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dreadland
07-13-2012, 09:10 PM
Im needing some help with this issue i'm thinking of using boat speakers and mp3 players but i would be open to any other way that is cheap and weather resistant i have done many indoor haunts but this is the first out door

BarnofTerror Noblesville
07-13-2012, 10:08 PM
You can us regular speakers and black trash bags. Cheap and weather proof!

sean
07-13-2012, 10:36 PM
silicone on the seams and screws of any speakers

rfsystems
07-14-2012, 04:03 PM
I use the same speakers inside as I do out. Just protect them from the elements and take them inside each night if you're woried about them getting damaged.

Just keep in mind that sound doesn't travel in open air like it does in an enclosed space. Electricity isn't as easy to come by when your sene is out in the woods. Planning for outdoor sound normally takes a bit more that planning for indoor sound.

how big is your woods? is the entire event outside? does your path make a big loop or U?

Jim Warfield
07-14-2012, 09:12 PM
By placing them in steel barrels or half-barrels for durable weather shelters and fairly idiot-proof too. Steel barrels are pretty cheap many places.

dreadland
07-14-2012, 11:10 PM
it is 3.5 acres u shape design in the woods no indoor at all also i agree about sound being harder to deal with outside. Thanks for all the feedback you guys are awsome

rfsystems
07-15-2012, 10:33 AM
The last hey ride I worked on we did a mix of AC and DC sound systems. 110v Ac for the ones that carried the ambiant sound and 12v DC for the scene sound systems.
3.5 acres wouldn't be that bad to run AC power lines, run a main line like 10/2 up the center of your U and branch off out to your trail (depending on your watts/amp load) with 12/2.
Extension cords are considered temporary and usualy don't require inspecting. I'd recomend using some electrical tape on your cord connections to keep them from pulling apart and weather tight.

Jim Warfield
07-15-2012, 06:59 PM
Running a line for 80 feet to power an air compressor and the motor might not even run. I saw this when an electrician was building his new house and he couldn't figure out why? (Not much of an electrician, I guess?)
One time there was talk of moving the local Mayfest to the city park and they thought they could power it from the streetlights all ready there! Not a chance in Hell! Cookers, food tents, sound systems= Nope!
Same thing here in my parking lot when the food tent people forgot to get a line ran for power(down the pole by the power Co.) and then they got mad when I refused to "throw them a drop-cord across 90 foot of parking lot to power all their coffee makers, hot dog grills, ex cetra!
Get as mad as you want to, it just doesn't "WORK"! (Yer not blowing my breaker box or blaming me for a brownout and damage to your cookers.)
Funny thing was a guy setting up an inflatable Laser-Tag device ALSO wanted ME to "Throw Him a drop cord" that night too! (A big bunch of lights, several blower motors, recharging stations for the guns)
I guess I'm just a mean guy?
"DUH!?"

rfsystems
07-15-2012, 07:26 PM
Sound systems can draw alot of power. keep track of your amp load and voltage loss over the length of your power run. Get with a local electrician to help you plan your run, just to be safe.

BigT
07-16-2012, 12:16 PM
Outdoor audio is tricky for many reasons. There are many variables to consider but to answer your specific questions:

1. Speakers - when you put a trash bag over the speakers, you might get a rattle from the bag bouncing from the audio. We had this issue last year with a high-output speaker and ended up cutting a hole in the front to allow the speaker to work properly. Remember that sound is created by the speaker pushing air. I have gone to outdoor speakers - less hassle and I don't have to bring them in at night. The amplifier is very small and can be mounted inside props along with the audio repeater.

2. Coverage - You need to also look at your area (or zone) where you want audio to be heard. Trees, shrubs, and other obstructions will alter the sound and its direction. If you are planning on a long throw you will need of course to up your wattage on the amplifiers and speakers.

3. Players - I have made the move to all audio repeaters. Even for outside. I build simple little enclosures that act as props to keep them in, but this is far better than using a CD player out in the elements. The audio repeaters do not take a lot of current to run, and they are instant on when the power is applied (of course you will need amplified speakers for these to work). This has saved me from having to spend half an hour running around to a bunch of CD players and making sure they were looping. Also consider that now yoga re outdoors you are more susceptible to electrical problems, and you don't want to have to run around restarting all your audio when power is restored.

Just a few little things to think about. Hope this helps.

scottylmt
07-16-2012, 01:35 PM
Big T, what are these "repeaters?" Wikipedia is confusing. From what I gathered, it basically receives and then sends a radio signal wirelessly?

scottylmt
07-16-2012, 01:43 PM
Nvm I think I was off.

This seems to fit the context better...
http://www.eletech.com/Products/Audio_Repeaters/QuikWave_Systems/quikwave_systems.htm

A device that stores and plays audio files, but with no moving parts that will break down...

