Italy’s Gardaland Theme Park Provides Thrills and Entertainment with Symetrix

Located near the southeast banks of Italy’s Garda Lake, the Gardaland Theme Park is one of the oldest and most loved theme parks in the country.

Opened in 1975, Gardaland’s theme is inspired by the world of history, geography, space, and fantasy with many rides to match. With over 3 million visitors each year, eight roller coasters (five rated as “extreme” by the Roller Coaster Data Base), three different water rides, over two dozen other rides, and a huge variety of attractions and shows, Gardaland satisfies the needs of a very diverse public from early childhood and adolescence to young adults and families.

Despite the park’s love by locals and tourists alike, Gardaland’s audio system had significant problems. Wear and tear of the components in place and the lack of flexibility of the signal distribution system posed issues that couldn’t be resolved with the system in use. It became very difficult for the technicians to evaluate the state of the audio signals in the various areas of the park. Constant failures, little to no flexibility, and non-existent ability to monitor remotely led Gardaland’s AV Technicians to seek a better solution.

Led by Eurolab SRL’s Managing Director, Alberto Colombo, in collaboration with Sisme SPA’s Sound Engineer, Simone Santarelli, Gardaland was presented with a new solution to provide audio distribution, processing, monitoring, and real-time system control throughout the entire 50-acre park. Combining years of audio and control system experience with powerful products from Symetrix gave Gardaland the confidence that they would have a world-class solution for their park.

At the core of the system, fiber optic lines link seven technical rooms in various parts of the park and are used to carry sixteen tracks of synchronized audio throughout the park. A Symetrix Radius NX 12×8 processor with a 4-channel analog input expansion card brings those sixteen channels of audio into the system, provides audio processing as needed, and transmits the audio over the park’s Dante network.

Symetrix xOut interfaces (seven xOut 4 and one xOut 12) in the park’s various technical rooms convert the Dante network audio back to analog audio for the 40 channels of zone amplification. Designed exclusively for use with Dante-enabled Symetrix DSP units, the xOut 4 and xOut 12 are configured using Symetrix Composer software.

The Composer Software allows Gardaland’s technicians to quickly configure the entire audio network from anywhere in the park and SymVue control interfaces provide immediate control over all input and output processing, network routing, and paging. The fully custom SymVue interface provides Gardaland’s AV Technicians with simple and intuitive system control as well as the ability to have the features of the interface modified or expanded as needed.

Symetrix’s Web-Based Event Scheduler provides Gardaland with automatic activation of each zone’s audio when the park opens in the morning and automatically deactivates each zone when the park closes. Park staff can access the Web-Based Event Scheduler with a web browser from any phone, tablet, or computer to make temporary or permanent schedule adjustments as needed.

Creating a large, flexible system with simple management and monitoring is always a challenge. When that system is spread out over 50 acres of roller coasters, water rides, shopping, dining, and entertainment venues, the challenge becomes enormous. Combining powerful, flexible products from Symetrix with the expertise of Eurolab and Sisme made it possible to quickly and easily design and install a park-wide solution for Gardaland that’s reliable, simple to manage both centrally and remotely throughout the park, and easy to expand as Gardaland’s needs evolve.

“The system has allowed us to obtain a truly optimal result, thanks to the great reliability of the Symetrix products and the simplicity of configuration and management through the Composer software,” said Simone. “Symetrix products and technology made it possible to create a scalable system, suitable for any future audio expansions in the park.”

Ecstatic with the results, Gardaland Park’s AV Technicians now have flexibility in their audio routing, the ability to remotely monitor any part of the system, and peace of mind that their system will reliably perform every day for years to come. The audio quality in all areas of the over 2,150,000 square foot park has significantly improved and as the park and attractions continue to expand, the new system in place is ready to adapt to the upcoming additions.

“Our favorite thing about Symetrix is the excellent scalability and flexibility in large systems that allows us to manage complex installations very easily,” said Simone. “We are very happy with the result and with the trust that our customer has placed in the Symetrix brand, identifying these products as the perfect solution for the renovation of the Gardaland Park.”