Q-SYS platform improves exhibits at the British Museum


Over two hundred and fifty years ago the world’s first national public museum opened and since then the British Museum has preserved over eight million works of art, historical objects and archaeological finds.

The British Museum’s exhibits should be presented to their full potential and the full museum experience should be transparent to all guests, but these goals are difficult to achieve with non-standardized equipment and systems.

To meet the challenge, the British Museum team selected the systems integrator and production company Autograph Sound to update the control system for the exhibition’s audio and video content. Autograph’s long experience with QSC has led them to offer Q-SYS as an audio, video and control solution to deliver consistent inbound exposure experiences. With QSC, Autograph Sound began to build a standardized and modular control architecture facilitated by easy and immediate control access.

“We know Q-SYS like the back of our hands because we have used it for so many things. It was the perfect fit here, ”says Euan Mackenzie, Business Development Manager at Autograph Sound.

“Our engineer handled all the custom programming for the Mmuseum and now both spaces – the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery and the Joseph Hotung Great Court Gallery – have their audio, visual and control through Q-SYS. It runs audio while managing projectors, media players, video playback, and PCs through dedicated portable user interfaces. And best of all, the museum’s AV team ended up with a design that they can reconfigure to suit their needs, in an easy-to-understand language.

The heart of the Sainsbury Gallery is a Q-SYS Core 110f processor handling all I / O, routing and DSP in audio, video and control applications. To accommodate a wider range of audio formats, Autograph has taken advantage of the Dante software compatibility of the Q-SYS Core 110f, adding a PoE audio converter and interface to convert sixteen analog inputs to the audio over IP network standard. Dante.

This massive expansion allows the internal AV team to better manage the wide variety of incoming exhibit designs. The Joseph Hotung Gallery was equipped with a Q-SYS Core 8 Flex processor, the compact sibling of the Q-SYS Core 110f, as well as the eight-inch Q-SYS TSC Series Gen 2 touchscreen controller, which allows for and simple graphical control of all operations in this space.

Control access is not limited to the Q-SYS touchscreen controller. For museum staff who interact with the public and organize exhibitions, access should be easy and immediate. “The visitor services department is largely the end user of the system,” says Clark Henry-Brown, head of the A / V team at the British Museum.

“The open structure of Q-SYS allowed us to design a separate iPad user interface for them, allowing them to resolve any issues before moving on to the AV team. If an event or shoot is taking place in an exhibition space, they can even mute specific media points, which again saves us a call. Every little bit counts. “

Access by multiple teams was also a must, as Henry-Brown explains. “There is a multi-faceted experience for users of our Q-SYS system for exhibitions, best explained interdepartmentally,” he says.

“During the exhibition layout phase, Q-SYS is used as an audio playback system and does all the processing of our speakers. Because we host our exhibition equipment in server rooms, it is necessary to be able to mix remotely in the exhibition space, which Q-SYS allows. Also, having full control of the exhibit material and being able to shuffle on the fly while we go over everything with the exhibit design team is great. Our previous system did not allow this.

Henry-Brown says the new Q-SYS installation has enriched the experience offered by the British Museum. “We haven’t had any issues since installing the system and in terms of the visitor experience, the downtime is minimal. ” he says. “Everything sounds a lot better, thanks to the ability to prepare a design months before the exhibit is set up, then to mix it in the space – and the fact that Q-SYS optimizes all the speakers. “

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