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Yamaha’s Universe of Sound

Yamaha MSP5 and SW10 loudspeakers were chosen for the Universe of Sound exhibition held at London’s Science Museum this summer, which gave the public the opportunity to literally ‘get inside a symphony orchestra.

This summer, the Philharmonia Orchestra gave people the chance to literally ‘get inside’ a symphony orchestra at its Universe of Sound exhibition at the Science Museum, London. Yamaha MSP5 and SW10 loudspeakers were chosen for a key part of the exhibition; letting the public hear exactly the same sounds as musicians in the orchestra’s different sections. Devised by the Philharmonia Orchestra’s principal conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, Universe of Sound used large format projection and movement-based interaction to allow the public to enjoy a fully immersive, interactive experience with the 105 piece orchestra playing Holst’s The Planets, similar to last year’s RE-RITE installation in which the orchestra was playing Stravinsky’s The Rite Of Spring. Reproducing the orchestra in full surround sound were 42 Yamaha MSP5 two-way, bi-amped nearfield loudspeakers and six SW10 subs. Liverpool-based Studiocare supplied the speakers to Alexander van Ingen of Six Music Productions – who worked with the Philharmonia on the filming and reproduction of the orchestra. Universe of Sound uses 28 channels of audio, playing back in sync with digital video footage. Each audio channel carried the sound that is heard by players in that section – for example that heard by the clarinet section is very clarinet heavy, but also has spill from the rest of the orchestra. “By reproducing the sound in this way, you hear the context of what each instrument does, but also its individual role,” said Richard Slaney, the Philharmonia’s Head of Digital. “Using state-of-the-art audio and video technology, we have been able to let the public literally immerse themselves inside a real orchestra and experience at first hand what a thrilling environment it is.”