Case Study: Philly From The Top

Elevator Ride
Info Station Samples

One Liberty Observation Deck

Experiential Sound / Custom Music

One Liberty Observation Deck in Philadelphia is touted as the tallest attraction in the city. At 883 feet high, visitors to the Philly From The Top experience are treated to awe-inspiring panoramic views of the cityscape and beyond. The design team behind the attraction — Chicago Scenic Studios — partnered with SAM to enhance the experience with immersive sound and music.

SAM was asked to develop experiential sound throughout the Philly From The Top experience from thematic exhibits, to information stations, to the elevator rides — every component of the custom audio had to seamlessly move visitors through the tour, and all had to sound unmistakably like Philly.

Beginning with the entrance, SAM developed thematic music to accentuate the concourse-level photo walls displaying Philadelphia’s iconic culture and people. On level two, visitors encounter a larger-than-life sculpture of Benjamin Franklin’s feet enveloped in a thunderstorm, for which SAM created an immersive soundscape to represent the infamous kite and key experiment.

The elevator rides up and down each feature unique inspirational videos with custom music perfectly timed to the length of the ride. Atop the observation deck, SAM developed original music and voice-over content to accentuate four themed ‘quadrants’ covering the topics of culture, sports, music, and late-night. Adding to the complexity, SAM’s sonic creations had to work within a multitude of speaker arrangements, from stereo, to 4-channel, to directional and more. Mixing to these speaker arrangements ensured that each area of the experience remained unique and immersive without taking away from adjacent areas of the tour.

Both Chicago Scenic and One Liberty Observation Deck were thrilled with SAM’s experiential sound contributions, and visitors have raved about the experience. Upon opening, Philly From The Top became an instant hit, entertaining thousands of visitors annually and becoming a memorable attraction for the city of Philadelphia.