Powersoft creates seismic shift at Lava Centre
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
icelandThe 2,500sq.m Lava Centre was designed and built as a fully immersive show
Iceland - The new Lava Centre in Hvolsvöllur is an interactive, high-tech educational exhibition depicting volcanic activity and earthquakes that traces the island’s creation over millions of years.
The idea that gave birth to the Centre originated when one of the founders/owners of the exhibition was stuck in Florida in 2010 as a result of all flights being cancelled over the Atlantic Ocean (and in most parts of Europe) when Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in April 2010.
The location was chosen because it sits at the heart of some of the major Icelandic volcanos and allows five of the country’s most iconic volcanoes to be seen.
The 2,500sq.m Lava Centre was therefore designed and built as a fully immersive show. The design, preparation, integration and finalisation of all AV equipment for the nine main show items took almost a year. Feris ehf was responsible for all audio, video, network, CCTV, UPS, system, as well as an impressive RGB Neopixel LED design and integration. The company was also responsible for the entire show control, as well as AV lighting and LED equipment.
The AV equipment itself includes 14 Powersoft amplifiers with DSP onboard providing an economic power station to drive the 72ch of zonal ceiling and surface mount loudspeakers, all in one of the four racks in the centralised technical room.
These models comprise Powersoft Ottocanali 1204 DSP+ETH, Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+D (for Dante) and Quattrocanali 2404 DSP+D, while to create the sonic realism of an earthquake required the deployment of the Italian manufacturer’s M-Force Magnetic Linear Motor Transducers.
At the same time Powersoft was chosen for its green credentials and massive reduction in CO2 emissions while Feris realised that in specifying Powersoft multi-channel amplifiers to drive the complex array of loudspeakers they would achieve a radical reduction in real estate and power.
But there were other advantages in taking the Powersoft option which would take visitor interactivity and volcanic realism to a new level and at the same time reach new standards in immersive technology. In order to achieve full audio integration they have created interoperability between several different platforms via plugins, and provided a glimpse into the future for forward-thinking, cross-discipline integrators.
At the same time, Feris’ project designers Jakob Kristinsson and Bergthor Leifsson knew that Powersoft’s sonic M-Force alone would provide the capability of simulating a volcano erupting, with two M-Drive amplifiers powering two 15kW M-Force Moving Magnet Linear Motor transducers to imitate a 3.7 Richter scale earthquake, or bigger. Their purpose is to ‘move’ a floor measuring 150cm by 300cm in both X / Y axes - the first time M-Force has been used for mechanical movement.
According to Powersoft’s Francesco Fanicchi, with the aid of plugins Powersoft had helped to produce a smarter solution. “With DSP onboard, interoperability created via MediaMatrix and Presonus USB plug-ins, networking and remote control, amplifiers have been converted into smart controllers of the future.”
There are 15 multi-channel audio zones in use at LAVA Centre, located in 10 rooms/spaces, including an outdoor one - variously triggered by MediaMatrix and Presonus sound cards. This includes 80 x Audac speakers, 13 x Audac subwoofers, two Danley subwoofers, three Panphonics flat panels in the ceiling for spot audio, eight OnePointAudio speakers, a 632 x 360cm Stewart Filmscreen Phantom HALR screen coupled with a 7.1 surround system from PC Asus 7.1 sound card, via Peavey MediaMatrix NION n3, for the movie theatre.
In the Movie theatre, audio is controlled by Peavey MediaMatrix NION n3 via Powersoft amplification to the 7.1 speaker setup, using OnePointAudio speakers and a Danley TH212I subwoofer.
Finally, the integrator also selected Powersoft amplifiers for their green credentials, “as they are arguably the most energy-efficient amplifiers on the market” according to Jakob Kristinsson. “Conserving energy has always been an integral part of Powersoft’s DNA. And because Powersoft amplifiers deliver the best power to size ratio, fewer amplifiers (with smaller footprints) are required to run the same PA system, which directly impacts CO2 emissions.”
(Jim Evans)

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