Visitors to the David Bowie is exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London – which opened on 23 March, runs until 11 August, and for which 40,000 tickets have been sold – are able to enjoy not only an audio guided tour of the show, but two 3D surround sound simulations, all courtesy of Sennheiser and its guidePORT system.
“The V&A has been given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive to curate the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie. David Bowie is will feature more than 300 objects that include handwritten lyrics, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs and Bowie’s own instruments.”
boasts the website.
When visitors approach a particular exhibit or screen, the relevant music and soundtrack is automatically triggered on one of the 550 guidePORT units (a bodypack and stereo headphones), stitching the tour together to tell the story of the songs, costumes, performances and promos as well as his TV and film appearances.
Audio events are stored in the bodypacks, while the rest of the music and video sound is transmitted in real-time, lip-sync stereo from eleven twin-cell transmitters. Each exhibit has a trigger unit nearby.
The high-quality 3D surround audio for the larger installations, some of which was either in mono or less than pristine in its original form, was processed using proprietary Sennheiser ‘upmixing’ technology, and is delivered through a hidden array of loudspeakers.
Here’s the full equipment list:
For the tourguide system:
- 550 guidePORT bodypack receivers for visitors (GP EK 3202-5-1)
- 1,000 dynamic stereo headphones (PX 100 II) with hygiene pads
- 11 cell transmitters for transmitting music and soundtrack to visitors (GP SR 3200-2)
- 34 active antenna modules (GP AM 3000) for the cell transmitters
- 48 indoor indentifiers (GP ID 3200-IN) to trigger the audio
- 55 charging units (GP L 3202-10)
- 1 bodypack transmitter with headset mic for a tour-guide (GP SK 3202-0-1 and HS 2)
- guidePORT installation and statistics software
For the 3D simulation:
- 10 Neumann O 410 three-way loudspeakers
- 4 Neumann KH 870 sub-woofers
- 2 Klein+Hummel IS 153 three-way loudspeakers
- 8 Klein+Hummel IS 123 three-way loudspeakers
- 2 Klein+Hummel IS Sub 215 subwoofers
For tickets to David Bowie is, please visit the V&A website.