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Thread: Temporary Exhibition Oral History Sound Station

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    Temporary Exhibition Oral History Sound Station

    I was wondering if anyone might have any recommendations for an ideal temporary exhibition gallery sound/video station? I have seen some great solutions for permanent exhibitions however many of the temporary ones that I have seen tend to be rectangular wooden boxes on wheels with headsets and are not as easily integrated into temporary exhibitions as I might like -if anyone knows of a good product or can recommend some great solutions it would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    PACCIN Advisory Committee Member T. Ashley McGrew's Avatar
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    This may be a good question for the NAME (National Association for Museum Exhibition) which is a list which is Standing Professional Committee of AAM (American Association of Museums).
    I will put the question out there as well as on our own list and see what turns up.
    T. Ashley McGrew
    PACCIN Advisory Committee member

  3. #3
    PACCIN Advisory Committee Member T. Ashley McGrew's Avatar
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    First, here is a response from the NAME group with some good content if not the specific recommendation that you may have desired

    Hi Ashley,

    Since I am not a member of PACCIN, I will reply here with some food for thought:

    There are a number of issues to think about when developing a strategy for delivering sound related to Oral Histories.

    First is whether the program material is mono or stereo. Voices are almost always recorded in mono, but there may be background music that wants to be more immersive, thus making stereo the overall better choice.

    Next, what is the coverage you are looking for - single person, group of 2-3, small area, etc. This can certainly make a large difference as to how to deliver sound, regardless if there still is only one video source or not.

    What do you expect the surrounding ambient noise conditions to be? Will this exhibit be in an acoustically tamed space or a live, reverberant and noisy one? Will the exhibition have numerous other sound sources nearby and will crowds tend to be younger and louder? All of these are a factor in being able to create an aural experience that is enveloping without having the distraction from nearby sources.

    Are all the oral histories well recorded and basically consistent in level? Having each subject's voice and level vary widely is the quickest way to result in an ineffective exhibit.

    Do you need the station to be portable or can it be permanently mounted as part of the temporary exhibit?

    So, as you can see, it is not such a simple answer. Once you define the above parameters, you can start to decide whether your Oral History station needs a focused speaker solution, such as the various products by Brown Innovations, Panphonics, and others, or whether a small, but more full-range speaker (or speakers, if stereo) can be integrated.

    Keep in mind that additional control from sound bleed can be achieved even with traditional (and often less-expensive) speakers, if the Oral History station can contain some sound-absorbing materials to prevent secondary acoustic "bounce".

    Good luck,
    Steve

    Steve Haas, President
    SH Acoustics
    www.shacoustics.com

    Secondly we have a response coming from the PACCIN list headed in another direction equally interesting direction...


    "Turnbow, Bryan L." <blturnbow@nd.gov>

    Add to ContactsTo:PACCIN ListServe <pacinlist@listserve.com> 1085926.txt (1KB)

    We are currently 2+ months in on testing an iPod touch (playing a looped video with sound) hooked up to a TV. The lock box containing the iPod is mounted to the back of the TV which is just a free standing right now, but could be wall mounted in the future.

    The only glitch we have ran into is if unplugged and battery is allowed to drain down and turn off, you have to open the lock box and physically press play once itís recharged. Other than that we turn the TV on in the morning and off at night.

    For a directional speaker check http://www.dakotaaudio.com/?id=1, they are great! We have one next to a library with no sound bleed.


    Bryan Turnbow
    Preparator
    State Historical Society of [COLOR= ]North Dakota[/COLOR]
    [COLOR= ]612 East Boulevard Avenue
    Bismarck, ND 58505
    [/COLOR]701-328-2103
    T. Ashley McGrew
    PACCIN Advisory Committee member

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    Keep in mind that additional control from sound bleed can be achieved even with traditional (and often less-expensive) speakers, if the Oral History station can contain some sound-absorbing materials to prevent secondary acoustic "bounce".

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