A 96-channel audio system powered by 18 Powersoft Quattrocanali 2404 DSP+D amplifiers is immersing riders in the dramatic jungle soundtrack of Jumanji: The Adventure, one of the newest attractions at Gardaland, the largest theme park in Italy.
Located on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, Gardaland opened in 1975 and is now one of Europe’s most popular amusement parks. The 200,000m² park’s attractions include rollercoasters such as Oblivion, Shaman and Blue Tornado, the water rides Fuga da Atlantide (Escape from Atlantis) and Jungle Rapids, and the child-friendly Peppa Pig Land.
Perhaps Gardaland’s most ambitious attraction to date, Jumanji: The Adventure is a multi-sensory dark ride that transports guests through 12 unique environments, bringing them face to face with physical threats including a venomous spiders, falling ruins, a swamp full of hippos and an enormous, animatronic ‘Stone Giant’. As riders travel through the jungle in multi-motion off-road vehicles (resembling those seen in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), their experience is elevated by a host of AV wizardry, including projection mapping, holography and immersive spatial audio.
“Jumanji: The Adventure is one of a new kind of attraction here at Gardaland,” confirms Alberto Lorenzin, technical office manager for Gardaland. “In terms of the visitor experience it’s quite unique – and the state-of-the-art audio and video is at the core of that.”
To design and deliver the technical infrastructure for the €20 million attraction – the first based on the Jumanji film franchise – Gardaland turned to specialist integrator Bentin Projects, which was tasked with using technology to bring to life the vision of the ride’s creators. Bernhard Blank, a system designer with Germany-based Bentin, explains the process: “With attractions like this you start with something called a theme book, which contains scene-by-scene information, like in a comic book, from the designer of the attraction. You then need to look closely to figure out what materials and technology are needed to tell the story the designer had in mind.”
Audio, in particular, plays a crucial role in enveloping riders in the thrilling world created by Jumanji: The Adventure, Blank adds. “To get a fully immersive experience you need to be able to place the speakers in the right place in the scenery,” he says. “Having those speakers hidden from guests and delivering audio from all angles is key to creating the correct atmosphere.”
Given the expected popularity of the Jumanji attraction, reliability was also a key concern for Gardaland when it came to the choice of audio equipment, adds Lorenzin: “We have nearly 1,000 people an hour going through this attraction for more than 200 days a year, so reliability was essential.”
To provide the power and flexibility needed for the 96 channels of audio providing the soundtrack to the ride through the rainforest, as well as the reliability required by Lorenzin, the Bentin team specified 18 Powersoft Quattrocanali 2404 DSP+D. Delivering 2,400W of power (efficiently optimised using Powersoft’s patented Smart Rail Management technology) over four channels, the Quattrocanali 2404 was the ideal partner for the Gardaland installation, according to Blank. “We have used them in many attractions in the past and I’ve been very, very happy with these kind of amplifiers,” says Blank, who also praises the Dante (AES67) networking capabilities offered by the DSP+D version of the Quattrocanali 2404. “With AES67, when the network is properly you managed you won’t have any issues. It should last ten years without any problems.”
At Gardaland the Powersoft amplifiers are paired with a Q-SYS Core processor, with the audio system complemented by a Alcorn McBride V4X show controller and Pharos lighting controller.
Echoing Blank, Bentin Projects’ founder and CEO, Benedikt Koch, says he had high expectations for the Quattrocanali 2404 DSP+D, given his previous work with Powersoft products. “We chose Powersoft amplifiers because of the good experiences we’ve had in the past,” he confirms, adding that “the size and power delivered by the amplifiers is perfect for” the audio demands of Jumanji: The Adventure.
As for their reliability, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, Koch adds. “This whole system has worked for a year already with no issues, no failure, no mistakes – nothing,” he concludes. “We are very proud of this.
“Part of this is the very good work of our programmers – and part of it is the reliable equipment we chose to use. We are very happy with the Powersoft amplifiers.”