With 60 years of footage and music on tap, audio is naturally key in an experience celebrating Bob Dylan. The new center in his name is packed full of fascinating videos that play on loop about the musician's life and legacy. Listening booths of curated playlists and numerous interactives create shared moments for visitors.
With so much content, our key challenge was to empower visitors to curate their own Dylan experience. We wanted them to be able to choose what to hear so easily that they remained eyes-up and engaged at all times. And that's not all: to ensure immersion for an audience of fans and audiophiles, sound had to be high quality and in-sync at every moment.
Led by London-based design studio, 59 Productions, we were part of a team of multiple international vendors creating the experience throughout the Bob Dylan Center. Nearly every element required audio so we collaborated very closely to ensure a cohesive experience for visitors. We developed two of our base technologies to ensure that everything worked exactly as it should.
"The hearing sense can be forgotten inside exhibition spaces but here, sound enhances the visual experience. This is especially true in personalized and shared moments."
– Nic Whyte,
Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Art Processors
There are two showpiece interactives in the center where our evolving audio technology is crucial. The Digital Jukebox allows visitors to browse songs created, inspired, or curated by Dylan. They can customize their own playlist and listen to it through the audio guide we developed. The Stems Interactive lets visitors play the role of ‘sound engineer,’ using play and discovery to mix their own music and sounds for the experience of what a live recording session would be like.
On entry, visitors are issued with headphones and an in-house device offering high quality audio. As they make their way through the center, they simply tap the device on strategically placed beacons to immediately hear the corresponding audio. This is a new development for our core app and ensures that visitors don’t need to look down at a device to choose content.
We also created a system to deliver sound effect audio to headphones in near-real-time, less than 50 milliseconds. The result ensures visitors hear the audio they want at exactly the right moment—critical to immersion. “Although it's been hugely technical, no user would ever know because it’s so simple to use and really integrated into the overall experience,” says Rob Keniger, our Senior Mobile Engineer.