Wuhan, China (November 17, 2015)—Featuring a theater that changes shape and water-based feats, The Han Show in Wuhan, China is an unusual production, supported by a massive Meyer Sound system of 359 self-powered loudspeakers all processed, distributed, and matrixed by the largest D-Mitri digital audio platform assembled to date, comprising 53 frames.
Designed by Vikram Kirby of California’s Thinkwell Group, the system is inordinately complex because the loudspeaker configurations must adapt to a dual-mode auditorium. During the performance, the upper seating area drops down and the lower seating area splits and rotates to the sides to reveal a vast pool for the water-based elements of the show. Because the entire seating layout changes, the show requires two completely separate sound systems under one roof.
“What was critically important for this project was to have a single supplier that could help us scale from very small to huge, and I don’t know of any high-quality manufacturer other than Meyer Sound with such product breadth,” explains Kirby. “We scale all the way from line array hangs to tiny MM-4XPs for front fills, with a need for every size in between—plus special-purpose speakers like the beam-steering CAL column array loudspeaker and the directional SB-2 parabolic wide-range sound beam.”
Used for surrounds and localized upstage sources, The Han Show’s nine CAL loudspeakers are the largest deployment of CAL to date in an entertainment application. “The CALs work wonderfully as lateral surrounds,” reports Kirby. “You get a uniformity of coverage across a wide seating area that you can’t get from point source boxes. The CALs deliver a more complete sound-mapping effect, particularly when moving off-center.”
Comprising 16 different Meyer Sound loudspeaker models including MICA, MINA, and M’elodie line array loudspeakers, the massive system is configured as 29 separate subsystems, with each requiring its own dedicated signal matrixing and processing. Managing this is the D-Mitri digital audio platform, controlled by CueConsole user interfaces at two FOH positions and monitors, with the entire system networked across a fiber optic ring. Layout of the network infrastructure was handled by Colbert Davis, associate sound designer, working in collaboration with Extreme Networks.
Loudspeaker drive and array optimization are handled by a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with eight Galileo Callisto 616 array processors and a Galileo loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 408 processors. The Meyer Sound systems were provided by Shanghai Broad Future Electro Technology Co., Ltd. and installed by Beijing-based AoTeWei.
“This is undoubtedly the most challenging project I’ve undertaken,” said Kirby. “It’s not just left, right, subs and back surrounds; the whole theatre is ringed with loudspeakers. And when you add all the changes that come from a reconfigured auditorium, you have a whole different order of complexity.”
Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc.