The Sphere is a next-gen entertainment medium and the latest addition to the Las Vegas Strip. Sphere Studios, which develops groundbreaking technologies and content, partnered with Berlin-based pro audio company HOLOPLOT to create an unparalleled listening experience for the 20.000 capacity venue.
Referred to as Sphere Immersive Sound, it’s the world’s largest concert-grade audio system, specifically developed for Sphere’s unique curved interior. Comprising around 1,600 permanently installed HOLOPLOT X1 Matrix Array loudspeaker modules, totalling a staggering 167,000 individually amplified loudspeaker drivers, the system utilizes HOLOPLOT’s 3D Audio-Beamforming and Wave Field Synthesis technology to transform how audio is delivered in large-scale venues. The result is controlled, consistent, crystal-clear concert-grade audio, providing each audience member with a truly exceptional and personalized listening experience. The entire system is hidden behind a 160,000 sq ft interior LED display plane. Any audio transmission losses are fully compensated for by HOLOPLOT’s proprietary algorithms resulting in clear, full-range sound with virtually no coloration and a completely unobstructed visual LED surface – which wraps up, over and around the audience, combining with Sphere Immersive Sound to create a fully immersive environment.
David Dibble, CEO of MSG Ventures describes Sphere Immersive Sound as a cornerstone of the custom-designed technology that makes Sphere unlike any other venue in the world, providing audio with unmatched clarity and precision to every seat of the house. Creating this experience required a partner at the forefront of innovation to help achieve their vision and truly transform what’s possible with audio. He says they found this in HOLOPLOT.
Whilst traditional loudspeaker technology in large-scale venues can result in audio quality that diminishes as distance from the speakers increases, due to the uncontrolled nature of sound wave propagation, HOLOPLOT’s patented 3D Audio-Beamforming technology uses intelligent software algorithms to create unique, highly controlled, more efficient soundwaves, ensuring levels and quality remain consistent from point of origin to destination – even over large distances. HOLOPLOT’s unique 3D Audio-Beamforming technology can also simultaneously send unique audio content to specific locations in the venue, creating the possibility for different sections to hear completely different content – e.g. languages, music, or sound effects – offering limitless opportunities for truly customized and immersive audio experiences.
Meanwhile, HOLOPLOT’s unique Wave Field Synthesis capabilities, a spatial audio rendering technique, leverages virtual acoustic environments. With conventional audio technology, the perceived origin of a sound has traditionally been the location of the loudspeaker. Using Wave Field Synthesis, sound designers can create a virtual point of origin. This enables audio to be directed to the listener so that it sounds close, even though the source is far away – for example, an audience member could hear a whisper as if someone is talking directly in their ear.
Sphere Immersive Sound is just one aspect of the 22nd century technologies that combine in Sphere to create extraordinary immersive experiences that activate the senses. Sphere also features patented 4D technologies such as infrasound haptic seating, and various atmospheric and environmental effects, such as warm breezes, evocative scents and changing temperatures, to create multi-sensory experiences that take storytelling to an entirely new level. This offers artists an unprecedented creative canvas, to deliver exceptional experience in this unique venue, which is set to host a variety of events from music and film to sport.
Sphere opened on Sept 29 with the first of U2’s 25 performances of U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere. Darren Aronofsky-directed Sphere Experience, Postcard from Earth, opened on October 6.