The University of Campania ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’ in Naples is turning to a unique use of immersive audio technology with one of its new physics research labs. The lab at the university’s Aversa campus is exploring the relationship between temperature, audio and visuals, and to do this in a scientific way the researchers required a space where each element could be precisely controlled. To achieve this control from an audio standpoint, the researchers turned to Martin Audio’s Sound Adventures.
The new lab has been purpose-built as a small, dedicated space within a historic building. Radiant heating panels on the walls and the floor and air conditioning system allow for the room’s temperature to be raised or lowered, while the intelligent lighting system allows for the management of this element. The Sound Adventures solution controlling the sonic environment resulted in the installation of 26 Martin Audio ADORN A55 two-way passive speakers and a pair of SX110 slimline subwoofers, all controlled via the Astro Spatial Audio SARA II Premium Rendering Engine.
“The university was specifically looking for a high-end wave field synthesis-based solution which could offer natural features such as depth experience, making SARA II the obvious choice,” explained Astro Spatial Audio Managing Director, Bjorn Van Munster. “The wide, even dispersion of the A55 over the frequency range was a major reason for selecting these cabinets.”
With the components selected, designing the solution became the next part of the project. “One of the major initial challenges was to create the proper layout for the loudspeakers in such a small space,” recalled Van Munster. “We also had to provide a level of flexibility with the system that would allow the researchers to test different elements in the future that have not been thought of yet.”
The resulting system design sees two layers of ADORNs wall mounted around the room as well as four installed on the roof to provide the ceiling channels. Low frequencies are catered to via the two floor-mounted SX110s on either side of the room.
Reflecting on this innovative use of the technology Van Munster is pleased to have found a new vertical for Sound Adventures. “The work we have done with researchers in the past has been focused purely on musical studies, so having Sound Adventures used in a different setting like this is very interesting. I am happy with the result and the system sounds great. However, in this case we have just provided the toolkit, it will be up to how the researchers use the system and the breakthroughs that they make which will determine if the project has been a success.”
“Research plays a vital role in everything we do at Martin Audio, so it is nice to see someone else using our products as the tools that will help develop their research,” added Martin Audio Managing Director, Dom Harter. “The A55s were the perfect choice for this project as their compact footprint and premium sound quality met the physical and research needs of the lab. Being part of a unique scientific project like this is real praise for the capabilities of Sound Adventures, I’m sure the system will help the researchers expand what we understand about the relationships between temperature, audio and visuals.”
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