Meyer Sound MM-4XP Adds Clarity and Impact to War Exhibit in UK Castle
Deep beneath the white cliffs of Dover Castle, a vivid new historical exhibition recreates some of England's darkest days—and most heroic efforts—during World War II. In two featured exhibit spaces, depicting the Battle of France and Operation Dynamo—Rescue from Dunkirk, a complement of concealed Meyer Sound miniature loudspeakers carry highly intelligible voice tracks against a backdrop of convincing battle sounds, adding narrative depth and sonic impact to spectacular video effects.
Part of a larger exhibition, The Secret Wartime Tunnels, the two featured presentations are housed in a network of tunnels underneath the historic Dover Castle that served as a British command center during the war. "We have created a stage which blends an original historic location, original artifacts and objects, and scenographic props in a way that is never seen or heard before," says Arne Kvorning of Kvorning Design & Communication, lead designer of the project. "And the audio plays a very important role in setting the scene—creating a feeling of being there when it really happened."
Configuring sound systems for the Operation Dynamo exhibit was the responsibility of audio designer, Anders Jørgensen of the Danish firm Stouenborg. "We had a screen over 60 meters long, possibly one of the largest in Europe, and we wanted to create a surround effect with the feel of being in a real war," he recounts. "But because of historic preservation rules, we could mount only smaller speakers in a tray on one side of the tunnel."
Jørgensen's solution was a system comprised of 23 Meyer Sound MM-4XP self-powered miniature loudspeakers, bolstered by low-frequency effects from four MM-10 miniature subwoofers. "The MM-4XPs are perfect because they provide extremely high sound pressure levels, yet we can fit them right where needed without trouble from the conservation team," he continues.
In a smaller space, the Battle of France exhibit employs six MM-4XP loudspeakers and a single MM-10 subwoofer to create both direct sound from the center video presentation table as well as battle sound as ambience.
"With both of these spaces, it would have been impossible to do the job at this level without the MM-4XP and MM-10," states Jørgensen. "The clarity and depth they provide for the mix are exceptional."
The AV components lend the exhibit a critical sense of realism. "Anders's sound design and his use of the Meyer speakers completes this fantastic showcase," adds Kvorning. "You experience the story through your eyes, your ears, your stomach—and through your heart."
The team contracted for The Secret Wartime Tunnels also included UK-based AV integrator Electrosonic, and video producer HOMERUN. Architectural lighting and design were handled by COWI and Light Bureau.
Dover Castle and Secret Wartime Tunnels are administered by English Heritage, an organization charged with the preservation of, and enabling public access to, more than 400 historic sites in the UK.