View Full Version : Haunted House Background Sound - One Computer / Multiple Speakers
08-20-2008, 07:27 PM
At our haunted house we usually run individual cd players in each room with a 5 speaker output stereo running the "main hall." We have about 9 or 10 rooms that need separate sound effects / background music. Does anyone know of a way that this could be done with a single computer Or even just two computers? One of the people running the HH suggested using an audio editing program that we have used before and splitting the sound by channel and using a 7.1 surround sound card (ex. having 1 track running on Left front, 1 on left back, etc..). This is our second year, last year it was a major pain running around and resetting CD players because the tracks ran out, or because someone bumped one, the even more embarrassing CD skipping several times, etc. We're a church so funds are pretty low, but being in the computer biz I have access to plenty of computer goods. I wanted to try running everything off a central computer (I have a pretty decent system that can handle a large load of stuff). Any ideas welcome & thanks in advance!
08-20-2008, 08:30 PM
One of the people running the HH suggested using an audio editing program that we have used before and splitting the sound by channel and using a 7.1 surround sound card (ex. having 1 track running on Left front, 1 on left back, etc..).
Looks like you've got it all figured out. I don't see why that wouldn't work. As long as you also have a program that will play (and loop) 7.1 coded audio. You'll still need 7.1 amplification though. I have a 5.1 SB Live! card on my gaming machine, but I can't just plug the speakers into the card. I have to use a home theater receiver and the sound card's optical output.
08-21-2008, 02:46 PM
I may have been the person who made that suggestion, using 7.1 sound is one of my tricks
here's a link to my webpage where I have put my free mixing software any questions drop me an email
btw I've had problems reported with mixing in Vista, but no time to investigate, try and use this stuff on an XP machine... even if its just for mixing the sound.
If you want to run sound lights and motion control off of a single computer then I can help you in that respect too, its something ive done a lot of work on, and can control most of a Haunted house from a single computer
08-23-2008, 09:06 PM
Thanks for the input! I didn't think about the outputs :-) I have a 5.1 and forgot that they don't connect straight through.
And as for Vista.. HATE IT. :-) I only run XP ;)
08-24-2008, 04:57 AM
Vista grows on you after a while, I wouldn't bother to upgrade an old XP PC to Vista, but its OK... my biggest beef with Vista is that they have made major changes to the sound management stuff and I've not have a chance to work out the new stuff
08-24-2008, 05:59 AM
Have you guys ever tried a product called QSound??
I once saw a haunt video that said on its cover that it was made in
"3D QSound," and I didn't know what it was. So I looked it up.
I listened to the demos, and to me, it made such a difference in the
sound that it was like when stereo went to surround.
If you want to look at it, here's the demo page:
And no, I don't get any kickbacks from this, LOL, nor do I know
how a sound system works in a haunt.
But you never know, maybe this will be helpful to someone. ???
08-24-2008, 06:05 AM
I looked at a system like this when I was looking for a decent home theatre system.
The problem I found at the time is that there is a very small sweet spot where is actually works.
The other thing to remember is that when using a 7.1 system you can use it as 8 separate speakers OR as a combine surround sound system, and I'm not sure how these kinds of systems will function outside a surround sound setup
08-24-2008, 06:15 AM
Phoenix, are you referring to the QSound, or are you talking about what the
other guys mentioned?
Sorry to be a little slow here. :(
08-24-2008, 06:29 AM
Qsound, I nearly bought a top of the range Sony system that gave SS from two speakers and whilst the sweet spot was very good, it was also very small, move outside the sweet spot and it didn't sound so great.
IMO 5.1 and 7.1 systems do have a use in haunting, but not as SS systems, I use them as multiple 'separate' speaker systems, and this is the application that the OP was talking about.
I don't know the current status of the Qsound type of technology, but even if its made huge advances I doubt its a technology that can give you sounds in different rooms or areas of the haunt, I would expect that at best it can only be used in a single open space.
08-24-2008, 06:40 PM
I guess I was working under the impression that each room
was outfitted with its own SS system.
That would be kind of expensive, though, wouldn't it? LOL
09-03-2008, 02:22 AM
First off......Happy HOLY SH*T we OPEN IN 3 FU**ING WEEKS time of the year for everyone. Hope your builds and pre-sell's are going well. My daily IAAPA data shows very good signs for strong local support this year and our local fall festivals are reporting record breaking openings.
Now on to the sound...
This topic came up last year. I spent a little time ranting a bit on how we tend to overlook the importance of sound in our atttractions (sorry... audio is my passion.... next to haunting of course). Here is a link to the thread that talks about what you are describing.
I still use the same setup in many attractions (not just haunts) I design sound for. It works, and runs with little to no issues at a cost that is hard to beat.
Email with questions as I dont get to the PM's as often as I should. (especially this time of year)
pro audio dude AT com cast DOT net (yes you need to put all those words together)
09-11-2008, 09:42 AM
We run all our music with MP3 players. (got some nice pink ones from Toys Y Us for $15 a peice. Each room has its speaker set up in it and then we run the wire to the mp3 player. We just spliced the headphones to the speakers and plugged them in. They are self amping speakers so they work great! Just load the music onto the MP3 player with your computer turn it to repeat and hit play..
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