Awesome idea!

scottylmt
07-16-2012, 01:48 PM
That got me thinking.... you mentioned something along the lines of 'instant on' once power is supplied...

Am I correct in assuming you can trigger a sound effect, simply by manipulation the power on/off? (As in an actor triggering his own scream from a speaker behind him)

Thanks

BigT
07-17-2012, 11:42 AM
The audio repeater is basically an MP3/WAV player. Most of them use SD cards that you save files to, and they read these files based on the file name (each vendor is a little different here).. The audio can be activated as soon as power is up and plays continuously, or you can get triggered models that will play different files when triggered by switch or sensor, or another controller.

These things have saved the day for us and are easy to setup and use. They run about $130 depending on what you want them to do. They also make video repeaters but this is a little trickier because ou have to know how to convert DVD videos for play on an SD card (not hard but time consuming).. The same advantage with video players - the video starts as soon as power is up! And they also can be triggered.

If you have ever been to a museum or seen a kiosk with interactive audio, you have seen an audio repeater in use. BTW, they have limited amplification so you will need amplified speakers.

scottylmt
07-17-2012, 11:56 AM
Thanks for the reply. I see frightprops has one, the boo tunes. Its about $130. The site I linked to has them for cheaper, but its 8 bit not cd quality. The cheapest they have of cd quality--$139.

casketvamp2
07-17-2012, 11:56 PM
Hello! Can you tell me what type of audio repeaters you have used?

Thanks!

Randy

BrotherMysterio
07-18-2012, 12:40 AM
If you have ever been to a museum or seen a kiosk with interactive audio, you have seen an audio repeater in use. BTW, they have limited amplification so you will need amplified speakers.

How do you interface it with an amplified speaker, and what do you think of 70-Volt PA Systems?

C.

rfsystems
07-18-2012, 06:00 AM
How do you interface it with an amplified speaker, and what do you think of 70-Volt PA Systems?

C.

Most amplified speakers have a patch cord input. (1/8" mini or 1/4" standard) A lot of people get confused about amplified speakers, but your computer speakers are more than likely amplified speakers. If they have their own power cord then they're amplified speakers. Their size really depends on the wattage. They can be as small as computer speakers (which I've heard some pretty loud ones with their own sub woofer) or as big as PA speakers like what's used for a small band. Amplified speakers would be good for use in a single scene where you don't want the sound to be heard through-out the haunt.

70v systems are a great way to cover a vast area with minimal wiring and one good size amp. They generally aren't as loud as amplified speakers because of their lower wattage design, but they do a better job of filling a vast or large area because you can use more speakers. 70v would be good for Q-lines and background or ambient sound though-out a haunt. Could also double as you public address system for announcements and such. They are also easier to wire up in most cases because you use raw wire and cut it to the length you need instead of having to buy multiple batch cords for everything.

BrotherMysterio
07-18-2012, 06:53 AM
Most amplified speakers have a patch cord input. (1/8" mini or 1/4" standard) A lot of people get confused about amplified speakers, but your computer speakers are more than likely amplified speakers. If they have their own power cord then they're amplified speakers. Their size really depends on the wattage. They can be as small as computer speakers (which I've heard some pretty loud ones with their own sub woofer) or as big as PA speakers like what's used for a small band. Amplified speakers would be good for use in a single scene where you don't want the sound to be heard through-out the haunt.

What can be done with 12v?


70v systems are a great way to cover a vast area with minimal wiring and one good size amp. They generally aren't as loud as amplified speakers because of their lower wattage design, but they do a better job of filling a vast or large area because you can use more speakers. 70v would be good for Q-lines and background or ambient sound though-out a haunt. Could also double as you public address system for announcements and such. They are also easier to wire up in most cases because you use raw wire and cut it to the length you need instead of having to buy multiple batch cords for everything.

That's what I thought and that's what I was leaning towards.

C.

HauntedLehmanPark
07-18-2012, 01:00 PM
This is what we are using this year:

This AMP
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=310-304

Plus this:
http://www.onlyfactorydirect.com/p-330-weatherproof-outdoor-rock-speakers-4-pcs-4r4g.aspx

Gets you 4 speakers that can even run off of battery power.


Honestly depends on how much volume you need. These we place many of them close to the path so they do not need to be too loud.

scottylmt
07-18-2012, 01:27 PM
BLOOD, thanks for the link! I didn't know they had amplifiers that could do all of that; and who would've thought they'd be so inexpensive!?

Have you had a chance to hook them up yet and test it all out? How does it sound???

HauntedLehmanPark
07-18-2012, 01:56 PM
I did have a chance to test them, and they sound OK. You will need a bigger power supply to really drive them hard.

The piece I liked the best was the SD card MP3 player that remembers where it left off when you put power back on the unit. That and the auto-repeat.

At that price its worth giving it a shot and letting us know your feedback as well. Worse case just use it as a repeater and hook up a bigger amp.

