Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Music Center

Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Music Center (KMC) is the result of a local government initiative to rejuvenate a former industrial site – and also the first ever d&b KSL Soundscape installation.

The uniquely shaped venue includes a vast HI-Breeze Square outdoor stage, four auditoria and the HI-ING Hall – deemed the most important element of the park. A further auditorium is located outside the building on a bridge overlooking the Love River.

Much like the auditoria, the main stage can be subdivided into smaller units, giving the centre great flexibility in its hosting capabilities. The Music Center, which also functions as a tourist attraction, will primarily showcase musical performances and concerts.

Kaohsiung City Government worked with audio professionals and a consultant to design and specify a future-proof sound reinforcement system that would give guests a really extraordinary sound experience. Wishing to make use of object-based audio, the team selected Soundscape as the most flexible high-performance solution available to suit the varied needs of the centre.

KMCTo this end, the KMC worked with supplier Topsound on a system that uses d&b audiotechnik Soundscape immersive technology and d&b KSL loudspeakers to create a one-of-a-kind installation. The venue features seven hangs of KSL line arrays with ArrayProcessing (five for the mains, and two for out fill) to provide full-band directivity control to the space.

d&b’s Democracy for Listeners – a belief that everyone should experience the same exceptional quality of sound, regardless of their position in the audience – was shared by the KMC. Powered by the DS100 Signal Engine audio system processor (based on a powerful Dante enabled signal matrix), d&b Soundscape provides the venue with unparalleled coverage through its software module En-Scene.

d&b En-Scene is a sound object positioning tool allowing the individual placement and movement of sound objects. It accurately depicts stage scenarios so that each sound object corresponds both visually and acoustically, allowing the entire audience in the venue to hear what it sees and see what it hears.

‘This venue is unique, not just in its design and construction but also because of its ability to accommodate audiences of all sizes,’ says Topsound General Manager, Kenny Liu. ‘The combination of KSL and Soundscape has been revolutionary and provides the coverage we need to ensure every spectator has the same sound experience, whether they situated right at the front or in the back corner.’

Not only was this asymmetric area a challenge but the entire venue needed to ensure optimum rear rejection as the venue backs directly onto a noisy shopping mall. ‘We were concerned with the proximity of the shopping mall and needed to make sure that wouldn’t cause any issues during performances,’ says Liu. ‘Everyone was absolutely taken aback by the exceptional rear rejection provided by the d&b SL-Sub Cardioid Subwoofers. It really helps us control the sound.’

The centre officially opened in February 2021, with a technology testing conference held at the Hi-ING Hall of the KMC. As part of the testing conference hundreds of music professionals were invited to hear the world-first system. The invitees were selected and invited based on multiple considerations such as music style and orchestra organisation, respectively interpreting different styles of rock, folk and hip-hop rock, so that the participating professionals can rigorously test and provide and feedback on how the system operates within multiple genres.

The installation took place during a period of strict Covid-19 travel restrictions, and so while the d&b team could not be on site, all parties involved have vocalised extreme satisfaction with the training they received through d&b virtual webinars.

‘We were supported by d&b every step of the way, and their online training initiatives taught us so much and ensured we felt extremely comfortable with the system,’ Liu says. ‘This is an extremely impressive looking venue, and we needed a sound system that would match, d&b gave us that and more, and we are very excited for audiences to experience this one-of-a-kind system in a one-of-a-kind venue.’

More: www.dbaudio.com

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