Australia has a rich history in loudspeaker manufacturing, and VAF Research is arguably one of the most iconic brands that has enjoyed global success since being founded by Philip Vafiadis back in 1978.
With Vafiadis still at the helm, VAF Research is an Australian private company who continues to create and design and build great loudspeakers that are today, sold worldwide.
Based in Adelaide, the company has sold speakers in the tens of thousands, as well as VAF Research supplying speakers to The Conservatory of Music (Elder Hall), Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Microsoft, School of Audio Engineering, Telstra, Kojo Productions, Parliament House Canberra, and the world's largest electro-acoustic system at the time at Adelaide Festival Centre.
More recently, the Arts Centre Melbourne is using loudspeakers from VAF Research for an experimental dance installation to create a personal soundscape for each person who steps on the dancefloor.
Arts Centre Melbourne commissioned Adelaide-based Eat More Code, along with artists Sasha Grbich, Ian Moorhead, Chris Petridis and Ingrid Voorendt, to create a work for the centre’s foyer during the Australian Ballet’s season of Sleeping Beauty.
Using a dozen, compact yet powerful VAF speakers, the free interactive dancefloor in the Arts Centre Melbourne foyer invites visitors to discover a unique dance experience as their movements trigger music and lights to create a spectacular audio-visual show.
This collaboration has produced a 21st century dancefloor that generates a personalised sound and light show for whoever is dancing, whether it’s a prima ballerina or someone with two left feet.
Eat More Code co-founder Heidi Angove says:
"Visitors can take a spin on the dance floor to well-loved ballet scores - or step up to the ballet barre and practice their plié. We want anyone and everyone to enter the dance floor and move in whatever way they wish, generating a unique experience for both them and for onlookers."
To achieve this interactivity, the installation uses embedded precise motion sensors in the ceiling, which connect both to a full lighting rig and the Internet via four Arduino Yun microcontroller boards. Via a remotely located server, the motion sensors trigger sound ‘flourishes’, so dancers create their own unique sound and light environment as they boogie across the dancefloor.
One of the biggest challenges was said to be getting the right sound for the installation.
"We needed six separate sound channels for this to work. This required powerful but small powered high-fidelity speakers to project the sound ‘triggers’ on different areas of the dancefloor. VAF heard our plea for help and secured some high-end powered speakers for us."
VAF Research provided 12 compact three-way 20-watt powered stereo speakers, each with a 5.25 inch bass driver, a half-inch dynamic mid-range tweeter and a one-inch piezo high frequency tweeter.
"But the sound is what brings it all together. The speakers from VAF create an incredibly crisp and compelling sound that will draw people to the dancefloor like the Pied Piper in Hamelin town."
The free Interactive Dance Floor exhibition at Arts Centre Melbourne is operating from December 11th - 23rd, 2016.
VAF Research will exhibit at the 2016 International HiFi Show, Melbourne, July 1st-3rd 2016 in Lake 1/2 Room.