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Author Topic: Controlling an array of 16 speakers  (Read 644 times)
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melbourne, AU
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Hi all,

I'm working on sound design for a production in melbourne this august.  My idea is to place a grid array of, say, 16 small speakers (4x4) concealed within the audience and to create a 'field' of sound that can be moved dynamically around the grid.

At this stage, the only way I can think of doing this is by using a 16-channel midi-controlled mixer to route sound (either from a single source, or from 16 individual sources via a computer soundcard) to each of the 16 speakers.  I would make a 2-dimensional controller using arduino to interpolate the sound 'position' and set the volume of each channel on the mixer accordingly in realtime.

I just wanted to put the idea out on this forum to see if anyone had some any ideas about how this could be achieved, or any suggestions for a different equipment setup.  I'm not particularly well acquainted with pro audio gear, so the more low-tech the solution, the better!

Thanks,

Jon.
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Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Well for one thing you'd need 8(?) Soundcards, which seems a little unfeasible, but whatever floats your boat.

As far as the Arduino half of it goes, That's a good way to do it, I'd hook up 2 linear potentiometers to the analog pins, then just send the values over serial, you COULD do the actually speaker processing on the Arduino itself, but since you're sending data to a computer anyways, just write your actual program to suit.
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melbourne, AU
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Quote
you COULD do the actually speaker processing on the Arduino itself.

that sounds a lot less painless.... any ideas how to go about doing that?  i have 2 arduinos - i could use one for controller processing, the other to drive the speaker matrix...?

otherwise, i think i might be able to get my hands on a 16-channel soundcard - which would be a lot more practical than 8 soundcards.  but really, my preference would be to have no computer at all so if anyone is able to suggest a way to do all the processing on arduino(s) i'd be uber grateful!
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Well either way, the actual sound would have to be produced by something else that accepts Midi. For what you want to do, a computer would be easiest, not 100% sure, but I don't think a "16 Speaker Midi controlled sound module" Exists.

As far as how to do it,

I'd probably define each speaker, then the code would look like,
Code:
if
xPot <50 >100 & yPot <50 >100
speaker1 = HIGH
...
midi.send(speaker1, 2, 3)

And so on, this would be pretty "monotone" where the sound would jump around, unless you define halves, but that gets really complex.

There's probably a way to create a more efficient table of some sort, but that's the best I see.
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Paris XX
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Hello,
I made a 16 ways sound install last year. I used an old mac G4 with a digi001 card (8 analog aoutputs) plus an behringer adat box (8 output more), 2 x 8 channels headphone amp, 16 little loudspeakers and max/msp to change sound (using buffer~) and intensity (using slider~) on each output. pureData (free…) can do the same. So you can use arduino to input your information via serial (no midi involved). It worked well with 8 different sound sources (mono 16 bits 44.1 khz), With a simple sound source, that would be more easy…
Jacques
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You could consider usnig a joystick for the positioning. Make sure it's an analog joystick with 2 potentiometers and use them as X and Y as suggested above.
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