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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB: The Classic Live Audio Board => Topic started by: Aaron Watson on October 29, 2011, 04:54:43 am

Title: Multichannel parade audio system
Post by: Aaron Watson on October 29, 2011, 04:54:43 am
How would I deliver a multichannel parade audio (like they do for the Disney parades) where a street loop track is going to street speakers and separate music tracks are going to each float simultaneously. What do I need to be able to do this???
Title: Re: Multichannel parade audio system
Post by: Craig Leerman on October 29, 2011, 04:59:10 am
Please go to your profile and change the "Name" field to your real full name as required by the posting rules clearly displayed in the header at the top of the section, and in the Site Rules and Suggestions (http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/board,36.0.html) in the Forum Announcements section.

Title: Re: Multichannel parade audio system
Post by: Mike Diack on October 29, 2011, 09:22:56 pm
How would I deliver a multichannel parade audio (like they do for the Disney parades) where a street loop track is going to street speakers and separate music tracks are going to each float simultaneously. What do I need to be able to do this???

I did an 8 channel one of these recently and simply used 8 MP3 players with simultaneous start pulse and staggered tracks. I was initially worried about them sliding out of sync, but over an entire 6.2 hour loop time the maximum discrepancy was 0.75 seconds (at which point a global reset pulled them all in to line again).
BTW I do worry that the Mods are more interested in asserting the rules publicly than answering the question. Surely these issues could be dealt with in private email.
M
Title: Re: Multichannel parade audio system
Post by: Brad Weber on October 30, 2011, 08:17:49 am
BTW I do worry that the Mods are more interested in asserting the rules publicly than answering the question. Surely these issues could be dealt with in private email.
The full name rule is clearly stated at the top of each page and violations approached the same for everyone.  Since the alternative would be to lock the thread with no indication of why it was locked, it seems to make sense for the Mods to post something.


Aaron, what are you actually asking?  Are you asking about the content creation, the content playback, the content delivery, the reinforcement systems or all of these?

What is your role?  Are you an organizer of the event, a participant, a content creator, someone being paid to design or install the system?
Title: Re: Multichannel parade audio system
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on October 30, 2011, 01:15:14 pm

BTW I do worry that the Mods are more interested in asserting the rules publicly than answering the question. Surely these issues could be dealt with in private email.
M

I think it might be that it is more noticeable when posted in the thread.  If someone misses the clearly printed instructions at the top of the page, how likely are they to notice the small message notification?  I know a lot of regular users who take a long time to respond to PM's because they just don't notice the little number which appears signalling "message received".  I wouldn't bet on a newb noticing it.
Title: Re: Multichannel parade audio system
Post by: Pete Erskine on October 30, 2011, 05:42:37 pm
The correct way to mount "an Electric Parade" sound system is with wireless links to each float. 

The magic of the parade is that the background park system plays music which is the base line and bed for all of the float specific theme music, not just another bit if music. 

All channels are from a multi channel playback system and therefore are always in exact sync.

Pictures from an installation at Discovery world in Korea.

1.  Control room.  Rack, mixer and show control computer monitor.

2.  Lectrosonic transmitters, AC powered and passively combined and then re-amplified to about 1 Watt ERP, not the best way to do it but inexpensive and not legal in the US.

3.  Typical float sound system showing batteries for AC inverter and CD for testing which is replaced by a receiver.

4.  Rack with audio monitor switcher, multi track playback, transmitters and RF combiner and eq for Park audio feed.

5.  Antenna on roof of parade building fed via 1" heliax low loss coax about 180' from control room.
Title: Re: Multichannel parade audio system
Post by: David Buckley on November 10, 2011, 06:09:13 am
The way that Disney used to do it (and I dont know if this is still how they do it today) is they sent SMPTE timecode over the air using walkie talkie quality gear, and each float had a timecode receiver, along with a timecode locked playback system.  So each float (and this is Disney: we're talking dozens of floats) had its own little musical and effects thing going and the park speakers had the main theme, also locked to timecode, so you get this constantly changing musical montage.

