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TiMax SoundHub iPad app supports CocaCola Experiential Showcasing…

The TiMax Soundhub matrix server found itself at the heart of the London 2012 Olympic Park this summer when it was deployed in the Coca Cola Beatbox “experiential showcasing” pavilion, to control a multi-channel soundscape system distributed around the interior.

The Beatbox was Coca Cola’s celebration of Olympic Achievement: an exhilarating experience through synchronised audio effects collected by sampling the sounds of Olympic athletes in training around the world. Visitors touched, stroked, scratched or just waved at large rectangular ‘interactive cushion’ panels on the outside of the structure, each equipped with a sensor to detect these triggers and a transducer to play back the audio samples from a central server.

As visitors descended a spiralling interior ramp into the depths of the cylindrical building, a distributed system of compact Void speakers enveloped them in a composite music mix composed and produced by Mark Ronson and which included percussion beds mixed from the athlete samples playing outside. A dozen Void Indigo 6 ramp speakers and eight more on the roof and entrance tunnel, plus a larger Void dance floor system below, were all time-synchronised in the TiMax SoundHub delay matrix. As well as managing all EQ, level and delay for the multizone PA, plus talent mics, PVR and iPod sources for special Gold Medal stings and events, TiMax also provided instantaneous live backup of the interior music bed, tunnel heartbeats, and rooftop FX playback.

A bespoke TiMax iPad app provided a vital portal for managing the various mini-shows and promo spots that ran throughout each day, also allowing the various zone levels to be trimmed in accordance with visitor traffic: “This is largely an experimental venue, so zone levels and other characteristics are hard to predict until its actually filled with excited people,” TiMax OutBoard Director Dave Haydon explained. “Control of TiMax SoundHub by iPad was a highly intuitive way for the Coca-Cola marketing creatives to continually optimise the impact and immersion of the finale to the whole experience as you enter the interior. We’ve also given them several TiMax 3D spatialisation panning cues on the iPad to play with as the mood takes them.”

The overall build and commissioning was controlled by JA Productions, led by John Adkins and including Alex Mills, seconded to Coca-Cola as Showcasing Operations Coordinator with the role of managing logistics and the implementation of the entire AV and general technical infrastructure. Sean Pearce and his team from Pearce Hire were the principle audio, lighting and power installation contractors.

“It’s both design-driven and highly technical,” confirms Mills, “so it needed proper production management. Balancing the demands of the visual aesthetics, as Coca-Cola’s creative team saw them, and those of correct and effective sound reinforcement has been quite a challenge. They went for Void and TiMax SoundHub straight away as no-brainer brands, but then it took a lot of thought and planning to map the sound design to the visual design - especially as it changed! But thank goodness for this team: we’ve been very lucky to have Void Acoustics’ Alex Skan, Dave Parry of Most Technical and Dave Haydon on board.”