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TOPIC: Sound Playback

Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #13

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Druegar wrote: I have no desire to put anything on my head/ears that has been worn by dozens, possibly even hundreds of other people. :sick:

Nor will most other people!
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They say that the best weapon is the one you never have to use. I respectfully disagree. I prefer the weapon you only have to use once! Oh - and if you really need to think about whether you're going to use the fireball or the + umpty staff of butt-whooping - you're likely to find yourself full of arrows, or fangs, or nasty knives & swords and such. Don't think - just shoot!

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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #14

Picc wrote: it would be nice to have a "closed captioning for the hearing impaired" option if it would work with the current technology.

For sure!

For those who don't know me, I am hearing impaired.
Have you looked it up in the TDb ?
Please post TDb corrections/suggestions in this thread .
If I write something in teal, it should not be taken seriously.

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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #15

Druegar wrote:

Picc wrote: it would be nice to have a "closed captioning for the hearing impaired" option if it would work with the current technology.

For sure!

For those who don't know me, I am hearing impaired.


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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #16

I'm not thinking that headphones would be the default option. For those of us with any degree of hearing impairment, theaters and museums have been doing this for decades. Luckily, my teenage time spent on the drumline has left my hearing 80%+ intact so I almost never need to use those options, but when I need to, I am glad they are an option. Wiping them down with an alcohol prep pad takes about 4 seconds.

I like the headphones option the least, but I like not hearing the audio in the room even less.

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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #17

I'm glad I found this thread, because I wanted to provide the input that this is continuously one of the weakest parts of my favorite part of Gen Con.

I second the thought that a professional should be able to come up with some strong solutions, but even having a Bluetooth speaker that everyone can stand around would have to be an improvement. I know literally zero parts of the story this year that were imparted through recorded dialogue.

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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #18

I also have a hard time hearing the spoken NPC parts. Anything that could make that audio clearer would be great. Would it be possible to separate the vocal track and the backing music? If so, turning down or even dropping the music while the NPC speaks might help a lot. (And could mitigate the “if we turn up the sound in this room we have to turn up the sound in all rooms and we’re right back where we started” problem.) Alternatively, having a screen with closed captions or a “scroll” with the speech on it could help too, especially for people with hearing/audio processing issues. (To cut down on what the DM has to do, maybe the NPC could be in charge of taking a cover off the scroll as they make their speech, if it is on the wall, or guesture to the printed version if it is on a rolled-up scroll?)

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Last edit: by BeLinda Mathie.

Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #19

Thinking about it, the simplest is for the DM to have a card, sort of like a rogue box clue, with the text printed on it.

I mean, the newer sound system they (True Adventures) are talking about moving toward should have the capability to isolate tracks and boost the voice audio while reducing the background, so they should work on that too. But there will ALWAYS be players that can't hear well and it would be very simple to have the card available also.

Even if your hearing is good and the sound is played well, sometimes a word is confusing and seeing it in print will make the point of the room clearer. It's one thing if the puzzle is tricky, it's another if you can't even understand the information you are given.

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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #20

Bhorg wrote: My inexpert ideas for making the rooms with 'speeches' more understandable:

1) provide a transcript, or screen with a closed caption-like feature. The transcript would stay for the duration of the room, but the closed caption would stop when the speech stopped - depending on how the room was intended.

2) I may be wrong, but I think there are no 'ceilings' in the rooms. Structurally, and practically, this makes a lot of sense because of time, materials and the ability for a ceiling to safely stay in place. However, adding perhaps a fabric 'roof' to the room (akin to a carpet over a thin frame) would DRAMATICALLY reduce sound coming and going from the room. Even if PART of the room was covered, the sound in that area would be significantly improved. I do not think this needs to be done throughout the dungeon. But when the effort is in place to make a recording it makes sense that everybody hears it. In the 'everyday' puzzle room, I was standing inches from the speaker and still struggled to hear more than 50%.

3) make headphones available - the ugliest, but maybe easiest, way to let people hear the recording. Wired headphones are dirt-cheap and would never leave the room. A set of headphones behind a small curtain might minimize the visual problem. Bluetooth headphones would obviously be nicer, but would need to be collected by the room DM and need to get charged, etc.


I used to sell and design home theater components and systems in $$$$ homes and offices many moons ago.

The ceiling idea would help but if you ran N1 you know how quickly those ceilings trap heat.

