At China’s Dai Show Theatre, built exclusively for producer Franco Dragone’s newest themed spectacle, the nightly displays of aquatic acrobatics are bolstered by immersive music and effects sonically choreographed through a 128-channel Meyer Sound D-Mitri digital audio platform and reproduced by an encircling array of 103 Meyer Sound loudspeakers.
The domed Dai Show Theatre is located at the Xishuangbanna International Resort in Yunnan Province, a 16 square-kilometer development of the Wanda Group.
The D-Mitri platform, working with CueConsole control surfaces, provides a fully integrated solution for mixing, matrixing, multitrack playback and show control. In addition, Meyer Sound Space Map software allows dynamic panning of sounds around and across the two rings of individually addressable, self-powered loudspeakers.
“Having D-Mitri integrated with Space Map definitely expanded my creative options,” says Corrado Campanelli, hand-picked by Dragone to design sound for the production. “Working in the round, with two layers of surrounds, I could think in a much more immersive way with all music and sound effects. With the press of a button, the operator can dynamically move sounds three dimensionally around the space, immersing spectators in the action.”
The sound system design was a collaborative effort, with the original proposal by Colbert Davis of California’s Thinkwell Group specifying D-Mitri and most of the loudspeakers. Due to changes in the building structure and the show’s musical concepts, the loudspeaker and D-Mitri configurations were later augmented or modified by Campanelli.
One visual concept central to the show was that the dome over the central pool would be part of the visual effects, which in turn meant that the loudspeakers had to be largely hidden. This presented challenges for covering a large-volume, 1,183-seat venue.
“We could not have large line arrays hanging down in view, so instead we deployed a main inner ring of ten UPA-1P loudspeakers as the main system, and a delay ring of 23 UP-4XP loudspeakers under the surrounding soffit,” Campanelli explains. “In addition, we deployed two more rings with a total of 59 smaller loudspeakers for the dynamic surround effects.”
With this configuration and Space Map in mind, Campanelli worked closely with Dai Show composer Michael Brennan to leverage the possibilities. “Since this was all original music, I could work with him to identify instruments or sounds that could be dynamically moved during the performance. I do not know of any system other than D-Mitri that can accomplish this as easily and effectively.”
Campanelli also notes the advantage of working with a single principal supplier for the entire system, from program inputs through loudspeakers. “It was 100 percent routing through Meyer systems, from D-Mitri and CueConsole through the Galileo processors and into the loudspeakers. It made set-up much easier, knowing that everything is fully compatible and we have one source of excellent technical support.”
The Meyer Sound house loudspeaker complement also included two UPQ-1P and two UPM-1P loudspeakers; three UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers; 19 UPJunior-XP VariO loudspeakers and 49 MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers, both with IntelligentDC technology; three 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements; two M1D-Sub subwoofers; and a Galileo loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 616 processors.
The monitoring system utilized four UPJ-1XP loudspeakers and a second CueConsole control surface connected to a 72-channel D-Mitri platform. All systems were supplied by Shanghai Broad Future Electro Technology Co., Ltd. and installed by Shenzhen Runze Lighting & Audio Technology Development Co.,Ltd.
The Dai Show Theatre was designed by architect Mark Fisher of London-based Stufish Entertainment Architects. The U.S.-based firm of Auerbach Pollock Friedlander was contracted to supply overall programming and planning services for theatrical design.