The inaugural exhibition of “India in Fashion: The Impact of Indian Dress and Textiles on the Fashionable Imagination” at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre in Mumbai was supported by an array of immersive soundscapes that segued from zone to zone in an audio designed utilizing the TiMax SoundHub platform.
Kapil Thirwani, director of Munro Acoustics, fulfilled the audio brief, calling upon the expertise of distributor, Alphatec, which recommended SoundHub for the project.
The exhibition is curated by Vogue global editor Hamish Bowles and presents a multi-zone exploration into the impact of India on global fashion and vice versa. Thirwani was contacted to deliver the audio approach in a very tight timeframe. On advice from Alphatec, and he had just enough time to fly to ISE in Barcelona to discuss the project in detail with Out Board.
Out Board director Dave Haydon explains, “Alphatec showed Kapil various ways TiMax could handle this project, which involved playing spatial music and effects across 15 different zones, starting and stopping it all automatically without anybody having to touch it. He worked out that TiMax was the only thing that could do it all at once.”
Thirwani’s final saw two 64 i/o TiMax SoundHub-S64s, each handling half of the exhibition, playing out a mix of stereo and multi-stem spatial music as well as soundscape tracks to 128 Genelec 4430 IP loudspeakers across 15 zones. The Genelec 4430, like TiMax, connects to a Dante network and supports external control via third-party hardware or software. Each running on a single Cat-5 cable, the self-powered Genelec units were not only discreet but avoided the use of more than 20 Km of hard-to-conceal copper wiring.
The soundscapes for the individual exhibition zones were originated by Goa-based musicians Sandunes. With some multi-channel spatial audio advice from Haydon in hand, the duo created audio content in the same key which served to prevent musical clashes from one zone to another. Various show content stems were sent to the UK where Haydon could begin programming the showfiles, and he subsequently visited Mumbai to help Sandunes bed in the immersive content on-site.
Without walls between the exhibits, overlap was unavoidable but once the audio installation was complete, the team started auditioning the soundscapes over the various zones of loudspeakers, walking from zone to zone with a Mac to fine-tune them.
Following this process all the settings were saved and the SoundHubs locked. Set to fade up at 10 am and then slowly fade out at the end of the day, it simplified client control for the TiMax-controlled system provided via a TouchOSC iPad for each SoundHub. Changes could be made to master level and individual zone levels for out-of-hours VIP visits, press and TV interviews without impacting the saved setup.
Arriving at the completed project shortly before it opened to the public, Haydon says, “The integration and design were amazing, and all the equipment was up and running to provide totally automated, hands-free, fully integrated show-in-a-box operation.”