Radio France, through its entity Studio Radio France, has entrusted me with the task of producing the immersive audio tours for the Hôtel de la Marine, Place de la Concorde in Paris.
Originally dedicated to the King’s furniture, the building is a distinguished edifice and museum of the 18th century. The Garde-meuble de la Couronne changed assignment after the french Revolution and hosted the naval administration during two centuries, hence its current name. In 2015, the Navy moves away and the state entrusts the management of the building to the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, who have been preparing its reopening to the public.
The challenge taken up by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux is to offer an exclusively audio mediation inside a monument brought -as much as possible- to its original state. The authenticity of the building, furniture and decorations is a call to an artifact-free immersion. The various tours and period characters, therefore, unfold in binaural.
The Hôtel de la Marine tour is carried out wearing headphones throughout two areas, the Appartements de l’Intendant and the Salons. Five narratives are offered with various themes and durations. The bulk of the narratives is available in nine languages and in audio-description.
For the first time on such a scale, the binaural is produced in real time for each visitor via a head-tracker : the axis of the audio scenes stays coherent, enabling the synchronization of the narratives’orientation in each place. The headphones’ designing was subject to a different call for tender and is consequently equiped with a binaural synthesis engine.
The audio tours are however produced in native 3D (using a format allowing the manipulation of the rotation axis) accordingly requiring audio shooting. The Hôtel de la Marine currently undergoing renovation work, I chose to set up the correspondance of locations and acoustics in the Château de Rambouillet (also managed by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux).
Initiated in early February and interrupted during lockdown, the shooting was completed in June. Post-production’s first object is to supply the dubbing provider with the french and the international versions of the audio tours.
To be continued…