[microsound] High channel playback configs

Scott Carver scott at artificia.org
Tue Jul 20 20:30:15 EDT 2010

I worked on a 40 channel installation last year - we ran it from two synced laptops, with a pair of MOTU ultralite's each (MOTU hardware chains easily via firewire). It worked very well, with a few caveats: (a) time sync was not too accurate and (b) on the mac laptops, getting all the outputs ordered and set up correctly usually took about 15-20 (somewhat nerve-wracking) minutes. But, if you're only setting up once, this is a non-issue.

We used ultralite's because we already had some, they were reliable and easy to configure, and frankly we were buying them with grant money and wanted something versatile we could use for other projects. We considered some other custom solutions, but the other parts of the system ended up being so complex and finicky that having a super-reliable hardware setup was a lifesaver (when no sound comes out of a speaker, the fewer things you have to check to fix it the better). There's probably no reason you couldn't run two chains of two MOTU's off a single computer, giving you 48 outputs pretty easily.

This was all very interactive sound, being generated live - if you're just playing things back, more modular setups (PIC's, mp3 players, etc) would obviously be better.

Hope that helps.

On Jul 20, 2010, at 5:10 PM, David Kim-Boyle wrote:

> Hi all,
> I am working on a sound installation that requires over 40 independent audio playback channels, each of which is routed to a dedicated loudspeaker. Does anyone have any suggestions for hardware configurations for such a setup? The audio needs to be synchronized but doesn't need to be of particularly high resolution. I'm considering building some PIC wav players for the job but wonder if anyone with relevant experience might know of feasible hardware alternatives.
> Thanks,
> David_______________________________________________
> microsound mailing list
> microsound at microsound.org
> http://or8.net/mailman/listinfo/microsound

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