Case Study

Genelec Smart IP Brings Exceptional Audio to Thrilling Nerf Action Xperience in Manchester

Nerf dart blasters have been an all-time favourite for family fun since the 1990s. The launch of the Nerf Action Xperience (NAX) Manchester, the UK's inaugural official Nerf-themed attraction, is sure to be a hit. This facility boasts four action-packed zones dedicated to Nerf-fueled play, all under one roof at the Trafford Palazzo, Manchester.

In an attraction of this magnitude and style, top-quality audio is an essential component of the experience, and the operator collaborated with Technically Creative, renowned experts in audio, lighting, and electronics, right from the initial concept stages.

The NAX features games with multi-channel audio, screening areas, expansive battle zones, retail areas, and ambient music throughout. Spread across two stories and six zones, the project demanded a versatile and reliable audio solution.

Adam Robson, Audio Visual Manager at Technically Creative, explains, "We were involved in this project from its early conceptualisation, developing much of the software and build elements in-house. It became clear early on that the client required an exceptionally flexible audio solution that could cover the entire facility. They looked to us for guidance on how to achieve this, with a strong emphasis on delivering top-quality audio."

Flexibility remained paramount as the NAX design continually evolved, right through to the commissioning stage. Adam further added, "We aimed to use a system that could harness the flexibility of PoE and networked audio to deliver discreet audio wherever needed, without compromising sound quality. Coming from a background in studio recording, Genelec is a brand that's consistently held in high regard. It was fantastic to implement the Smart IP range of speakers, which proved to be the ideal choice."

James Voakes, Senior AV Engineer at Technically Creative consulted with Simon Jones, Business Manager at leading audio distributor Audiologic to configure the ideal setup for the project. The final installation consisted of 2 x Q-SYS Core 8 Flex audio, video, and control processors with 56 x Genelec 4420, 43 x Genelec 4430, and 6 x Genelec 4410 Smart IP Installation Speakers, along with 18 x Genelec 4040 Installation Speakers. To complete the system, Audinate Dante AVIO Networking Adapters were integrated.

Simon Jones remarked, "Smart IP was designed for discerning professionals who demand top-tier loudspeaker performance, and it's a dream come true for installers. A range of networked active loudspeaker systems that deliver exceptional audio, power, and sophisticated loudspeaker management via a single CAT cable. In order to ensure a seamless integration, we set up the range of Genelec speakers at Technically Creative’s HQ and tested them robustly to make sure each zone had the optimal setup.”

Adam continues: “Our preference was to use a system that could be managed across a single platform, and the three speakers across the Smart IP range greatly aided scalability across the different areas. Even the smaller 4410 models offered remarkable clarity and impact.”

In the expansive open battle areas, the need for discrete flexibility and clarity, even at higher sound pressure levels (SPL), was evident. To meet these requirements while adhering to building regulations, which didn’t allow for supplementary subwoofers, the Technically Creative team deployed 4040 speakers at a high level, each fed from an Audinate AVIO.

James elaborated on the choice of Genelec and Q-SYS, "We opted for Genelec primarily for the excellent clarity and responsiveness of the drivers used in the speakers, as well as the wide range of available products. Their scalable range enabled us to plan the installation more efficiently than if we had to specify different brands for various purposes. Q-SYS is generally our go-to choice for DSP due to its reliability and performance, which allows for seamless integration and routing to each of the speakers."

Adam went on to say, "We had DSP flexibility both onboard the speaker and via Q-SYS, but this was somewhat minimal due to the impressive clarity and range right out of the box. Even those speakers installed in challenging positions or at high levels required minimal tuning. Additionally, the range of accessories proved immensely helpful for our installation. There was a bracket option for virtually every situation we encountered, and these factors significantly expedited deployment and final commissioning."

James concluded: “The client is extremely satisfied with the installation, the sound around the venue is impeccable. Working with Audiologic is always a pleasure, the knowledge of Simon and the technical team is second to none, equipment availability is top-notch, and we know they are always at the end of the phone should we need them.