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Install of the Month

Apr 1, 2005 12:00 PM, By Daniel Keller

Wannado City Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


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Wannado City, a theme park that contains more than 60 venues decked out with audiovisual systems, was designed to inspire kids aged 4 to 11 to play grown up.

Kids' Stuff

Wannado City opened its doors at Fort Lauderdale's Sawgrass Mills Mall in August 2004. The 140,000-square-foot park was created on the premise that children love pretending to be adults in a realistic, hands-on environment. The entertainment park features kid-size police and fire stations, television and radio studios, a newspaper, a hospital, a bank, and dance club — upwards of 250 possible professions in 60 venues.

“Every venue, down to the smallest detail, is realistic and believable,” says Luis Javier Laresgoiti, Wannado's chief creative officer. “That's why in the hospital, we have real incubators; the dental office features scaled down dentist chairs equipped with working parts; and in the TV studio and radio station, we have working cameras, microphones, and audiovisual equipment.”

Richard Wagner is principal with Integrated Electronics of Windermere, Fla., the company contracted to design and install the AV system at Sawgrass Mills Mall. “Each independent venue has a combination of its own music and sound effects,” he says. “And there's plenty of interaction between the venues.”

As an example, Wagner cites the fire station. “For the firefighters, a fire is staged at a nearby fireworks storage facility. When the fire breaks out, they load into the electric fire truck, drive through the city, get the hoses hooked up and extinguish the fire. At the same time, the police are called out to barricade the streets; the TV and radio reporters are dispatched to cover the story. It's highly interactive, and timing is critical.”

A fire at a fireworks facility would be nothing without explosions. The multiple distributed systems incorporate literally hundreds of speaker systems, including 210 EAW commercial CIS400 two-way ceiling speakers and 65 EAW commercial SMS4 70V distributed speakers. Another 58 JBL Control 29AV speakers are also part of the 70V system, as are several Community CPL23BT coax speakers.

An assortment of EAW AS460e two-way cabinets, as well as an AS490e and AS690e three-way systems handle the lion's share of higher-fidelity needs throughout the venue. Low end is delivered by EAW AS414e single, as well as AS625e and SB48e dual subwoofer systems, making the most of the explosions. Most of the distributed speaker systems are driven by Crown CH- and CT-series 70V amplifiers, with Crown CL-series amps driving the higher-powered rigs. The TV and radio stations use Mackie HR624 self-powered studio monitors.

The TV station's video systems are also highly realistic, with a full Panasonic studio camera system including three AW-E300 cameras with AW-LK30 lens controllers, an AG-MX70 video effects switcher, and two AG-DV2500 DV format master record decks. The systems travel around on three Da-Lite AV6-48 TV carts.

Also incorporated is a Horita blackburst/color bar generator and three ProPrompter PP102 teleprompter systems. A wall of eight JVC TM-A101GU 10in. program monitors provide feedback to the production crew. The roving reporters are outfitted with JVC GY-DV300UZ and Sony DCR-TRV22 MiniDV camcorders, Anton/Bauer remote camera lighting kits, and Universal Pro camera tripods.

Outside the TV studio are four NEC PX-42VP4A 42in. plasma displays, four Sharp LC-20E 20in. LCD screens, and 13 RCA J27430 commercial 27in. televisions, primarily used for showing the career orientation videos and other program material.

The radio station boasts Marantz PMD320 and Denon DN-4000 CD players, a Rane MP22z DJ mixer and five Sony CDP-CE275 multi-disc players. Six Sony STR-DE197 stereo receivers and two AMI 8Traxx MP3 players also grace the racks.

Microphones in the TV and radio studios are primarily Sennheiser e335 and e345 dynamics, as well as three Sennheiser EW112P wireless systems for the TV cameras. Eleven more EW-series UHF systems are in use in the studios, along with ME2 lavaliers and MD421 radio station guest mics.

In the equipment bays, DBX 266XL dual-channel compressor/gates keep levels under control, with four DBX 215 dual 15-band EQs and eight of its 286A mic processors to make it all sound professional. A Mackie SR24-4 VLZ-pro 24-channel mixer runs the main mix, fed by submixes from five strategically located Mackie 1402 VLZ-pro 14-channel compact mixers.

The CobraNet-based system connects eight different equipment rooms via a fiber-optic backbone. The network is linked via eight Symetrix CobraLink Ethernet links, with a phalanx of SymNet I/O units including 8×8, 12-input and 12-output configurations, all under three Symetrix ARC local control panels. A Crestron Pro2 master system controller and six Crestron CP2E sub-controllers handle the system chores along with a Crestron TPS-3000LB master station touchscreen.


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