A?roville shopping centre equipped with Merging Ovation solution

A complex new sound system – featuring an Ovation media server and sequencer from Merging Technologies – has been put in place at the Aéroville retail centre in Paris.

Unibail-Rodamco, Europe’s largest listed commercial property company wanted to create an immersive audio atmosphere at the new shopping mall situated next to Charles de Gaulle airport.

The concept required different playback content for various areas around the building, and the sound designers were tasked with managing 30 input sources and 40 outputs feeding over 250 loudspeakers (without parking areas), which is why the team turned to Merging’s Ovation solution.

Sound design specialist hého was brought in to visualise, design and implement the client’s needs was. hého was responsible for choosing the sound system, and handled every step of the process, except installation.

Having heard about Ovation just before ISE 2013, Laurent Sauvagnac and David Guérin of hého met up with Merging at the show, and were Impressed by the demonstration and the system’s capabilities, so they began how to integrate Ovation into the set-up at Aéroville.

The size of the overall project was massive – 84,000 m² of retail, 200 shops, 30 restaurants, one 15,000 m² Auchan hypermarket, a 12-theatre multiplex cinema, 4,700 parking spaces and a budget of €355 million.

The design revolved around five different and unique landscapes – the Bali Market, Africa Lodge, Nordic Chic and Tokyo Mix are all offer a variety of retail themes, while Terminal Cook provides a fifth scene with a tropical atmosphere. Therefore, there was plenty of scope for a variety of soundscapes. By programming scene specific atmospheres and identities, and then being able to program a randomised playback, routing and gains throughout the day allowed each district’s sonic persona to remain "interesting and engaging at all times," according to Merging.

The centre is open seven days a week and the audio programme is required to run for 14 hours a day so reliability and stability are clearly important. Networked audio provides the flexibility and simplicity required to control the 40 separate loudspeaker zones. At Aéroville, Ovation is hooked up to a Symetrix SymNet Radius 12 x 8 which then connects to Bose’s new PowerMatch PM8500N power amps via Dante.

“Ovation is very easy to use; you don’t need advanced programming skills to set up interaction rules between events to create even the most complex show," said Julien Bachelier, hého’s technical manager. "It is a powerful tool with many functions and controls and it suits this application extremely well.”

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