The largest light and water spectacular in south-east Asia has opened on the doorstep of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Using lasers, searchlights, LEDs, video projectors, and giant water screens to create stunning visual effects, all enhanced with an Electro-Voice sound system, Wonder Full is a breathtaking 360-degree sensory experience portraying light and water creating life, choreographed to an inspiring original score.
Wonder Full features new and exciting technology that took Laservision three years to develop and refine. A team consisting of 100 specialists in architectural, design, creative, musical, engineering, technical, and IT resources was drawn from its Hong Kong, Australian, and Singaporean offices.
Three massive water screens illuminated by high definition video projection and optically pumped full color laser systems face the audience at the Event Plaza, the Marina Bay Sands entertainment venue featuring adjustable platforms. The Event Plaza is flanked by custom-designed media towers which bathe and envelope the audience in a true three-dimensional fantasy, including surround sound, special effects, and dynamic lighting.
The original sound score, recorded by the 140 piece Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, is enjoyed via 50,000 watts of 7.1 surround sound. The music is broadcasted simultaneously on the event sound system and on the official Marina Bay Sands radio station.
In the past, Laservision has successfully completed a number of prestigious installations using Bosch professional audio products, utilizing the expertise of Bryan Davidson, Bosch’s regional Senior Engineer / Manager for permanent installations.
“For this project, Laservision wanted a high-impact surround sound system capable of covering approximately forty meters,” explains Davidson. “It also had to have a very low profile, so as not too obscure the water fountains. I built a model in EASE, finally settling on a large format line array system from Electro-Voice; two vertically stacked Xvls modules deliver a very tight vertical dispersion, allowing sound to be thrown across water to the audience area whilst not spilling into other areas.”
The EV Xvls speakers are a custom-made waterproof version and also deploy EV’s hydrophobic grill cloth which stops water entering the box. Each water screen has two Xvls speakers.
The 10,000-capacity deck area has three different orientations; it can be a flat deck or either elevated or declined at the front. Accordingly, the audio system has to work in each orientation and Davidson spent a lot of time tweaking the system to achieve the ultimate performance.
In order to ensure that AV equipment didn’t impact on the aesthetics of the building, eight multimedia towers – four either side of the audience area – were designed to house the rest of the speakers and some spotlights. The six-meter-high cylindrical media towers are constructed from perforated stainless steel. When the stage is dark, the cylinders hide and protect the technical equipment. At showtime, a lifting mechanism raises the cylinders by three meters, the speakers go up into position, and a searchlight pops out of the top.
“I placed four EV XLD281 compact line array cabinets plus an EV Xsub subwoofer in each media tower, which gave me the 7:1 surround sound,” adds Davidson. “These also employ the EV hydrophobic grill cloth; I consulted with the brilliant Dave Carlson from EV in Burnsville in order to work out the exact grill perforation requirements so that the sound could exit correctly and the cylinder didn’t resonate.”
All of the speakers are driven by a total of 21 Dynacord H5000 amplifiers, each of which has its own RCM-26 remote control module. This is all networked together via three NetMax N8000 networkable matrix system controllers, which allow audio distribution whilst also delivering full remote monitoring and speaker supervision. Audio is distributed from the main control room to two rack locations via Cobranet interfaced by Laservision’s propriety show control system (which delivers the 7:1 feed).
“I used SysTune to align the system,” remarked Bryan. “It has a plug-in module for NetMax, so I can open up SysTune and look at the frequency response, etcetera, in one window, whilst in the other window I can have the relevant EQ block in NetMax open, so I can do real time tuning as I walk around the area.”
The IRIS-Net software platform is used to control and supervise all of the amplifiers, NetMax units, and connected speakers via a user-friendly GUI.