With over five hundred stores, the Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne, Australia is the largest shopping center in the southern hemisphere.
In the run up to the recent holidays, Chadstone’s owners hired Corporate Initiatives of Nunawading, Victoria to install a video wall and sound system.
The video wall would run advertisements for select stores in the shopping center, and the owners wanted audio support to make the advertisements as compelling as possible. The only catch was that the sound had to be focused. It had to be vibrant and punchy right in front of the video wall but it couldn’t interfere with the ambiances of the nearby stores.
Corporate Initiatives designed and installed a sound reinforcement system centered on a Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 Dante network audio DSP, which tunes the system perfectly.
The video wall is an NEC 6mm Pixel Pitch LED array. Videro Digital Signage provides content via a redundant pair of MAC Video Playback devices, each with Dante Virtual Soundcards.
Because the Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 has two Gigabit Switch ports, both playback devices are connected to the system via the Dante network, and the backup is always on standby.
Additional analog inputs include two Shure wireless microphones and a flexible XLR input plate for use at events in the large public space in front of the video wall.
Robust automatic gain control is a critical component in the success of the installation. The volume of foot traffic – and hence the volume of background noise – varies tremendously depending on the day and time.
An appropriate volume on a Wednesday morning would be completely drowned out on a Saturday afternoon, and an appropriate volume on a Saturday afternoon would be overwhelming on a Wednesday morning.
Two ambient noise-sensing microphones complete the input count, to provide information to the Radius 12x8’s automatic gain control algorithm.
“The Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 was the perfect processor for Chadstone’s video wall,” said Michael O’Connor from PAVT. “For an affordable price, the Radius 12x8 provides Symetrix’ broadcast-quality audio path and algorithms, including automatic gain control, and Dante audio capabilities.
“Moreover, our experience has been that Symetrix builds the most reliable DSPs on the market. We have been distributing Symetrix for about ten years now, and in that time we have sold hundreds of Symetrix units for corporate installations, stadiums, broadcast facilities, and nightclubs.”
Because the audio content is delivered from a variety of sources and because the level is not always consistent between those sources, the Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 also delivers uniform content level using a number of dynamic processing modules.
Two dual-channel Powersoft K2 DSP+AESOP amplifiers provide biamped power to a pair of EAW QX full-range loudspeakers.
Because the system runs ten hours a day, seven days a week on average, the K2’s Power Factor Correction maximizes the system’s efficiency by drawing only as much power as is actually needed.
The QXs provide precise directivity so as to keep energy focused on potential viewers and away from the nearby shops. An AMX Netlinx Processor and user interface allows intuitive source selection and volume control.
“This difficult audio environment in a large shopping center was a first for us,” said Chris Gauci, director at Corporate Initiatives. “But with the assistance of Production Audio Video Technology, we were able to design and install the perfect audio system within this acoustically complex environment.
“We had to have the right audio level covering just the right public space, without impeding on any of the shop spaces very close by. The carefully-calibrated ambient noise sensing is perfect, and the customer is ecstatic with the final result.”