In the 284-seat domed theatre of Madame Tussauds London, Marvel superheroes come alive in 4D thanks to the collective efforts of a cinematic dream-team, Meyer Sound, Kraftwerk Living Technologies International, Threshold Animation Studios, and Merlin Studios.
“We scored the film and created the sound design like we were making a blockbuster feature film. Once something sounded great, we turned it up even more,” says Joshua Wexler, president of Threshold Animation. “The audio experience significantly enhances all of our 3-D visuals and drives the audience to scream, laugh, jump and duck at all the right moments.”
A discrete 7.1 Meyer Sound Cinema Experience system was installed to facilitate an immersive audio experience for this dynamic application. Kraftwerk’s CEO, Christian Hofer explains: “When Meyer Sound introduced the new Cinema Experience product line, it was immediately clear to us that by installing this precision technology into Madame Tussauds’s domed theatre, we would be able to accomplish unprecedented effects while setting a new standard for immersive audio experiences.”
Taking this from concept to reality involved closely coordinated efforts on the part of Kraftwerk’s team. The results are a configuration, compatible with Dolby Format 91 layout, that comprises seven Acheron screen channel loudspeakers, two 700-HP subwoofers, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 408 processors. Sensations of wind, water, quakes and more are made real for the audience as a team of the iconic super heroes spill off the screen in a nine-minute adventure set in London.
“I have been impressed and overwhelmed by the passion, dedication and attention to detail that makes this project a smashing success,” says Paul Williams, creative director of Merlin Studios, the creative hub for Merlin Entertainments Group, which oversees brands including Madame Tussauds. “The audio is absolutely mind-blowing, and the beautifully crafted film is truly jaw-dropping and hugely entertaining. All in all, this is an amazing product which is being incredibly well received by our guests.”
General manager of Madame Tussauds London, Edward Fuller concurs: “Our guests’ reactions to the immersive experience are just outstanding. The clarity of the audio, coupled with the 3D film and 4D effects allows audiences to feel as if they are really there with the super heroes.”
Meyer Sound’s senior cinema and live sound design project manager Brian Long, and John Pellowe, project director for Constellation and former sound engineer for the late Luciano Pavarotti, mixed the audio content, which combined over 200 tracks of material and was mixed down into a 7.1 channel master for playback utilizing two Avid Pro Tools HD systems and ICON mixing surfaces provided by Stronghire in the UK.
“Mixing in the actual exhibition space enabled us to create maximum impact,” says Pellowe. “With stunning sound effects flying around the room to match the action in the film, we were able to deliver a rich tapestry of immersive sound from the beautifully crafted orchestral score.”
The new Cinema Experience from Meyer Sound is a complete, integrated line of cinema sound products and digital solutions that provide engineers with precise audio reproduction for sound design and dubbing through to exhibition. Neither a traditional cinema nor typical content creation space, Madame Tussauds London’s dome theatre, is a unique model for next-generation immersive media spaces. Other facilities using Meyer Sound Cinema Experience include Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope, ImageMovers Digital, Skywalker Sound, University of Southern Calif.’s School of Cinematic Arts, The Digital Cinema Auditorium at UC San Diego, and a multiplex cinema at the Solaris Cultural and Leisure Centre in Tallinn, Estonia, to name a few.
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