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Archive for January 6th, 2014

Electrosonic’s Audio and Video Systems Energize New Permanent Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

When the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago was planning its newest permanent exhibit, Future Energy Chicago, it turned to Electrosonic to provide the audio and video systems for the exhibit’s film and simulation game, which challenges guests to compete on teams to make wise energy choices for a more sustainable city.

Exhibit-goers begin by rediscovering the nature of energy in the dynamic Energy Garden area, where they can transform energy from one form to another via a series of electro-mechanical devices and immerse themselves in a short film that dramatically presents the story of energy in our world. Guests then convert their knowledge into action via a multi-player simulation game in which they design an energy-saving car, house, neighborhood, transportation system and city power grid.

Electrosonic teamed with exhibit designers Evidence Design, interactive designers Potion Design and Steve Haas Acoustics (SH Acoustics) to meet the goals of the museum with the given budget and allotted exhibit space. Electrosonic’s Design Consulting team was involved from the outset to ensure the smooth performance of all the interactives and to supply the custom programming required to deliver an informative and fun guest experience.

The first challenge was retrofitting the existing Energy Garden space with a 20-foot wide curved oval screen to display a 6-minute film from Donna Lawrence Productions. “To satisfy the size of the imagery, we had to pay extremely close attention to the lights and speakers and accurately position everything, including the Barco 3-chip DLP projectors, on the existing grid in a low-ceiling room,” says Electrosonic design consultant Yiannis Cabolis.

Electrosonic also provided the video processing and masking to accommodate the oval screen; the film is fed to the projectors by a 7thSense server. Tannoy speakers are housed above and behind the screen along with Bag End subwoofers.

Guests to the Energy Garden get to play with various electro-mechanical devices to create “energy” -for example, riding a stationary bike will turn on a light. A pathway leads to the simulation area where the guests form teams and set off to play games at five different interactive stations. Panasonic LCD monitors are configured to form the Future House station with sides and a roof, which offers a range of multi-touch interactives with localized audio. The Future Neighborhood game extends the residence concept with more multi-touch interactives.

Future Power illustrates the need for a smart mix of energy on a round table with three overhead Panasonic projectors, while the Future Transportation game is laid out on a polygonal table with two overhead projectors above. Future Car invites guests to design a new vehicle by video mapping images from Panasonic overhead projectors onto a trio of small three-dimensional car models. All of the overhead projectors feature gesture recognition. A 24 by 8-foot scoreboard keeps track of the teams’ interactive gameplay; a pair of edge-blended Barco 3-chip DLP projectors and Tannoy speakers display the scores and announce the winners.

“Electrosonic, Evidence Design and Potion Design did a huge mock up with multiple projectors and media at the museum to determine the pixel sizes and equipment brands to use so the average guest would have a very good experience,” Cabolis explains. Samsung displays and PQ Labs overlays were chosen for the touch interactives with James loudspeakers for audio.

Custom programming was required “because each interactive had to talk to the gaming computers in the equipment racks,” he notes. Medialon show control keeps track of the Energy Garden film and the gaming computers to ensure a good pace and flow of visitors moving through the exhibit. Staff facilitating the experience are equipped with Apple iPads as interfaces to control certain operational aspects of the exhibit, such as pause, stop and reset.

Wireless mics allow facilitators to address students and general public guests, and also allow other staff presenters to lead special events in the space. Q-Sys handles multi-channel DSP. SH Acoustic’s expertise guaranteed that audio would be directed to players and support the content of the interactive simulation without intruding on adjacent games. “We didn’t want the space to sound like an arena,” Cabolis says.

During the project, “infrastructure planning was a major challenge,” he notes, with a lot of technology squeezed into a very tight area. “Ninety percent of the connections utilize fiber,” says Cabolis. “For the simulation game, we had to hide technology in the tables to deliver a clean final look. All the wires and network connections had to come up from the slab floor through a box on the bottom of the tables and through the legs to the exhibit level. And the power supplies and extenders all had to be vented, serviceable and accessible from the equipment room.”

The equipment room is configured with four racks of source computers, amps and control systems. All computers are accessible to the content producers so they can update software for the simulation game as necessary.

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic is an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, control rooms, and corporate meeting rooms. Since its founding in 1964, Electrosonic has built a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic provides a comprehensive scope of services including technical design, projector lamp sales, maintenance and operational support.

Learn more about Electrosonic. Visit http://www.electrosonic.com

For more information about Future Energy Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, visit http://www.msichicago.org

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Yamaha MTX New Firmware and Software Enables AEC and Dugan MY Card Compatibility

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. has announced Version 1.2 firmware and application software for the MTX Series Matrix Processor, the core product of the Commercial Installation Solutions (CIS) product line. MTX v1.2 now makes the processor compatible with the MY4-AEC acoustic echo cancellation card required for distance conferencing and the Dugan-MY16 auto mixing capability card.

The Yamaha CIS Series, launched in 2012, includes the VXC Series Ceiling Speakers, VXS Series Surface Mount Speakers, XMV Series Multi-channel Power Amplifiers, and the MTX Series Matrix Processors specifically designed for the commercial installation solutions market. Now with MTX v1.2, there is an even more comprehensive range of flexibility that will meet the demands of installed applications.

The new software enables compatibility with the two MY cards that was previously only available for use primarily with Yamaha’s DME Series Digital Mixing Engines. The MY4-AEC card eliminates unwanted acoustic echo that is caused by secondary signals of speaker output or reflections from room surfaces that are common in teleconferencing applications. The card is equipped with a noise reduction function that removes steady-state background noise caused by air conditioning components, projector fans, etc. Once the card is installed in the processor, parameter settings can be controlled using the AEC window in the MTX Editor program.

The Dugan-MY16 card, developed by Dan Dugan Sound Design, automatically optimizes the gain distribution of multiple faders simultaneously, allowing sound engineers to focus on their mix rather than keeping track of mic levels. Auto mixing parameters can be set using dedicated software that works in conjunction with the MTX Editor and is available via free download at www.dandugan.com.

“Ever since we launched the Yamaha CIS Series, we have received very strong, positive reactions from the installed sound market regarding its DSP power and the scalability the series provides when configuring a sound solution using amplifiers and speakers,” states Marc Lopez, Marketing Manager, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. “MTX v1.2 is based on a number of requests from our customers regarding certain functionality and capabilities that are relevant to their applications. So, by adding compatibility with the MY cards, integrators will be able to address an even wider variety of installed sound applications and offer powerful functionality similar to the DME (Digital Mixing Engine) but at a lower cost to customers using the MTX5-D processor.”

Lopez also said that with the recent addition of the Wireless Digital Controller App for Android available free of charge at the Google Play Store, the MTX Series continues to bring extraordinary value to the Yamaha Commercial installation Solutions product line.

Yamaha MTX v1.2 will be released in mid-January and can be downloaded free of charge by visiting www.yamahaca.com.

-END-

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

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