Meyer Sound provides soundtrack for the world’s largest digital art centre

Meyer Sound provides soundtrack for the world’s largest digital art centre
CAL beam steering loudspeakers from Meyer Sound play a key role in providing non-reverbant sound at the Bassins des Lumie`res in Bordeaux, France.

Housed inside a former World War II submarine base, Bassins des Lumie`res (“Pools of Light”) claims to be the world’s largest digital art centre, with more than 13,000 square meters of projection surface to back up the claim.

But the immersive exhibitions of classical and contemporary art are not only a visual experience, as each program is accompanied by an enthralling musical score. For precisely controlled and full-fidelity reproduction throughout the highly reverberant spaces, Bassins des Lumie`res relies on zoned distributed systems of more than 80 Meyer Sound loudspeakers, including (for the most problematic acoustics) 36 CAL 32 column array loudspeakers with advanced digital beam steering.

All video, audio, and lighting systems for Bassins des Lumie`res were designed and installed by the French integration firm Cadmos. Project manager and sound designer was Philippe Wojtowicz, aka Wojto, who worked in collaboration with Best Audio, Meyer Sound’s French distributor, on the audio side of the endeavor.

“With the water and the flat concrete walls, this is an extremely reverberant environment,” notes Wojto, “yet we had to cover all the places where people would be standing with uniform sound levels. This would be almost impossible with conventional loudspeakers, but with CAL 32 we could focus the sound only where it was wanted. Depending on the placement, we would adjust the beam to between 10 and 15 degrees with a tilt between 7 and 20 degrees, giving us a defined range of about 15 metres.”

Several other locations requiring broader coverage patterns with very high-quality sound are served by Meyer Sound’s ULTRA-X40 loudspeakers, with a total of 12 deployed. The audio systems also include 10 slender UPM-1P loudspeakers and, for low-frequency extension, 33 USW-210P subwoofers.

On the visual side, the artworks are displayed on 95 Barco projectors, with content sourced from more than 30 Modulo Kinetic media servers.

Bassins des Lumie`res was created by Paris-based Culturespaces, operating under a lease agreement with the owner of the property, the City of Bordeaux. Conversion of the bomb-damaged structure into a stellar showplace of art required an investment of more than 10 million euros by Culturespaces. Construction began in 2018, with the first pandemic-limited exhibition — featuring the works of Paul Klee and Gustav Klimt — debuting in June of 2020. Current on the program are Venice, the Serenissima; Sorolla: Walks by the Sea; Recoding Entropia; and Cell Immersion.








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