Domaine des Étangs

Located in Massignac, Domaine des Étangs is the largest five-star hotel resort in France occupying forest, pasture and ponds greater in area than the Glastonbury Festival. The site includes an 11th century castle, renovated and decorated with contemporary works of art; a former dairy (La Laiterie); wellness centre; Gallo-Roman baths; swimming pools; a floating tennis court; and a Michelin-star restaurant.

La Laiterie is a new gallery space within the complex that is dedicated to exhibitions exploring the ‘Meeting of Art and Nature’. Its circular layout is intended to provide the best envelopment given its geometric, technical and aesthetic constraints – its sound system comprises 44 Amadeus loudspeakers and the company’s Holophonix spatial sound system.

‘As we collaborated in advance of the sound system installation with Amadeus experts, we were able to get rid of the speakers’ common aesthetic nuisances and at the same time, ensure a sound quality at a level rivalling the most famous concert halls,’ says Manuel Gomez, the architect and music lover in charge of the renovation work.

‘The specification was very complex,’ continues Amadeus Marketing Manager Gaëtan Byk. ‘Garance Primat, the owner of the Domaine des Étangs, is a great music lover and a contemporary art collector; she wished to turn this former 18th century barn into a place where past, present, and future art would meet to serve culture and presentation.

Domaine des Étangs ‘The space had to be able to host art exhibitions, events, acoustic or amplified music, and electroacoustic music creations, without having to modify, reconfigure or move speakers according to the application. The sound system had to be as versatile, scalable and integrated as possible. It appeared obvious to develop our project around the Holophonix processor.’

Mezzanines excluded, the hall is 23m long and 9m high. Thirty-two Amadeus PMX 5 coaxial speakers are integrated at inferior purlins at mezzanine height: ten evenly-spaced speakers lengthwise and six speakers across the width. Eight Amadeus ML 12 Slim bespoke subwoofers are integrated into the low section of the walls, spread out with four speakers on each side lengthwise along the walls. In addition, a new purpose-designed ’slim bass’ speaker (UFD 215) is located under each mezzanine.

The system is built around the Holophonix spatial sound. The integrated hardware and software system was designed by Amadeus in collaboration with the STMS (Sciences et Technologies de la Musique et du Son), a laboratory founded in 1995 and based at the IRCAM premises, in association with CNRS, the Sorbonne Université, the Ministère de la Culture, and the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique.

The Holophonix processor ensures a specified coherency between all speakers, each receiving a dedicated audio feed. Several standard presets for Holophonix were designed on location according to the rooms’ specifications to enhance the system versatility and adaptability according to the needs of the installation or event.

The basic audio configuration uses three virtual sources, and synthesises the signal on all loudspeakers, according to the WFS (Wave Field Synthesis) principles. The first source is stereophonic, it processes the output signal of the Lumin U1 player/streamer, used to play high-resolution music tracks.

‘Most audio signals come from sources like Tidal or Qobuz,’ explains Amadeus R&D Manager, Michel Deluc. ‘They are played in native PCM format, with sample frequencies of 44.1 to 192kHz, with 16-bit or 24-bit resolution. The AES/EBU digital audio signal is then “transcoded” in Dante, to preserve the digital chain and processed at 192kHz - the Holophonix processor is set up to work with this sampling frequency, within a 64 I/O limit.’

The two other sources for Holophonix are monophonic, they synthesise the audio from Shure ULXD4D digital wireless microphone receivers, which can easily be moved in real time, to follow the actual position of the persons using the microphones. The processor is able to mix, reverberate, and spatialise sound contents played from various devices using several different spatialisation techniques in two or three dimensions.

The hardware offers a quasi-unlimited number of spatialisation buses, each able to run one of the different sound algorithms available, including Higher-Order Ambisonics (2D, 3D), Vector-Base Intensity Panning (2D, 3D), Vector-Base Amplitude Panning (2D, 3D), Wave Field Synthesis, Angular 2D, k-Nearest Neighbor, Stereo Panning, Stereo AB, Stereo XY, and Binaural.

More: http://amadeuslab.com

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