Mega-shopping mall, Audio Systems Renovation | Audinate

Mega-shopping mall, Audio Systems Renovation

Mundo E Shopping Mall, Mexico City Mexico

Built in 1998, Mundo E shopping mall, located in the northern area of Mexico City, has maintained its status as one of the most visited destinations by locals and outsiders alike, thanks to the place’s modern architecture and innovative concept.

However, starting in 2014, Grupo FRISA, real estate enterprise – self-styled as a “City Builder” – in charge of the mall’s operation, decided to perform a complete overhaul of the property, as well as an expansion, to make it more functional and to offer a better buying experience for the consumers. Gourmet restaurants, wide-open areas, green spaces and luxury boutiques were the base ingredients for the development of the transformed shopping mall, comprised by 300 retail spaces distributed in a 1’377,780.53sq ft constructed area, over a 2’228,129.46sq ft terrain.

Mundo E transformed

A key element in Mundo E’s new identity was the sound redesign in hallways and entrances, not only in the new extension, but inside the original sections as well. The people responsible for the project needed a robust ambient sound, which played high-quality music and fitted within the mall’s renovated look.

To achieve this, the Mexican AV-integration company, inSound Solutions, stepped-in. Founded in 2014 by Santiago del Hoyo, Industrial Engineer from the Iberoamericana University, one of Mexico’s finest institutions, inSound would become involved in the acoustics world with smaller audio and video projects for friends and family, before getting more complex jobs done for several restaurants, bars, corporate offices and, more recently, shopping malls.

“[We chose inSound Solutions] due to their experience, professionalism, reliability and the added value they brought to the project, by solving all our technical requirements and offering us the best service and the best cost”, explains Mauricio Rivera Torres, General Manager, President and CEO of Grupo FRISA. “Of all the brands they offered us, Bose was the one that really fulfilled our requirements, with quality, fidelity, great aesthetics and guarantee.”

With the difficult challenge of providing full audio coverage for both, the original structure and the new expansion, inSound Solutions chose Bose Professional as their first option, for being a reliable brand which had already given them great results, and for the wide variety of solutions it gave them in terms of outdoor loudspeakers and high-capacity amplifiers. The compatibility of the ControlSpace ESP880 processor with the Dante protocol was the decisive factor.

“Bose is a brand we like to work with, not only for the audio quality it delivers, but because whenever a client sees a Bose system being installed, they immediately know it’s going to look and sound great”, shares Santiago del Hoyo.

After a year-long planning and designing process, and an eight-month installation work, inSound Solutions finally concluded its most ambitious project to date, which included 882 Bose Professional loudspeakers powered by nine Bose PowerMatch® configurable amplifiers, all interconnected by an automatized central hub with 12.2 miles of oxygen-free copper wire and 0.93 miles’ optical fiber cable for two specific zones where Dante was used.

Bose Professional and Dante, a winning combo

Dante, the multi-channel digital media networking technology, that creates remotely connected systems for the automatized administration of devices, such as loudspeakers, amplifiers and controllers, was fully employed inside Mundo E, especially on two zones that required customized options for the music, with complete control over the audio levels.

The first sector where the remote-control protocol was employed is the ice rink, a brand new outdoor space where an independent service provider produces video-mapping shows, with lights and sound, at different times of the day. To avoid the show’s audio mixing up with the mall’s ambient sound, the Dante-connected system detects whenever another source starts playing music, and automatically fades out this zone’s audio; once the show is over, the sound system activates itself once again.

A few steps away from the ice rink, an interactive fountain offers brief shows filled with lights, music and water streams that go up and down in rhythm with a song. When it’s time for the show, the Dante system at the master site redirects all the power to a cluster specially designed for this space, made up of FreeSpace® DS 100SE loudspeakers and FreeSpace 3 Series I Acoustimass subwoofers, to get the people’s attention focused on the fountains musical routine. Once this is over, the cluster lowers its intensity and returns to the regular music programming being played throughout the rest of the mall.

