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VOID Acoustics Outdoor Garden Installation

We have recently completed an audio installation for one of our clients outside their beautiful home, in the garden and front drive.

Our client is passionate about music and already has an exceptional home audio system, so we needed to provide a system which would sound fantastic but also fit in to its surroundings and almost disappear into the background. When it could be seen, it should look as good as it sounds. Given that this is an outdoor setting, we needed a system capable of withstanding the worst weather that Yorkshire can throw at a loudspeaker.

Having a wealth of manufacturers’ products available to us, we looked to Void Acoustics for their Cyclone series. They are IP55 rated, with marine grade stainless steel grills, sealed cable entry and UV resistant colour finish. We chose Cyclone 55 as it’s a physically small enclosure, so was easy to make it disappear and where is can be seen, the high gloss finish looks clean and subtle. For the garden, it is a large area to cover, but as huge SPL wasn’t required, multiple speaker positions were chosen to provide even coverage throughout and to minimise spill to adjacent properties.

Equipment Specifications:

The Cyclone 55 is an impressive full range loudspeaker and for most of the site this was more than adequate, but for the area nearest to the house which gets the most use, we felt that real low end would make the project really stand out. Two Cyclone Bass loudspeakers were used to cover this area. Again, these are fully weatherproof.

Void have their own Powersoft platform amplifiers and this project used two Bias Q2 and one Bias D1 amplifiers giving ten channels of very high-quality DSP and amplifier power. All configuration for the speakers themselves is performed using the Armonia software, accepting Void’s FIR presets for the speakers.

We used a Symetrix Solus NX 8×8 for all inputs, routing configurations and to allow IP remote control for our client to be able to turn each area up and down. The system is configured to provide stereo where it can be appreciated and mono sum everywhere else. Using basic measurements and then careful listening tests, we applied some time alignment and volume shading, so that where more than one speaker could be heard in the same place whilst walking through the garden, there is no noticeable time alignment error. The Cyclone 55s in stereo above the Cyclone bass are run as high pass at 80 Hz, while all other Cyclone 55 are run as full range.

System Design Details

Multiple zones were achievable, but user simplicity was key here, so the subs and stereo tops at the house end are on one zone and the rest of the garden is a separate zone, allowing the client to easily control the levels. The two mono Cyclone 55s firing from the house towards the lawn, are pointing down to cover the patio area and not comb filter with the rest of the garden.

At The front of the house, the entrance driveway has two, discreetly positioned Cyclone 55s running full range. These more than adequately cover the area to provide some atmosphere. This area is also on a separate zone for volume control.

All zones are controlled via a webpage hosted by the Symetrix Solus NX 8×8. No extra software is needed, just the IP address of the unit punched into a web browser and saved as a bookmark. The system is connected to the existing wifi network, so all volume controls can be made by phone, tablet or PC.

Void make all of their Fibreglass products in standard red, white and black, but can do any Ral colour required. For this project, the client opted for black, which looks stunning, nestled among the trees and undergrowth.

The system sounds fantastic and went far beyond what we were expecting. The subs positioned up by the house actually provide meaning bass for two thirds of the garden area. Because of the width of the main lawn area, the stereo image is really wide and immersive and coverage from the house, all the way down to the far end of the garden is seamless.

snowy garden scene with Void speaker

This has been a great addition to the property and the client has told us that even though it is January in Yorkshire, he’s been spending far more time outside in the garden. This must mean that great audio is actually good for your health.

” I’ve always wanted top quality music in my garden. Having such a large garden I was always  concerned about the sound quality throughout. Pete came and took time to make sure I was going to achieve what I wanted. This is what I finally got: the perfect sound in the garden and woodland! It was fitted by his professional team who knew their stuff in all they did. A first class job from start to finish, thank you.”

Client.

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