HauntedLehmanPark
07-18-2012, 02:01 PM
Also those speakers can be driven pretty hard. You could always recycle old home theater amps and use them as well.. Cheap and easy to get at flea markets and usually put out 70-100 watts a channel.

scottylmt
07-18-2012, 03:04 PM
Thanks.

So let me get this straight, you are plugging these amps into an ac source, and using them to power those rock speakers. If each amp is running four speakers, you must have multiple amps. Is there a way to unify them all so that you have a constant "theme" music? Or are you simply running different loops on each, and the music changes as one progresses down the path?

HauntedLehmanPark
07-18-2012, 03:40 PM
We are only using 4 speaker per area, so each amp has a different sound track.

But there are RCA jacks on the back for audio input / output. So you should be able to connect together as many as you need using the first one as a master.

They also have a couple more powerful amps on the site, so you could use one of these as the MP3 repeater then chain together some of the more powerful amps as well.

BigT
07-18-2012, 04:41 PM
I use the PicoBoo for two effects but it is limited in terms of audio length. For scenes where I need longer audio tracks and multiple audio tracks I use the Wav Runner from HauntBots. Works great, lets you save multiple tracks to one SD card and sequence through them or trigger each track. Comes in either replay only or triggerable as well for $130. There are many others out there but I found these to work really well.

For speakers I use a variety of types. I have some from OnlyFactory (or something like that) that have a USB player built in and a built-in battery. Works great on things like our golf cart and tram. The audio repeater plugs in via mini plug (just like a headset in a radio). I also have some speakers that are simply powered (amplified with no player) I bought this year for some of my other scenes.

I have some smaller speakers that are actually monitor speakers for recording studios. I bought them for my studio and found them to be real handy in the haunt. They are usually a little more expensive but very versatile and put out a lot of sound. Musicians use powered speakers for monitors so they don't have to add another amp in their PA system.

I also have a 32 channel PA system, with mixing console, speakers (SP2s which are big speakers) and amplifier that I use for area sound. The entire ticket area and concessions are covered by this system. The audio repeaters simply plug in where an instrument like a guitar would plug in. I can also run smaller individual powered speakers out of this console through the effects send channel. Gives me a lot of versatility in controlling where I put sound from one central location.

Being a sound and lighting guy, I prefer working with entertainment PAs and playback systems. I've never used a 70v system so can't tell you much about those. I have distributed sound though through a building using a PA system and some creativity!

scottylmt
07-18-2012, 05:59 PM
Excellent information from both of you, thanks.

A question for both: since you're both running outdoor haunts, what do you do with all the wiring and components to avoid red tape and safety problems (not to mention protecting your investment!)? A major concern since I'll be starting outside is how to do the wiring... im thinking run it above the maze obviously, but do you cover it with something to protect it from water?

rfsystems
07-18-2012, 09:24 PM
I also run multiple sound systems, although like "Big T" I also prefer the flexability of the "Entertainment type or live consel systems" like a live band wold use. I use a 24 ch consel with 8 aux sends, 8 sub groups, 2 stereo and 1 mono out, along with 8 stage monitor and 1 sub speaker. The flexability is great. Being able to send any sound I have playing to any room I wish. Plus I talk to the customers while they are making there way through the haunt, so the ability to add effects to my voice is a hugh benefit.

I've been doing the sound for the haunt I volunteer at for so long that the technology aspect of audio repeaters and scene controllers has yet to make its way into the mix of my CD players, computers and tape decks. The way these SD card players and audio repeaters connect into an audio chain is the same as a CD player or any other audio source and I cant wait to start replacing some of my aging technology with a few of these.

I also have a 12v car stereo hooked up to a 12v power supply to play CD's that I've made with different song mixes and informational notices like instructions and advertisements for the concession stand. My car stereo is 100w x 4ch. I use 2 "Planter Speakers" that are actual flowr pots, I barried 2 - 12 gauge extention cords in the ground for my speaker wires between the haunt and the waiting area were the speakers are loctaed. This sytem plays for 6 plus hours a night without any problems.

Planter Speakers like these... http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Hometech-Terra-Cotta-Outdoor-Planter-Speakers/2876202/product.html

A 70v system only pertains to the amp and type of speakers used, audio repeaters, CD players, microphones and other sound sources can all be used with 70v systems, amplified speakers, "Entertainment type" systems. Its all in how you hook it up.

BrotherMysterio
07-19-2012, 06:12 AM
First, awesome info! Longer response forthcoming.

Now . . .


Plus this:
http://www.onlyfactorydirect.com/p-330-weatherproof-outdoor-rock-speakers-4-pcs-4r4g.aspx

Gets you 4 speakers that can even run off of battery power.

. . . can we get the indoor, non-rock version of those?

Tho, that said, they could probably work indoors in scenes involving rocks or stones.

C.