The historic Forte di Bard recently opened its high-tech multimedia museum here, spanning more than 20 rooms, and featuring state-of-the art audio visual presentations, touch screens and interactive experiences for the visitor, all controlled by the recently installed Q-Sys Integrated System Platform from QSC Audio.
Perched on a rocky promontory high above this small northern Italian town, Forte di Bard (Fort Bard) has been a site of strategic significance since the pre-Roman era. Today its importance is cultural rather than military. Completely restored in 2006, the stunning courtyards of this fortress complex now play host to theatre and ballet performances, summer pop concerts and literary events, while its imposing walls house major touring exhibitions of art and photography, as well as permanent collections like the Museo delli Alpi (Museum of the Alps).
The latest step in the on-going expansion of the Fort is the new museum dedicated to the history of the site and the evolution of its fortifications. This state-of-the-art interactive multimedia exhibition features synchronized audio-visual presentations delivered via conventional video screens, interactive touch-screens and video projection. This extremely sophisticated installation called for a multimedia control system that could coordinate all the audio and video as well as the lighting and more, across the various rooms and display systems.
IBR Sistemi of Genoa handled the design and installation of the new museum, and with the help of AudioLink, QSC’s exclusive distributor in Italy, they chose Q-Sys as the perfect solution to control the advanced technological needs of the Forte di Bard.
Every element of the Forte di Bard exhibition is controlled by Q-Sys. At the center of the network, a Q Sys Core 3000 unit handles 68 channels of audio and controls a total of 125 peripheral devices, ranging from the touch screens and their associated computers to video players, video screens and projectors. Additional Q-Sys I/O Frames equipped with DataPort I/O cards allow centralized control of the CX Series amplifiers located all around the exhibition. Meanwhile, the I/O Frames’ GPIO ports allow the Q-Sys Core to directly control the lighting system and the motorized screens used for larger video projections. And by connecting a second Q-Sys 3000 Core to the network, the installers were able to ensure complete system redundancy and offer the guarantee of no disruption.
Making any alterations to the existing historic structure was obviously out of the question. AcousticDesign™ Series AD-S32T and AD-S52 loudspeakers proved ideal for the scenario. Delivering high-quality sound in a robust, compact package, they were easily mounted on lightweight frames suspended from the ceiling. Where further sound reinforcement was required, AD-S28Tw subwoofers were discreetly deployed. The Q-Sys Designer software design environment made assembling this sophisticated network a stress-free experience. The completely modular nature of the Q-Sys control system and I/O peripherals made it easy to accommodate the necessary hardware within the space available. And with the audio delivery hardware in place, the system was easily fine-tuned in situ via a wireless remote control.
Claudio Donato of IBR Sistemi said: “We are very happy to have used QSC technology on this project. It all comes together as a true system. In particular, we’ve found Q-Sys to be an extremely powerful and flexible platform – easy to integrate into our interactive system and very innovative.”
Stefano Cantadori, head of AudioLink, adds: “Q-Sys is incredibly flexible. With the two QSC Cores in place, we can now put I/O in every other zone of the Forte di Bard and build many independent, fully redundant systems. We can connect all those systems together, provide VoIP and audio playback, and control just about any gizmo that can be connected via LAN. It is the future, now. Our customers are only just beginning to realize the full potential of Q-Sys, its ease of expandability and the vast range of applications the system can handle.”