“We came to Bose Professional because they offer many types of loudspeakers for different applications in different spaces inside the mall”, explains Santiago del Hoyo. “Bose Professional supported us by being here on site, checking distances and shots with us, suggesting systems and solutions for some applications.”

Total coverage, with high-quality audio

For all the other sub-zones (main hallway, atrium 1 and 2, obelisk, food court and parking lot) inSound used a mix of FreeSpace® DS16F ceiling loudspeakers (limited to 8 watt), wall-mounted outdoor FreeSpace® DS 16SE and FreeSpace® DS 100SE loudspeakers (delivering 16 and 100 watt each), as well as some “mushroom”-like FreeSpace® 360P Series II loudspeakers for gardens and green spaces. With this equipment inSound achieved a complete and homogenic coverage of the entire mall, with perfectly equalized and rich sound, that never becomes intrusive or annoying.

The roofed parking lot that surrounds the inner mall is one of the areas where inSound put special attention on the sound design. There are few shopping malls that offer background music in the parking lots, but thanks to the inclusion of several FreeSpace® DS 16F loudspeakers, the visitors can hear the music from the moment they enter the parking lot to the moment they step out of the car. This, according to inSound’s proposal and design, was done to give the people a more relaxed shopping experience. Also, in case of emergency or when a general announcement is needed, the people inside the parking lot can be aware of what’s being communicated through the loudspeakers.

“It’s a given that nice sounding music, playing with excellent audio quality, gives a huge boost in the client’s mood and keeps them longer inside the mall”, says Mauricio Rivera Torres. “From the moment a client arrives at the mall, with the music playing in the parking lots, their mood changes and they become more relaxed, which in turn improves their overall shopping experience.”

The complete sound system inside the mall is controlled from an automatized “brain”, located at the master site, which handles the music starting and stopping times, according to a pre-established schedule. The inSound Solutions technical staff updates the musical selection stored inside an external hard disc drive, placing new songs and top hits. However, the Mundo E staff are the ones responsible of selecting the daily playlist, based on different factors like the weather, the day of the week or the quantity of people visiting the mall.

After this first big experience designing the sound of a top-tier shopping mall, inSound Solutions is already exploring new business opportunities on other malls and plazas all around the country. Obviously, Santiago and his company plan to once again rely on the wide arrange of solutions from Bose Professional for their future endeavors.

“It’s definitely within my main concerns [to use Bose Professional sound systems once again], because only with them we can guarantee the kind of results we expect”, concludes Santiago del Hoyo.

By the numbers
  • Zones: 8 (2 controlled by Dante)
  • Total area: 2’228,129.46 sq ft
  • Constructed area: 1’377,780.53 sq ft
  • Retail spaces: 300
  • Loudspeakers: 882
Models used
  • 569 FreeSpace® DS 16F (flush mount)
  • 190 FreeSpace® DS 16F (flush mount)
  • 81 FreeSpace® DS 16SE
  • 26 FreeSpace® DS 100SE
  • 12 FreeSpace® 360P Series II
  • 4 FreeSpace 3 Series I Acoustimass base modules
  • Amplifiers: 9 (PowerMatch® PM8250 x4, PowerMatch® PM8500 x5 = 28,000 watts)
  • Processing: ControlSpace® ESP-880
  • Dante: ControlSpace® EP22-D 2In/2Out Dante™ Endpoint, ControlSpace® ESP Dante™ network card
  • Network Switch: Cisco SG102-24 Gigabit Switch (with optic fiber)
  • Interconnecting cables: Audioquest, model Cinnamon
  • Cables:
  • Audio (copper) Liberty, Model 14-2C = 12.12 miles.
  • Panduit Optic Fibre, Modelo - FO Multimodo (OM3) 6 string 50/125π = 0.93 miles
  • Servidor de Medios de alta calidad a 24-bit/192 kHz: Autonomic MMS-5A
  • Rack: Sanus 36u cabinet with ventilation system and thermometer

Compañías involucradas