Lightroom, London

A creative collaboration

Watch the video and listen to accounts from key stakeholders of the project to find out how they delivered on an ambitious vision - Or scroll down for the written case study which includes technical details of the HOLOPLOT X1 system configuration

The vision

A unique proposition

Lightroom presents a blank canvas capable of hosting a varied program of original creative content. The opening show ‘DAVID HOCKNEY: BIGGER AND CLOSER not smaller and further away’ is the first run in a series of original exhibitions, created in collaboration with leading artists and innovators.

The ‘Bigger and Closer’ exhibition allows the audience to enter into Hockney’s thought process and creative motivation, generating new perspectives on some of his most well-known, as well as more recent works.

Lightroom is a joint venture between 59 Productions, an award-winning design studio and production company and London Theatre Company, the creative engine behind the Bridge Theatre.

“Lightroom is an immersive experience done differently. There’s a story within it and it’s sequential, so you can enter at any point. I think we’ve raised the bar in terms of technology. HOLOPLOT has been the key to making the show ’alive with sound’.”

— Richard Slaney, CEO Lightroom

“Lightroom is an immersive experience done differently. There’s a story within it and it’s sequential, so you can enter at any point. I think we’ve raised the bar in terms of technology. HOLOPLOT has been the key to making the show ’alive with sound’.”

The space and system

A concrete challenge

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A 26m x 18m cuboid room with 11m high concrete walls is an inhospitable environment for sound. Due to the surface finishes within Lightroom the space has a reverberation time of 6 seconds. With a conventional audio solution this would result in poor speech intelligibility and lack of musical clarity.

Installed by HOLOPLOT partner Creative Technology, the sound system consists of two X1 Matrix Arrays at either end of the room. Each array consists of 4 X1 Modul 96s and 4 X1 Modul 80-S, embedded and entirely hidden within wall cavities, making for an unspoiled 360 degree projection surface.

The acoustic centre of the East Array is at 4.61m and for the West Array at 6.66m. These were the only possible positions to create wall cavities for the arrays and were predefined and not possible to change. A traditional audio solution would struggle to provide intelligible audio with sources facing each other, due to phase issues and spill between sources.

Discover the system design

The experience

Seamless audio visual encounter

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Thanks to unique HOLOPLOT optimisation algorithms the listening area can be defined as well as the relative sound pressure level for each area. The reflective, concrete surfaces are avoided, resulting in high fidelity audio and uniform coverage from each array, no matter where the listener is positioned within the space. 

The positions of the Virtual Sources are defined inside HOLOPLOT Plan, HOLOPLOT’s sound system design software allowing sound designers to visualize the impact of X1’s unique capabilities on any given space.

‘Bundled’ waves are reflected from the wall as if there is a point source speaker positioned there, allowing the listener to localize the sound from a position where there is no array. It is key for Lightroom that visitors can localize sound from these reflections no matter where they are within the main space. To achieve this, multiple reflections are distributed along the North and South walls of the venue.

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X1 gave us a sound system that could provide intelligible sound with very even coverage in a highly reverberant space. For that alone it was worth its considerable weight in gold!”

Gareth Fry Sound Designer