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Sennheiser AMBEO 3D Audio Enhances 'Revolution' Exhibit at the MMFA by Charles Mohapel
Review by Charles Mohapel
Sennheiser Event  ISBN/ITEM#: CM170626AMBEO3D
Date: 26 June 2017

Links: Sennheiser Press Release -- MMFA / Sennheiser Press Release -- AMBEO 3D / MMFA - Revolution / My Event Photos / Show Article /

Forget your Father's Surround Sound and look to Sennheiser's revolutionary AMBEO 3D Audio.  On Tuesday June 13th, 2017, I had the privilege of attending the press conference at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) prior to the opening of 'Revolution' Exhibit to the public on Saturday June 17th. There we learned that the exhibition, which originated at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, England focuses on the social fabric of the late 1960s (1966 to 1970).  In addition to the wonderful exhibits provided by the Victoria and Albert Museum, there was also a special section on Expo 67, the 1967 World's Fair held in Montreal, plus a selection of music by Quebec artists.  'Revolution' runs from June 17 to October 9, 2017 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

From official release/information:

SENNHEISER AUDIO TECHNOLOGY TO POWER REVOLUTION EXHIBITION AT THE MMFA

(June 13, 2017)  Technology from audio specialist Sennheiser will help deliver an immersive audio experience for visitors to the upcoming Revolution exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA).  The exhibition, which originated at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, looks at the social fabric of the late 1960s -- the pivotal period when youth culture initiated a new sense of identity, solidarity, and idealism, bringing people together to question established power structures.  Like the V&A, the MMFA employs Sennheiser’s AMBEO immersive 3D audio technology and guidePORT audio guide system to deliver a fascinating museum experience and bring the spirit of that era back to life with an unforgettable soundscape.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which collaborated closely with the V&A on the exhibition, will open it to the public on June 17th, inviting visitors to explore the finished and unfinished revolutions of the years 1966 to 1970.  Around 700 objects -- photographs, posters, album covers, design objects, books, clothes, works of art, and consumer products from the period – have been carefully selected by V&A curators Geoffrey Marsh and Victoria Broackes and MMFA's Diane Charbonneau, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts, and Photography, who also added specific Quebec content from the late sixties.

Sound of the '60s

The music playing throughout Revolution is an integral part of the exhibition experience, noted Diane Charbonneau: "The music of the period was both a reflection of and inspiration for the social upheaval of the period, and we are pleased to have worked with Sennheiser to bring that sonic tapestry to life within the museum," she says.  The music selection played at the V&A has been enhanced with a dedicated Quebec section which was researched by Marie-Claude Senécal of Radio-Canada, ICI Musique.

Daniel Sennheiser, co-CEO of Sennheiser, commented: "We are extremely pleased to work with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts as the offical audio partner of this exciting exhibition.  Through their collaboration with the V&A, the MMFA has captured the essence of a period that was pivotal in the shaping of today’s open-minded society.  The unforgettable music of these turbulent times has significantly defined contemporary culture."  "The careful curation and compelling exhibits combine with a truly captivating immersive sound experience powered by Sennheiser’s AMBEO 3D audio and guidePORT technologies," added co-CEO Dr. Andreas Sennheiser.

Immersed in the Moment with AMBEO

A Sennheiser AMBEO 3D audio installation is employed for a key section of the exhibition:
a Woodstock area which recreates the legendary festival with original stage costumes, documents of the time, vibrant concert video material on giant screens, and a fascinatingly immersive AMBEO 14.1 audio system.

For this extraordinary sound experience, high-quality digital copies (24 bit, 192 kHz stereo .wav files) of the original analog magnetic tapes of the Woodstock film were converted to 3D by the Sennheiser AMBEO upmix algorithm.  The nine-channel output was then post-produced and fine-tuned to play back on 14 Neumann KH 420 midfield loudspeakers for an increased impact that would enthrall visitors and give them an emotional as-if-there feeling.  The KH 420 were positioned as L, R, SL, SR, C, plus sides, each of these seven positions with a height speaker mounted at about 5.5m), while the LFE is played back through a total of four Neumann KH 870 subwoofers.

guidePORT: Your Audio Tourguide

Visitors are accompanied through the exhibition by their handy Sennheiser audio guide.  The guidePORT system is able to deliver hundreds of personal, automatically triggered stereo feeds simultaneously, enabling the user to enjoy context-specific audio throughout the course of the exhibition. This real-time, lip-sync audio helps to fully immerse visitors in the sights and sounds of the late 1960s. The system at the MMFA comprises 700 audio guides with high-quality headphones, all interfacing with several transmission and trigger units that are hidden from sight.

Revolution runs from June 17 to October 9, 2017 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

(Source: Sennheiser)

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