First opened in August 2020, the Mississippi Aquarium tells the story of Mississippi’s aquatic resources from the Delta to the coastline, delivering an entertainment experience that encourages guests to explore majestic environments, while also playing an active role in research and conservation efforts. As construction of the over 80,000 square feet of exhibits continued, the aquarium began their search for the perfect network AV system to enhance the guest experience, and they chose the Q-SYS Ecosystem, including QSC amplifiers and loudspeakers.

Alabama-based integrator ESB Group designed the system around a Q-SYS Core 510i Integrated processor, which manages audio and control processing throughout the facility. The integrator upgraded the audio multi-track player (via Q-SYS Feature License) to play back as many as 32 simultaneous audio tracks of exhibit content and background music that were being routed to any of the aquarium’s zones.  ESB Group also integrated a number of wireless microphones that presenters can walk around with and be heard in each zone.

To deliver the immersive audio to the various exhibits, the aquarium chose to pair QSC CXD-Q Series network amplifiers with a mix of pendant, ceiling, and surface-mount QSC AcousticDesign Series loudspeakers. CXD-Q amplifiers were designed to integrate seamlessly with Q-SYS and offer control and advanced telemetry without the need for complicated programming. The AcousticDesign Series loudspeakers maintain remarkably similar characteristics across form factors, ensuring that no audio transitions are heard as guests move between zones.

With the help of the Q-SYS UCI Deployment feature license, the integrator created a user control interface (UCI) for the aquarium’s AV support team, which provides access to zone-specific volume and track controls, along with signal meters for the venue’s amplifiers. This provides a simple, birds-eye view into the system, and didn’t require any programming. “What I like about Q-SYS, is that it’s so intuitive to design, from a DSP and control perspective,” explains Drew Breland, Design Engineer at ESB Group. “And because it is software-based, we’ll be able to easily add features and functionality in the future, which will help enable the great experience that the aquarium is delivering.”

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