Live Design Blog Archive

The Aldabra Experience: Meyer Sound Matrix3 Helps to Bring Nature's Rarest Sights and Sounds to the World

Off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean lies the coral atoll of Aldabra, home to one of the last vestiges of natural ecology on the planet. Protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982, the uninhabited island is home to a wide array of rare fauna including the world's largest population of giant land tortoises, and the Indian Ocean's last surviving flightless bird, the Aldabra Rail.

Now the public will have a rare opportunity to experience Aldabra's unique environment in a truly immersive sensorial experience replete with coral sand to touch, atoll fragrances to smell, and multidimensional audio courtesy of Meyer Sound's Matrix3â„¢ audio show control technology.

The fund-raising exhibition Aldabra: An Atoll for Humanity, taking place at the zoological gardens in Paris, also features hundreds of high-resolution photos and hours of high-definition recordings assembled by the gifted sound recordist and designer Bram Boers and crew.

“One of our goals for this exhibit was to touch people with the unique experience of Aldabra by creating a truly multisensory exhibit,” remarks Boers. “The Matrix3 system enabled us to design an immersive soundscape which, along with the pictures, could provide visitors with the most startlingly realistic experience of the atoll.”

Designed by Eric Mattijsen of Audio Electronics Mattijsen BV, Meyer Sound's Dutch distributor, the audio system utilizes more than 40 self-powered MM-4XP miniature loudspeakers, strategically placed to create a multidimensional sonic experience. A pair of UMS-1P subwoofers provide clear and powerful low end to further accentuate the realistic environment.

The MM-4XP loudspeakers were selected as much for their sonic character as for their unobtrusive size, and the grilles were custom-painted to blend seamlessly with the exhibit's colors. “The size and self-powered design of the MM-4XP allowed us to place them precisely where we needed them, rather than having to make any technical compromises,” Boers adds.

To provide an eight-channel surround each in five independent rooms, the Matrix3 is deployed using 32 digital I/O and 32 analog I/O provided by two LX-300 processors. A pair of WildTracksâ„¢ 73GB hard disks handle playback for 48 tracks of audio. All of the audio distribution is done through the CobraNet network, supported fully by the Matrix3.

“Bram was looking for a high-power speaker in an extremely compact enclosure and the MM-4XP was the first thing that caught his attention,” explains Mattijsen. “And once he started explaining the actual creative concept of the Aldabra project, the Matrix3 solution immediately became the obvious choice. With Meyer Sound, we have the tools to fulfill the artist's needs.”

Presented by conservationist Carlos Vejarano and the Seychelles Island Foundation, Aldabra: An Atoll for Humanity has received overwhelming public response and positive reviews by national and international media. After its debut in Paris, the Aldabra exhibition will make stops in other cities, including Marseille, Moscow, and Dubai.

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