Full Production carried out the design and installation of the audio, lighting, show control and visual infrastructure (photo: Matt Eachus)
UK – Berkshire-based Full Production provided the design and installation of the latest Treetop Golf destination. Sited at Metrocentre shopping centre in Gateshead, the new themed attraction includes over 400 luminaires and an immersive audio system with 140 loudspeakers.
The regular service supplier to Treetop since 2020, Full Production has lived up to its name by carrying out the design and installation of the audio, lighting, show control and visual infrastructure. Following Full Production’s work at its most recent site, in Birmingham, where its critically acclaimed design and installation significantly raised production values, Treetop was fully convinced to enhance the new Metrocentre site even further. As well as being able to run standalone for 14 hours a day, seven days a week – the multi-faceted system would also set a new bar for visitor experiences, employing the latest show technology.
The site has two themed 18-hole courses –Tropical Trail and Ancient Explorer – plus the Bonus 19th hole. The Full Production team took great care to ensure that playing surfaces were evenly lit, shadowing was minimal, and that the players could actually see the ball.
Consequently, the rig includes a large number of luminaires, including 270 Jade Expo track-mounted fixtures from CLS. “The Jade fixtures are great,” says Full Production’s Steve Richardson. “Their DMX control is invaluable – a lot of the units are only running at 5 or 6% on the playing surfaces, but the output is consistent and even. We can also utilise them for ball trigger effects.”
Also featuring prominently are 20 EclMini DAT Gallery fixtures from Prolights, which Richardson says are “phenomenal . . . In the future, we’ll be using these a lot more for gobo and texture work.”
The rig also includes more than 50 lighting fixtures from Chauvet, plus SixBar 500s from Elation, UV Battens from ADJ and dozens of RGBW LED fixtures.
These effects are triggered by 40 ball-sensors on 18 interactive holes. Show control is complicated, with various ‘Win’ and ‘Lose’ routes having multiple outcomes. As the ball triggers the sensor, Pharos LPC2 controllers fire playback commands for lighting, pixel-tape, automation, audio and video.
Guided by Full Production’s knowledge and support, Treetop aimed to ensure the visitor experience was enhanced as much by the possibilities of audio technology as by the lighting and visuals. To help meet this aim, Full Production drew on the skills of its regular go-to audio solutions architect and experienced sound system designer, Dan Roncoroni of Raven AV. His recommendations led to Treetop making a significant investment, not just in audio hardware, but in content, with sound designer Dave Shepherd coordinating a team of composer, voice actors and a script writer to create new material.
Spatialized sound effects, triggered on the majority of holes throughout the site, enhance the visitor experience. For several holes of the Tropical Trail’s ‘Mystic Wood’ area – seen as the ‘highlight’ of the route – these sound effects are enabled by a TiMax SoundHub-S32 with its hybrid delay/level spatialisation system. Elsewhere, Roncoroni uses the level-based spatialisation capabilities of Innovate Audio’s panLab software.
He explains, “Some content needs to be very accurately localised, for example birdsong moving from the low-level shrubbery up to the centrepiece tree, and TiMax does a great job at that. For the rest of the site, where we just need a more general, atmospheric positioning of sound, the power of TiMax wasn’t needed and panLab was the ideal option. Both systems are invaluable in these situations as time-saving programming aids. To do this manually, setting the delay times in each loudspeaker, would have taken forever!”
Playback is controlled via QLab, from two Mac Minis, totalling just over 1,000 cues. The realistic sounds are provided via 140 loudspeakers, including over 100 from EM Acoustics. The remainder, pendant loudspeakers from QSC, form a height layer for the spatial effects. Power is from 16 of the new Unica amplifiers from Powersoft, which also provide invaluable monitoring capabilities.
Also used is a Powersoft Mover. A tactile transducer, this is a small, robust unit which can impart an earth-shaking rumble to a floor or wall: on the Ancient Explorer course, a falling obelisk is accompanied by a terrifying ground-shake. For Roncoroni, without space to hang a large subwoofer, and with noise issues to consider, this was a very successful alternative.
Full Production is now responsible for maintaining all five Treetop sites, totalling more than 14,000,000 triggers in the course of a year. Richardson concludes, “We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved for Treetop, and of course we’re hugely grateful for the trust they’ve put in us, to deliver such a wonderful environment. We look forward to the next challenge.”

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