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One of the themed holes at Treetop Golf in Gateshead, England accompanied by spatialized sound via a TiMax SoundHub processor.

TiMax Fosters Spatial Sound Environment At Treetop Golf In England

Several holes at new family-focused golf courses in Gateshead enhanced with spatialized sound environment generated via a SoundHub-S32 processor with Dante networked I/O.

The latest Treetop Golf venue, newly arrived in the town of Gateshead, England on the River Tyne and offering two 18-hole family-focused golf courses — one a Tropical Trail and the other an Ancient Explorer Trail — is equipped with a spatialized sound environment centered around a TiMax SoundHub processor in a project by sound designer RavenAV with installation by Reading-based Full Production Ltd.

Specifically, one TiMax SoundHub-S32 with Dante networked I/O manages the three holes per course where the themed appeal is brought to life with lighting and animated immersive audio. On the Tropical Trail area, the scene is set with localized audio objects such as birdsong which travels from shrubbery up to tree level and down to another area of low shrubbery and back again – as well as placed insect and animal noises and actions that are enhanced with tree shakers. EM Acoustics EMS-41 compact two-way passive loudspeakers, powered by Powersoft Unica amplifiers, provide the distributed reinforcement, hidden and disguised within scenic birdhouses.

Dan Roncoroni of RavenAV explains, “We used TiMax just to make it special and believable: when you shut your eyes you are in the middle of a jungle. You can hear the content localized accurately anywhere you are in that space, as TiMax does a really good job at handling audio objects. It’s more immersive, the loudspeakers disappear, and you just hear the content. You don’t hear where it’s coming from.”

Themed characters, such as Baron Von Batwing (a vampire bat) in the Ancient Explorer area, have a selection of comments to make about golfing performances. The AV content – 80 percent of which is new for the Gateshead site produced in 4K for spatial audio by sound designer Dave Shepherd – is executed in randomized loops scripted in QLab on this occasion rather than in TiMax to help keep the content fresh for customers and staff.

Roncoroni’s involvement with Treetop Golf started when Full Production managing director Steve Richardson approached him for assistance with audio improvements at an existing venue in Birmingham. Full Production had already taken the lighting and visual elements at the Midlands attraction to a new level in order to provide a enhanced experience, and pushed for audio quality to match.

With audio spills between holes cleared up and the themed characters’ speech made more clear and intelligible, Roncoroni was brought in again to up the game with spatial audio for the new Gateshead venue, before the venue’s design was actually finalized. With only rough architect course outlines to go on and no contractor drawings, he planned out the first audio design using educated guesswork.

“Thankfully it translated to an almost completely successful design,” he notes. “We had to move some elements of the equipment at the last minute, but it’s pretty much unchanged.”

Richardson adds, “Dan did a great job, as he always does for us. We were keen to push the spatial audio elements on this project following our work together in St Michael’s Cave in Gibraltar (also with a TiMax system).

“The installation on this site ran for around eight months and a lot came down to design and build after system designs and schematics were submitted. Having the flexibility of the TiMax system in our minds gave us a whole other level of confidence that last-minute changes could be dealt with efficiently. Ultimately, we are proud of the product we have delivered – it truly does sound breathtakingly good.”

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