Professional Sound - August 2017 - Page 33

CULTURE ROOM that feels like it is enveloping you. Sennheiser has two 9.1 3D audio studios in Germany where Zielinsky did the original mix for the exhibition. “I was planning for 14 speakers, of course, so all those speakers we did not have in our studios were sort of artificially simulated by spreading the signal to, like, the one in the front and the one in the rear. So simulating the speaker on the side and then when we went to London for the first time … at the Victoria & Albert, we did a final mix directly on-location,” he says, adding he also did an on-location mix at the MMFA. “I do not like to do mixing by moving rubber bands around with a mouse; for me, that is an artistic process and I have up to 10 fingers I can use to move faders,” says Ziel- insky. “So I did a new mix of everything for Montreal on location the week before using an [Avid] S3 controller and Pro Tools.” Having learned from the original show- ing of Revolution in London, Zielinsky says he was able to improve the results for Montreal significantly. “I like it much more and with a better acoustical situation it is, of course, much easier and much more effective to pro- duce a real convincing immersive sound than if you have problems with the audio on loca- tion. Based on our experiences in London, we wanted to improve the sound for Montreal and the future by a lot. It is evident that, for Sennheiser, we want to deliver a high quality audio experience for visitors,” says Zielinsky. “So I worked very closely with Robert and the Montreal museum and we said pretty precisely what we wanted and things that we did not want.” The only imperfection Zielinsky iden- tifies with the MMFA’s Woodstock room is the glass casing at the rear, which displays the stage outfits and documents. “That is, of course, not so perfect, although they angled the glass walls a little bit, but that still causes some reflections that are disturbing but, nevertheless, that was something that also needs to be avoided next time. But as I said, every room is different and I really have to say that the people in Montreal were very, very cooperative and helpful in achieving a really good sound, and at the end, the visitors to the museum, they must be happy.” As co-curator Geoffrey Marsh says, the use of immersive audio in Revolution and other ex- hibitions is setting a new standard in the mu- seum world. “I’ve been to exhibitions where the sound is so poor that you can hardly make out what it is. I think that is disrespect- ful. You wouldn’t do that with a painting or something. They wouldn’t have a Picasso and put gauze over it and say, ‘Well if you peer through you it, you might see what you’re getting at,” says Marsh. “It’s quite interesting that in the Woodstock section here, you look at someone like Country Joe when he comes on stage. Country Joe immediately embrac- es an audience of a half million people… In a sense and in a bigger way, that’s what museums have got to do. There is a massive challenge with sound to take you into that sort of en- vironment.” As Marsh says, with something like Woodstock, or Pink Floyd’s Live 8 performance from 2005, which is currently recreated in a similar fashion at the V&A, they’re trying to do something that mu- seums have never done before. “I think the challenge of the future is less the technology, because that is getting sorted out and visitors are getting used to the idea, but how do you actually create an immersive experience of an immersive experience?” he asks. “When the artist paints the picture, he doesn’t know who is going to look at it and he’s not really interested in it; it’s about him. But if you’re a performer, your audience is central to that and it’s that magic point when you get that incredible connection between the performer and the audience that makes a great performance. How you capture that in a museum is a big, big challenge.” Michael Raine is the Senior Editor of Professional Sound. PROFESSIONAL PROFESSIONAL SOUND SOUND • 33