder/player.