Somewhere around 85% of what you hear is reflected and/or diffracted sound. Instead of aiming the speakers towards players’ heads we should be aiming them at the concrete floors. This would have the benefit of getting more sound bounced towards players’ ears and less noise pollution diffraction around corners as the sound continues up into the ceiling instead of through doorways. Heavier cloth for the doors would also help a lot.

Last but not least these Panasonic home theater in a box setups were not meant for this use and certainly not for this long. At the very least if TD is investing in new Raspberry Pis or Arduinos it should be time to invest in some newer HITBs too.

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Sound Playback 10 months 6 days ago #21

Hey folks! I'm your new "Director of Event Operations", but I've been involved in the "audio engineering" and technical side of TD for many years. Trying to find the right mix across the whole dungeon has been a big challenge, and while I'm dismayed to hear it was such a widespread issue, I'm happy to see a thread discussing possible fixes. Here's some thoughts:

  • My audio engineering skills could use a level up. Either we'll work on that skill tree, or outsource that work.
  • Speaker placement definitely makes a big difference, and the structural makeup of N1 presented a few new challenges. We'll see what we can do about that.
  • A "roof" of sorts might help, but it's a solution we've got to be very careful with - anything we do has to pass the Fire Marshall, which can be a bit tricky.
  • Every DM at GC had a placard in their binder with a printed version of all dialogue in the room for the party's use. It was a recent addition to the binder though, and wasn't widely advertised. We'll see what we can do to increase the knowledge that it's available, etc.
  • Our audio/video/lighting technology is based on an all-in-one solution, which is currently undergoing a complete redesign. We're looking at a lot of different ways to tackle this problem, but the final solution is likely to be raspberry pi based. The idea of adding some sort of subtitling system into the mix is intriguing. We'll be field testing some solutions at GHC, so stay tuned!
Mike Naglee

Director of Event Operations
Chief Goblin Wrangler
Borg Kicker
Doer of Things... And Stuff.


And, isn't sanity really just a one-trick pony anyway? I mean all you get is one trick, rational thinking, but when you're good and crazy, oooh, oooh, oooh, the sky is the limit.

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Sound Playback 10 months 6 days ago #22

We had an issue in room 7 of Into the Viper Pit which made the NPC dialogue unable to heard. Either the other sounds were too loud or the NPC dialogue was too quite. Both of the NPC's ended up just speaking the lines, but it isn't the best solution.

I think a move to using Raspberry Pi's is the next logical step to bettering the audio and other effects throughout the dungeon. Although Pi's present their own problems, it could be a solution to eventually better the audio quality/effects throughout the dungeon.

EDIT

A possible solution would be to purchase a Pi for every room and run all the audio files off the Pi's. Then the amplitude of every track could be edited easily, but this would require a complete redesign of the DVD system currently in place. It could also be a solution to fix the internal drift of the microprocessors by utilizing NTP (Network Time Protocol) to sync all of the rooms to a central clock.
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Last edit: by Nick Braun.

Sound Playback 10 months 6 days ago #23

Doing a little research on the Raspberry Pi v3, it seems to have everything necessary to be the central controller of every room. Although it would require a HDMI spliter and USB to DMX, the Pi could easily handle the DMX and audio through it's 8 channeled audio HDMI port. Additionally, the v3 has built in wireless card which could be used to sync them together to reduce drifting if that's something your looking to fix.

Specs:

SoC: Broadcom BCM2837 (roughly 50% faster than the Pi 2)
CPU: 1.2 GHZ quad-core ARM Cortex A53 (ARMv8 Instruction Set)
GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV @ 400 MHz
Memory: 1 GB LPDDR2-900 SDRAM
USB ports: 4
Network: 10/100 MBPS Ethernet, 802.11n Wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.0
Pulling Arcane Recipes since 2010

New Tokens coming soon! Nick's Token Bazaar.

Cranston's Character Generator for iDevices or Android
Amorgen's Excel Character Generator
Acherin's Online TD Character Creator
TokenDB , maintained by Druegar

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Sound Playback 10 months 4 days ago #24

Nick, you’re pretty dead-on with the type of system we’ve been designing. Pi 3+, python daemon, OLA for DMX control, pygame or omxplayer wrapper for audio, central server for logging and NTP for time sync. We’re looking at I/O options and hardening now. :)
Mike Naglee

Director of Event Operations
Chief Goblin Wrangler
Borg Kicker
Doer of Things... And Stuff.


And, isn't sanity really just a one-trick pony anyway? I mean all you get is one trick, rational thinking, but when you're good and crazy, oooh, oooh, oooh, the sky is the limit.

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