A pivotal figure in French history, general and statesman Charles de Gaulle dominated French politics from his leadership of the Free French during World War II through to his death in 1970. A memorial and permanent exhibition in his home village of Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises has recently had its audio system extensively updated with Yamaha Commercial Installation Solutions (CIS) control and amplifiers.
Built in 2008, the memorial covers 1600sq m and is close to La Boisserie, de Gaulle’s home of 34 years in Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises. The exhibition building was built a style that would reflect the ‘austere grandeur’ of the Haute-Marne region’s landscape which it overlooks.
The exhibition covers all the facets of de Gaulle’s life and character, also exploring his legacy and the criticisms and caricatures that he inspired. As well as exhibits like cars, equipment, posters and personal effects, it features projected films, multimedia terminals, soundscapes and audio-visual archives.
By early 2017 the analogue audio system was limiting the exhibition’s ability to adjust and evolve. AV specialist APS of Dijon was contracted to install a completely new digital audio system, but which could use the existing loudspeakers. To achieve this, they installed a Dante network throughout the building, with two control racks – one for each main room – each comprising a Yamaha MRX7-D processor with EXi8 input expander, three Tio1608-D I/O units and five XMV8140-D power amplifiers.
This system has allowed all of the audio exhibits to continue to operate unchanged, but at much higher quality, with greater efficiency and operational flexibility.
"We had to proceed in stages, testing all the lines one-by-one, in order to restore the entire audio installation to how it worked before,” says Christophe Dupin of APS. “When the audio matrices were programmed, we found that the increase in sound quality was so great that we only had to make a few minor corrections, mainly using the high pass filter of the Tio1608-Ds."
Comprehensive control of the sound installation is provided by a custom interface on an iPad, programmed using Yamaha’s Provisionaire Touch application. This allows exhibition manager Philippe Bromann to adjust any level of sound in any room of the exhibition at any time.