Pioneer Pro Audio XY-Series installed inside giant cooling tower

As well as an immersive three-day arts and music event, the Horst Festival extends to a two-month long exhibition which features in-situ art installations in public spaces.

This year, the exhibition was based on the ASIAT site in Vilvoorde, north of Brussels, a former military base complete with six hectares of urban space, twenty warehouses within a maze of corridors and two huge iconic cooling towers.

One of the Festival’s main art installations was placed inside one of the towers and KAGE Audio deployed Pioneer Pro Audio XY-Series speakers to reinforce its essential sound element.

“This was an installation that had been on show in smaller form elsewhere, which combines multi-channel audio with a real time video feed on a large LED wall,” explained Simon Nowak of Onkruid – who commissioned the installation. “The immersive audio uses twelve individual audio tracks where each requires a separate speaker in order to accomplish the spatial experience as the visitor walks on a temporarily installed path.

“Placing it inside a huge cooling tower presented a number of challenges, not least the fact that the equipment needed to be lifted by hand 15 metres up into the tower. There was a shortage of anchor points on the internal structure and a distinct absence of a viable floor, so we needed small speakers that were light in weight had enough power and throw for the huge interior. It was important that we could also maintain the sensation of different sound sources coming from different points and not becoming a clutter of noise. The speakers also had to be aesthetically discreet in order to maintain the pristine look of the tower walls.”

The Onkruid team looked into a number of options and opted for a Pioneer Pro XY-Series system comprising 12 x XY 81 speakers driven by Powersoft amplification. Pioneer Pro Audio’s European sales manager Kristin Van Haute was able to source the required speakers at relatively short notice and also directed the team towards KAGE Audio, who have worked on a wide range of Pioneer Pro Audio installations in the territory.

Nowak continued: “KAGE were a great help with what was a very technically challenging installation. The combination of the XY-81s and Powersoft amps really delivered above our expectations on power and sound quality. The installation has been in place for well over a month with no technical hiccups whatsoever and was completed on time and within our budget, we’re really happy with the results delivered by Pioneer Pro Audio and KAGE.”