Australian Adventure: Ambient Audio, Interactive Video 1999
An audio environment was required for three separate outdoor areas of the new Australian Adventure addition to the zoo. The audio needed to run continuously and start automatically from powerup in the morning. Mixing of the audio tracks was required as well as design, provision and installation of the hardware. In some cases the audio had to interface with intermittent presentations of animatronic shows.
Mystus designed a microprocessor controlled audio delivery system that repeated in a randomized fashion with two tracks of audio mixed on the fly. Several speaker types are employed for in ground, indoor, outdoor and themed delivery modes. All speakers have independent volume control and audio tracks can be changed or updated easily since they are CD based.
One of the areas outfitted for sound was the Yagga Tree – a huge cement tree with three floors and several passage ways throughout. The audio environment was based on the low toned digeridoo instruments of the Australian aboriginal people. The audio really added to the other worldly character of the area.
The biggest challenge was the coordination of installation that included on site work at some distance from our home base shop and working with large general contractor responsible for the entire site construction. Mystus prototyped and fully tested all systems in Toronto prior to shipment to minimize on site surprises.
For the three interactive video presentations the visitor could choose which clip to play. Localized sound delivery system was required. Microprocessor controller to coordinate the playing of video according to visitor button selections. Laserdisc players were used for the best quality while affording interactive selections to be made. Sound domes were used for audio delivery to keep the audio localized.
Timeframe: Aug 1998 – June 1999
Skills: Programming, Audio/Video Editing, Project Management, Prototyping and Audiovisual