The Silverstone Experience is an immersive visitor attraction at the famous Motorsport circuit in Northamptonshire. Developed over a seven year period at a cost of £20 million, the Experience opened its doors to the public in 2019 and features a host of artefacts that help to tell the exciting tale of motor sport at Silverstone. Located inside a former World War Two aircraft hangar, the attraction welcomes a wide range of visitors, from school parties to lifelong motor sport enthusiasts, taking them on an experiential, educational journey.
The Ultimate Lap is one of the ten impressive elements that comprise the Experience tour and delivers an exhilarating end to a visitor’s day. Key to the success of this special-effects cinema is the audio provision, which complements startling visuals to immerse the occupants of its forty-five seats in the recreation of some of the circuit’s most dramatic moments. Project leaders Figment Productions originated the concept and integrators Fusion LX of Ripon, specialists in museum and heritage AV, were appointed to carry out the installation. This was to comprise a 5.1 surround reinforcement in a partial-dome space, as well as stereo reproduction in a pre-event auditorium space.
Fusion LX consulted with Mark Bromfield from POLAR’s Integrated Solutions division over the design and choice of systems to cover the two distinct settings. Visitors to the Ultimate Lap enter an ante-room to stand for an initial flat-screen video presentation, before moving into the striking dome structure, in which they are seated for an immersive video wall experience. Having taken account of the brief, Bromfield visited a demo site where the Figment and Fusion LX teams were present, and demonstrated a system based on AD-Systems DS-1 loudspeakers. Ideal for near field applications, the DS-1 is an ultra-compact, wide-range loudspeaker with 60W power-handling, that delivers outstanding reproduction of speech and music. The stakeholders were happy that the proposed system would cater for this acoustically challenging space, and went ahead with POLAR’s recommendations.
A total of 20 x AD-Systems DS-1 speakers in black were discreetly placed in left, right and centre positions behind acoustic fabric in the ceiling of the dome. 2 x slimline WORK PRO NEO S8A self-powered subs integrated into the base of the dome, provided similarly unobtrusive low-end reinforcement. In the pre-event ante-room, Fusion LX installed 4 x Cornered Audio Ci5 compact 2-way full range speakers. The triangular cornered design of these high quality units, again ensured minimal visual impact, whilst delivering optimal coverage. The systems were driven by 4 x MC2 T4-250 high performance amplifiers, with DSP via a Biamp TesiraFORTE AVB AI server, programmed with assistance from POLAR.
Mark Bromfield, Business Development Manager at POLAR Integrated Solutions, was happy with the outcome:
“It was a pleasure helping Figment Productions and Fusion LX achieve a high quality result. The Silverstone Experience is an impressive attraction and we are delighted to have played a role in seeing the Ultimate Lap concept through to fruition. At POLAR Integrated Solutions, we’re very much about ‘concept to completion’ - making sure that our customers and their clients receive the best support and advice at every stage. This was a good example of meeting a tricky technical challenge with the right design advice and product selection to achieve excellent intelligibility throughout.”
Ian Carling, Director at Fusion LX adds:
"The acoustics in the Ultimate Lap dome were challenging, with the selection of speaker positions and sizes requiring careful planning. POLAR assisted in all aspects of the job, from design and product selection to a site visit and demonstration. They were a great help and Fusion wouldn’t hesitate to work with them again. Figment’s creative team had devised a fantastic concept, which we believe has been brought to life exceptionally well - we’ve had nothing but positive feedback from everyone involved.”
The POLAR Integrated Solutions team has grown over the years into a proven, trusted resource for its customers. Its expertise in the deployment of products from its extensive portfolio adds value across the widest possible range and scale of AV projects.
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