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TOPIC: Sound Playback

Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #25

Glad to see this is being addressed. In fact, it seems some of the speakers were made louder between day 1 and day 2 at Gen Con. However, this created a new problem as they were so loud that I was clearly hearing other rooms or even other dungeons. Were rooms closer together than in years past?

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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #26

Mike Naglee wrote: 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.

My mind processes that as:
An Official Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot, range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing that tells time.

To which I say, "Make sure you don't shoot your pi out!"
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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #27

Nick Braun wrote: 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


I've been setting up Pi 3s for a number of tasks, the most common of which is to use as a cable box with HD Homerun and Kodi.

FYI, The integrated wireless gets flaky and can drop signal at longer distances (~30 feet), and it is very temperamental to temperature. I highly recommend an aluminum enclosure with thermal pad to help keep the temperature under control over longer periods - as long as there is something to soak heat from the main arm chip, the wireless is much more stable. Also, those little 40mm fans built into the cheaper plastic cases just don't cut it over time, in case you're thinking about that - you'll get about 6 months to a year of use out of them and then they will be making a ton of noise if they are still spinning.

Finally, I've had some flakiness with the HDMI audio where suddenly it loses all the highs and just ends up as all base. This takes about 24 hours of video playback to happen though, so it may not be an issue for TD. Also, a reboot fixes the issue, so it might be something tied specifically to kodi.

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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #28

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In a few years - when we all have direct cortex implants - we can just have the audio uploaded real-time into our brains.
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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #29

Yeah, I'm sure a lot can be done with the right programming, but I think you would get more bang for your buck with just better equipment. The current "borg" systems are home surround-sound systems using the speakers with the wires long enough to reach the designated spot on the grid. Upgrade these to quality wireless speakers and the sound can instead come from a speak on or close to the NPC and it will sound a lot better.

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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #30

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Beertram wrote: Yeah, I'm sure a lot can be done with the right programming, but I think you would get more bang for your buck with just better equipment. The current "borg" systems are home surround-sound systems using the speakers with the wires long enough to reach the designated spot on the grid. Upgrade these to quality wireless speakers and the sound can instead come from a speak on or close to the NPC and it will sound a lot better.


That's reasonable
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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 #31

Beertram wrote: Yeah, I'm sure a lot can be done with the right programming, but I think you would get more bang for your buck with just better equipment. The current "borg" systems are home surround-sound systems using the speakers with the wires long enough to reach the designated spot on the grid. Upgrade these to quality wireless speakers and the sound can instead come from a speak on or close to the NPC and it will sound a lot better.


Frequency range starts being an issue depending on the setup, how many discrete channels in a give range, start designing TD rooms like micro cells with a couple of 'towers' in the dungeon. Interesting thought, though would basically require a heatmap every con for every dungeon.

Then again I'm nearly a grey beard and prefer hard cabling for must have critical situations.
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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #32


FYI, The integrated wireless gets flaky and can drop signal at longer distances (~30 feet), and it is very temperamental to temperature. I highly recommend an aluminum enclosure with thermal pad to help keep the temperature under control over longer periods - as long as there is something to soak heat from the main arm chip, the wireless is much more stable. Also, those little 40mm fans built into the cheaper plastic cases just don't cut it over time, in case you're thinking about that - you'll get about 6 months to a year of use out of them and then they will be making a ton of noise if they are still spinning.


If the wireless becomes a huge issue you could use Ethernet to hookup all 7 rooms of the dungeon to a central switch for each specific dungeon. Once that's out of the way, you could setup links between the switches to essentially create a local network just for TD. But, this seems unnecessary if the wireless cards work.
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Last edit: by Nick Braun.

Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #33

Great info, Endgame - thank you. We'll be doing stress testing of course, but the heads up on wireless flakiness and overheating is very useful. Our current plan doesn't involve any actual *dependency* on network connectivity, just added features if it's there. I'll make sure we include more adequate cooling than seems necessary, just to be ahead of the problem.

Beertram, I definitely agree with you that a quick solution might be just new audio equipment. The immediate blocker there is that the current BORG hardware triggers the relevant track on the HITB via an IR pulse, so interchangeability isn't really a thing here. We're looking at several solutions that could work as a stopgap (a sort of DVD player emulator is one) while we finish design work of a completely new version.
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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #34

I think no matter what you do with the sound design, you are still going to have problems where people can't hear. I personally have some hearing loss in one of my ears and I often have to watch the mouth/face of someone talking to understand them properly. I can't do that if the person who is talking is wearing a mask and having a pre-recorded message play in the background. A projector with a text crawl in the room (subtitles/closed captioning), or simply a written up transcript of the recording would be nice.

I only really had this issue with the pre-recorded pieces, and all the NPC actors who provided dialog did a wonderful job.

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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #35

Mike Naglee wrote: Great info, Endgame - thank you. We'll be doing stress testing of course, but the heads up on wireless flakiness and overheating is very useful. Our current plan doesn't involve any actual *dependency* on network connectivity, just added features if it's there. I'll make sure we include more adequate cooling than seems necessary, just to be ahead of the problem.

Beertram, I definitely agree with you that a quick solution might be just new audio equipment. The immediate blocker there is that the current BORG hardware triggers the relevant track on the HITB via an IR pulse, so interchangeability isn't really a thing here. We're looking at several solutions that could work as a stopgap (a sort of DVD player emulator is one) while we finish design work of a completely new version.


Hi Mike,

Since your use case is going to be different than mine, better cooling may be overkill. However, I can also imagine your raspberry PIs could end up in an area with little airflow in the convention and you don't really want to have to mess with them mid con after they are setup, either.

For my last batch of PIs I setup, I used the Flirc aluminum pi case: www.amazon.com/Flirc-Raspberry-Case-Gen2-Model/dp/B07349HT26/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_tr_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=E8XZ97512PTB6BMMKZ3X

Temp after 24 hours of streaming HD (in other words, I went to bed and forgot to turn off the stream) is 126 degrees F. My previous solution was a plastic case with fan and an old video card ramsink on the SOC. This hit around 135 F after 24 hours (until the fan fails). Without a fan and without a ramsink, the stream crashes on wifi when it hits about 160 F - about 4 to 6 hours of streaming. If I use Ethernet, it will run longer - maybe 12 to 15 hours, but it will hard lock and require pulling the power plug to reboot.

Hopefully that gives you some ideas.

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Sound Playback 10 months 1 week ago #36

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


+1

I remember potion workshop room from last year was 10-15 degrees hotter with the fake roof overhead, I had to stand under the small section that was open to feel any air moving, as the A/C is being pumped down and this would make each room sealed curtain boxes with 11 people inside.

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