Immersive audio at Progressum for Vivid Sydney 2022


One highlight of the 23-night Vivid Sydney 2022 Festival in Sydney, Australia, was Progressum at Vivid House in Darling Quarter – a collaborative 3D walk-through visual art experience and concept that welcomed audiences of up to 100 people at any one time.

The experience was created by Sydney-based producer and sound system designer Des O’Neill, lighting designer Peter Rubie, and sound designer and composer Peret von Sturmer, combining art, light, sound and video to stimulate all the senses.

Vivid Sydney is the annual festival of light, music and ideas that transforms Sydney’s CBD into a fusion of creativity, innovation and technology for 23 nights. In 2022, the renowned Light Walk stretched continuously from Sydney Opera House to Central for the first time, passing through new parts of the city, including The Goods Line and Central Station.

“In what was a truly memorable ‘wow’ experience, the team at aFX Global helped develop Vivid House so that it could envelope the visitor in art in a monumental way,” said Gill Minervini, festival director at Vivid Sydney 2022. “We wanted audio to be as much of a feature of Vivid Sydney and Vivid House really did encapsulate the history of electronic music and unique soul of the city. It became a real talking point for visitors.”

Built around precise spatial synchronicity and featuring a three-dimensional Iosono sound system and dazzling lighting array, Progressum at Vivid House was an exercise in sonic and visual immersion.

Progressum at Vivid House was a great demonstration and showcase of our 3D and immersive technologies,” said Des O’Neill, managing director at aFX Global, the company behind the audio and lighting elements of Vivid House.

Highlighting local technology creators

Vivid House was a square 360° walk-through experience, 14m wide by 5m high. aFX Global-provided audio included an authentic Iosono immersive sound system powered with Barco’s Iosonoinside software, for dynamic room acoustics combined with an impressive lighting array and smoke effects. Audio speakers and lighting fixtures were packed under the floor, behind the LED screens, above the screens and right through the ceiling above the audience, showcasing artworks of all five featured artists.

The result is a scalable touring structure for interactive sound and video-driven art for any combination of artwork and any environment, indoors or outdoors.

“We’re delighted that Destination NSW through Vivid Sydney trusted us to create an immersive experience and I consider it an honour that they chose to work with our team,” said O’Neill. “It shows exactly what can be achieved by combining 3D audio, lighting and video for immersive and VR experiences and clear that we will collaborate with Peter Rubie and Peret von Sturmer on future projects for great festivals like this – watch this space.”

Vivid Sydney will return in 2023 from 26 May to 17 June 2023.


Project credits:

Name: Vivid House
Client: Destination NSW
Lighting: Intense Lighting Hire
Lighting design including Vista lighting console and Madrix system: Peter Rubie
Audio speakers and drive: Coda Audio
Iosono system and audio post-production studio used for creation of immersive content: aFX Global
LED and floor projection: TDC – Technical Direction Company

Credits and special thanks went to Encircled, Berlin, Germany, for Iosono application support and Litepix for the Madrix setup.

Images: aFX Global

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Izzy became editor of Auditoria magazine in 2018, having previously served as assistant editor on the title earlier in her career. She is also the editor of Business Jet Interiors International, Railway Interiors International and new launch Cruise Liner Interiors International. Over the course of a decade as a business-to-business magazine editor, Izzy has covered everything from airline catering to car safety technologies, autonomous vehicles and business aviation airports. Outside of work, Izzy loves watercolour painting, live music and travel.

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