Amadeus installs massive 3D speaker system at Beijing Stadium

Amadeus has installed over 180 speakers in the 10,000-square meter space of the Beijing National Indoor Stadium used for ‘The Long Gone Dinosaur’ project to be opened in 2019.

The gigantic show – which features state-of-the-art technologies and plans to be open to the public for the next 15 years – has been designed for and constructed within the Beijing stadium, part of the Olympic Park constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

The ‘The Long Gone Dinosaur’ show was created as an educational event for children and adults to tell the story of the rise and fall of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. It is one of the most technically advanced and largest shows ever created and includes forests, a lake, a mountain, rain, immersive sound, and life-size robot dinosaurs that move around the stadium space on a hidden rail system. In addition to the 3D ‘realistic’ indoor landscape, a massive, curved 150-meter wide by 30-meter high screen running at 12K resolution adds to the experience.

The speaker system is based on two main frontal ‘speaker antennas’ working on the WFS (Wave Field Synthesis) principles. The upper one features eight clusters, each one including four DIVA XL line array systems paired with one DIVA XL SUB. The bottom antenna features 13 clusters, each one including five DIVA XS line array systems paired with one DIVA XS SUB. The left and right side surround zones are covered by four arrays (two per side) each one including four DIVA XL line array systems paired with one DIVA XL SUB. In addition, 32 ‘UDX 15’ point source speakers are used as top surround loudspeakers.

A quantity of 12 MAESTRO II horn-loaded subwoofers is used for low-frequency effects (LFE). At the Beijing Stadium, only 12 subwoofers are paired with 2 Lab Gruppen C88:4 amplifiers offering a maximum SPL 155 dB at 25 Hz.

The show was produced by Mr. HE LiDe and his wife Mrs. HE Qin Xiaomei, who are renowned in China for creating the landscape spectacle ‘Impression Liu Sanjie’ as well as the ‘Shaolin Temple Kung Fu’ show which has toured the world for over 10 years.

Jean-Marc Harel from Paris-based Theater La Gaîté Lyrique was in charge of managing the on-site installation of the Amadeus speaker systems, in terms of rigging, safety rules, audio simulations, and calculations. Marc Piera from Paris-based Théâtre National de Chaillot was in charge of aligning the whole speaker system, using EQ and other techniques.

“Offering the audience a clear, audible and intelligible sound has been our biggest challenge, considering the high reverberation time of the venue (which is about 4.0 seconds without an audience), the large quantity of reflective surfaces, and the different types of speaker technology; including point source speakers, line array speakers, horn-loaded subwoofers,” said Piera. “We mainly worked with the dispersion properties of the speakers, rather than the EQs. Optimising the positions in the X, Y and Z axis, as well as aiming the speakers in order to minimise the reflections have been a major part of the whole system alignment.”

The graphical open-source sequencer IanniX was used to design and write spatial trajectories in a 3D space with direct manipulation of the sound and music score. The audio creation was encoded using HOLOPHONIX and then recorded on a 64-channel digital multitrack recorder/player from Tascam.