SmartSource recently partnered with the Bronx Zoo to help bring its annual Holiday Lights attraction to life with holiday sounds throughout the outdoor venue. With over 200 acres of ground to cover, SmartSource sought to complement the venue’s stunning twinkling winter wonderland with the sounds of classic and newer holiday favorites throughout the zoo’s attractions. It was imperative that SmartSource rely on its expertise when working within the constraints of weather and natural environments.

Leaving it to the Experts Can Help Avoid Potential Pitfalls

The Holiday Experience showcases a variety of animal lanterns that represent animals in the zoo’s collection as well as the work they do around the globe. With 6 separate zones that represent Ocean, Africa, and Asia – each having their own distinctive sounds – SmartSource needed to seamlessly create custom playbacks that incorporated holiday sounds. Professional installation on-site was essential, as it provided the expertise needed on the ground to quickly address issues that popped up and train zoo staff. As a contingency, our team created solutions for minimum maintenance by incorporating playback devices with battery backup and bypass systems for audio signals and power so that if one speaker in the chain were to fail, the whole chain wouldn’t (avoiding that old problem like lights on a Christmas tree!).

The Weather Outside Can Be Frightful

Weatherizing the equipment was essential in this part of the region where the elements could compromise equipment quality. Our team needed to create a solution that could stand up to the elements for months at a time, if necessary, including awareness of areas that might be prone to flooding. The team weatherized 50 powered speakers, 6 MP3 devices for playback with battery backup, 6 audio mixers, and thousands of feet of XLR and power cables. This provided a level of comfort for the client knowing that no matter the weather, the show will go on.

Adapt to the Environment, Not the Other Way Around

SmartSource took great strides to work with the zoo’s curators to ensure its VIP inhabitants would not be disturbed by the sound levels of the audio installations. In addition, the musical sounds needed to complement the environment where installed and not compete with other installed sounds of the zoo.
Environmental aesthetics were also top of mind to create a seamless look and feel to the surroundings by covering equipment with faux boulders and rocks. This was an ideal solution, so the natural environment wasn’t competing with the sight of audiovisual equipment.

We had a history of working with SmartSource and appreciate the fact that they understand the importance of animal safety and adhering to the policies we have in place to ensure a good guest experience while maintaining a safe sound level for our animals. – Rachel Libretti, Bronx Zoo

Together, the Bronx Zoo and SmartSource have created a spectacular holiday experience full of exciting sights and sounds for all visitors to enjoy. Watch now.

When setting up your outdoor experience, let SmartSource be your partner for seamless audio-visual integration.