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Mad Systems’ QuickSilver solution enhances immersive audio

Audio has the power to put people at ease, create an atmosphere and even make them stay longer

Green forest landscape background at sunrise.

Mad Systems Inc., the award-winning audiovisual and interactive system designer and integrator, offers immersive audio as part of its QuickSilver® family of solutions.

The quality of immersive audio has evolved over the years, as have customer expectations. A boombox on a chair in the corner will no longer cut it, as sound matters.

Immersive soundscapes

Mad Systems’ QuickSilver system has always had the ability to replay audio and create audio environments, thanks to its polyphonic capabilities and randomisation features that are built into the unit. For instance, a user wanting to create a forest soundscape could begin with a three-minute sample of trees in the wind and tell the unit to loop it, before adding a second sample lasting 3.01 and looping that at the same time for a loop length that is hours long.

More layers can be added too, for instance adding a third sample of a babbling brook with a duration of around 3 and a half minutes will result in a lengthy non-repeating loop. Animal samples can also be layered into this, and the unit instructed to play these at intervals for a randomised and immersive soundscape: the sounds of a forest that never repeats itself.

In this way, the compact basic QuickSilver audio device is able to create one stereo or two mono environments. A built-in amplifier allows for this solution to be co-located with the speaker, and nothing but power is required as the unit may be controlled wirelessly.

Extra features can be added and triggered in several different ways too – for example, sound effects that are set off by motion sensors. Users can create a diorama soundscape with a narrative laid over the top. With the addition of the built-in text-to-speech synthesizer and the option of the VOIP interface, users can even use the system to welcome visitors by name and make announcements from their phone.

More features added

Now, the latest options for the QuickSilver series audio devices include an 8, 16, 24 and 32 channel version.

This means that it is an affordable way to create advanced immersive 3D soundscapes. For instance, one demo set-up by Mad Systems features 10 speakers (one in each corner of the room – four at ceiling height, four at floor level, one centre narration channel and a bass speaker) creating an environment for sophisticated soundscapes. For example, an urban park environment can be achieved with the sound of people jogging past at ground level, squirrels running up trees and helicopters circling overhead.

A recent application was at ‘the March’ at the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago. Here, QuickSilver provides a 3D immersive presentation of the story of the Civil Rights March on Washington in 1963.

The possible applications are vast, and the system can be used in museums, theme parks, restaurants and more.

Recently, the company also announced their work at WRD’s ARC Visitor Center, an exhibit space entirely run by QuickSilver.

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charlotte coates

Charlotte Coates

Charlotte Coates is blooloop's editor. She is from Brighton, UK and previously worked as a librarian. She has a strong interest in arts, culture and information and graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature. Charlotte can usually be found either with her head in a book or planning her next travel adventure.

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