Because we're talking timecode to the float, the timecode also drove the float lighting, so the music and lighting stayed in sync.  Thus the maical moment moment when all the floats go from coloured twinkly lights to white twinkly lights simultaneously.
Title: Re: Multichannel parade audio system
Post by: Pete Erskine on November 10, 2011, 07:18:32 am
It probably was not smpte time code since this is digital and not transmittable over radios.  FSK time code is an audio based TC which can be sent over radio.  If you have a large number of floats this method only uses one radio channel instead of a different one for each float.  It is much more expensive, however, due to the added synchronization equipment and separate music playback devices on each float.
Title: Moderation
Post by: Mac Kerr on November 10, 2011, 11:29:52 am
I think it might be that it is more noticeable when posted in the thread.  If someone misses the clearly printed instructions at the top of the page, how likely are they to notice the small message notification?  I know a lot of regular users who take a long time to respond to PM's because they just don't notice the little number which appears signalling "message received".  I wouldn't bet on a newb noticing it.

We do send private email, as well as PMs, but without the public posting we in turn get lots of emails from members reporting a problem that has already been dealt with. People should continue to report issues, but the mods will use public postings to make it clear that action has been taken.

Mac
Title: Re: Multichannel parade audio system
Post by: Henry Cohen on November 10, 2011, 12:12:42 pm
Pictures from an installation at Discovery world in Korea.

1.  Control room.  Rack, mixer and show control computer monitor.

2.  Lectrosonic transmitters, AC powered and passively combined and then re-amplified to about 1 Watt ERP, not the best way to do it but inexpensive and not legal in the US.

3.  Typical float sound system showing batteries for AC inverter and CD for testing which is replaced by a receiver.

4.  Rack with audio monitor switcher, multi track playback, transmitters and RF combiner and eq for Park audio feed.

5.  Antenna on roof of parade building fed via 1" heliax low loss coax about 180' from control room.

So that's what the install looked like; I never saw photos after the transmission system left the shop.
Title: Re: Multichannel parade audio system
Post by: Patrick Tracy on November 10, 2011, 01:58:38 pm
It probably was not smpte time code since this is digital and not transmittable over radios.

SMPTE VITC is part of a video signal and would probably have to be transmitted like any other video, but I bet you could transmit SMPTE LTC over a walkie-talkie.
Title: Re: Multichannel parade audio system
Post by: David Buckley on November 10, 2011, 02:58:32 pm
...but I bet you could transmit SMPTE LTC over a walkie-talkie.
Yeah, I should have been more specific; LTC.  Vitzee is only bandied about when the video boys get involved.

Title: Re: Multichannel parade audio system
Post by: Henry Cohen on November 10, 2011, 03:28:44 pm
SMPTE VITC is part of a video signal and would probably have to be transmitted like any other video, but I bet you could transmit SMPTE LTC over a walkie-talkie.

I suspect it can't, unless SMPTE LTC requires significantly less audio bandwidth than typical SMPTE time code which requires about 10kHz. This is substantially more than two-way radio audio bandwidth of 3kHz.
Title: Re: Multichannel parade audio system
Post by: Aaron Watson on November 28, 2011, 03:07:21 pm
Aaron, what are you actually asking?  Are you asking about the content creation, the content playback, the content delivery, the reinforcement systems or all of these?

What is your role?  Are you an organizer of the event, a participant, a content creator, someone being paid to design or install the system?
Sorry for my lateness. Was in England with little wifi. These are all brilliant answers, folks. Thank you all Very much for your input on this.

I can create all the musical content that goes into the multiple tracks and how the need to be musically aligned. I've been trying to learn about how to achieve the perfect playback and delivery of these parade tracks for smaller venues.

Thanks again for the brilliant input and photos on the subject. I have a feeling this thread will be useful for some time to people looking for these answers as they are very difficult to find. I used to perform in parades at disney and universal and I can tell you that No One every really knows how the parade works. They all think it's from, and I quote, "a big computer somewhere", and that's it. Magic big computer. When was the last time you actually saw "a big computer", hahaha.