Renkus-Heinz in Skydome record-breaker
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Renkus-Heinz in Skydome record-breaker
China - Its designers proclaim it as the world's largest LED Skydome, and with 20 million ultra-bright LEDs covering 500 by 32m,, the LED Skydome at Harmony Times Square in Suzhou Industrial Park near Shanghai is the heart of an ambitious audio-visual installation.

A 3D-capable Renkus-Heinz ceiling loudspeaker system with Camco amplification tracks the action on the 350,000sq.m Sky Mall's overhead LED screen through 106 three-way synchronised loudspeakers and 160 amplifiers. Controllability and directivity, rather than sheer power, lies behind a specification that reads like an arena or major auditorium system.

Harmony Times Square's designers were determined to break records on several fronts - and succeeded. Until late 2008, Beijing's World Trade Centre held the title for China's largest LED Skydome, while Las Vegas' Fremont Street held the title for the world's largest LED Skydome - records that have both been shattered by Suzhou's screen.

The Skydome at Harmony Times Square houses one of China's most impressive shopping malls including the country's largest single department store. Covering the plaza's main boardwalk, the Skydome creates a soaring aerial canopy over the food, beverage, retail and entertainment businesses. Visual effects, programmed by Keyframe, include moving blue skies with clouds, a piano keyboard and an aerial invasion by alien spaceships, along with video content highlighting the attractions of city and its surrounding region.

The audio system designers' challenge was that the audio imaging must synchronise at street level with the images moving along the 500m long screen, despite the multi-storey distance from the ceiling. According to John Ho of TICO/CAH, Renkus-Heinz distributors for China, the design goals were "to combine magnificent, artistic architecture, advanced lighting, the largest LED screen in the world, and stunning sound effects". The installation was the work of Beijing Zhongguang Radio & TV Engineering Installation Corporation, with equipment supplied by Foshan Tian Chuang Zhongdian Trading Co.

A 106-channel surround sound system, featuring 106 Renkus-Heinz STX-7/44AS-WR high power weather-resistant loudspeakers and 38 DRS18-2BW dual 18-inch weather resistant subwoofers, forms the principal audio source. The STX7 loudspeakers met the project's dual demands for a high sound level and precise directional control by the combination of Complex Conic horns and CoEntrant drivers, which provide the essential pin-point directional accuracy down to 350Hz. TYhe dual 12-inch woofers extend LF response down to 40 Hz with added horizontal directivity.

The loudspeaker system is powered by over 160 Camco Tecton Series amplifiers, equipped with UCA-T-AN cards enabling the WINCAI (Camco Amplifier Interface) audio management system that allows both complete system management and local signal processing adjustment via each amplifiers' UCA controller modules. Camco's CISUS software provides remote operation of the CAI audio network management control software via each amplifier's RJ45 interface.

"The LED Skydome's three-dimensional audio-visual sound system at the Harmony Times Square is made possible by the Renkus-Heinz system's ability to vividly reproduce the stunning sound effects with precisely controlled directivity," commented TICO/CAH Professional Sound's MD John Ho.

(Jim Evans)

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