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Tom
05-14-2008, 07:21 AM
Greetings All,

I was reading another thread here about computer control. In that thread it was brought up about audio systems. I just wanted to share my experience with what I am using.

I have 11 CD home theater players with 5.1 outputs. All these players are stacked in a stereo case with speakers (66 total) located/wired thru-out the ride "The Dungeon". Each CD player is providing background sound for it's own room/scene. All this spread out in over 11,000 sq ft haunt. I finally got fed up with the CD players having their moments of hickups, ie. clean discs, set-up each track and set repeat/loop, and sometimes repeat stops repeating (circuits goofing up) thereby shutting down.
I purchased a digital system with 24 tracks, an ADAT 24 digital system.
Just last weekend I finally recorded all scenes on it's own track. I hooked up each individual track to a seperate CD player (yep, I use the CD players for their amperage/wattage. I switch the CD players to "AV-IN" and plug the audio cables from the ADAT system in the AUX input of my CD players. The ADAT has a loop program that stays in place unless programmed otherwise and automatically repeats when the play button is pushed.
So instead of powering up each individual CD system, hitting play and repeat. All I do now is power up the CD players, Power up the ADAT and hit play (once). It loops on it's own (after hitting play) without any other input. Pretty dang simple.

I wanted to add... having each scene triggered thru a computer works well for some, but I want constant background sound thru-out the haunt because it bleeds into joining rooms and adds to the effect. Instead of silence in following rooms until patrons enter, there is sound that gets louder as they approach the room/scene and decreases as they exit a prior scene.

Anyway, I'm very pleased with my ADAT 24 digital recorder/player and made spooling up the haunt ALOT easier/faster. And being digital, it's much more reliable than CDs/CD players. But, with any electronics, you should have a back-up. Well, I still have the CDs in the CD players and can revert back to that if the digital system hick-ups (which I hear is very rare).

If you have a simular set-up as I do, you might look into a multi channel digital recorder/player. Think of it as a bunch of MP3 players all in one. But you only spool up one player for all.

Just my thoughts,

Edit: oh, the repeat on a digital player is much quicker than a CD player.

Tom

Phoenix
05-14-2008, 03:09 PM
G

I wanted to add... having each scene triggered thru a computer works well for some, but I want constant background sound thru-out the haunt because it bleeds into joining rooms and adds to the effect. Instead of silence in following rooms until patrons enter, there is sound that gets louder as they approach the room/scene and decreases as they exit a prior scene.


This is the great thing about using the computer system, you can set up a single speaker system throughout the house with 8 channels (16,24,32 etc are possible) and over that speaker system play a background track that goes out to all speakers, and then triggered feature sounds played from the individual feature speakers... or indeed the same speakers that are playing the background tracks, this is exactly how my system works.

poison
05-14-2008, 05:33 PM
How long is your ADAT TAPE? When it gets to the end do all the backgrounds drop out while the tape rewinds to play again? Dont the longest tapes come in 2 hour formats?

Tom
05-15-2008, 05:59 AM
How long is your ADAT TAPE? When it gets to the end do all the backgrounds drop out while the tape rewinds to play again? Dont the longest tapes come in 2 hour formats?

It doesn't have a tape, it has a hard drive (up to 2 hard drives). No rewinding. This is why it loops without interuption. Even faster than a CD on repeat.
I edited all my music/songs thru Audicity for a length of about 5 minutes & 18 seconds (which was the longest song from one of my CDs). From start to finish, there is no silence. Then it loops at a time I chose to prevent any silence.

Tom

Tom
05-15-2008, 06:02 AM
This is the great thing about using the computer system, you can set up a single speaker system throughout the house with 8 channels (16,24,32 etc are possible) and over that speaker system play a background track that goes out to all speakers, and then triggered feature sounds played from the individual feature speakers... or indeed the same speakers that are playing the background tracks, this is exactly how my system works.

So you have the same background music thru-out the haunt?
I wanted different background music for each scene.

Phoenix
05-15-2008, 06:33 AM
So you have the same background music thru-out the haunt?
I wanted different background music for each scene.

I can do that too, I can even give you a sub-background track throughout the haunt, a background track per set and feature/triggered sounds, all from one PC, you can set the sounds to loop or just play once.

Tom
05-15-2008, 09:20 AM
I can do that too, I can even give you a sub-background track throughout the haunt, a background track per set and feature/triggered sounds, all from one PC, you can set the sounds to loop or just play once.

Phoenix,

So you have the computer running the sound/music. Where does it go from there?

Phoenix
05-15-2008, 10:40 AM
When you use an 7.1 sound card you get 8 line level outputs, which can be connected to any amplifier or combination of amplifiers you wish.

For my purposes I use a 5.1 amplifier kit and a 1000W stereo PA... I could chose to connect 4 stereo PA systems, or indeed other audio equipment that can receive line level input, ie Mixing desks, active speakers, recording equipment.

Tom
05-15-2008, 12:38 PM
So basically, a computer system and a ADAT system is pretty simular in nature.
What you described, I pretty much have the same capabilities of doing.

Phoenix
05-15-2008, 01:05 PM
In that they are both line level players that can play to many channels, yes

But there are many differences, for a start your ADAT has a fixed loop time which each sound file needs to conform to, where with the PC you just loop each sound file individually and it will play ad infinitum, with your ADAT you cant have sounds triggered by sensors, you would have to have auxilary players, which also need their own amplifier and speaker systems.

With an ADAT if you want to change a track then you need to rework the entire tape, where with a PC you just change that particular sound file, again without any head to the length of the track.

Your system does sound very impressive, but I think this topics first post had a suggestion that you can do more with the ADAT than can be done with a PC, however, the truth is completely the opposite, a PC can do everything an ADAT can do and then a LOT more, all that's needed is for someone to build the right PC and write the right software... building the PC is easy, and I've already written the software for an 8 channel player, if there looks to be a need for a 16/24/32/48 channel player then I can write the software for that as swell.

As for cost sound cards cost $20 per 8 channels, but the real savings are with the speaker system which becomes multifunctional as you get to use the same system for background and feature sounds.

Tom
05-15-2008, 01:35 PM
Again, it's not a tape system. And no, I didn't refer to or state in the original thread that the ADAT doing alot more than a computer. And, I don't want my sounds triggered except at the area where the prop is.

I don't wish to argue of which might be better. I already know PC has more flexibility.

I was just explaining a DIFFERENT way to deliver sound from a centralized location, without a PC.