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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,


I'm hoping someone can help me, especially since I'm not 100% of what I should ask for. I'm working on a project where I would want some hardware which can output a dozen distinct audio feeds from a hub. The analogy I would use is a router which can support network traffic to several computers.


Anyone have a suggestion where I can look to for this? Ideally, the device would power the speakers (they're not too big) through the speaker wire.


Much thanks for any help,


Dave
 

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You are going to need to supply a lot more information. How many different source feeds do you need to support. You say a dozen distinct audio feeds do you need support for 12 sources and if so what are those sources? (analog, digital, hdmi, something else)


For the 12 outputs do you want to a specific input to each output or will they all get the same input feed at the same time. What make and model speakers.


Budget? That will help a lot. Also, how about more info on what you are setting up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Audio sources will be digital (mp3 or some other format) that will be split via a controller to the dozen destinations. Each destination should be treated as just a generic speaker fed by a speaker wire & power line. Consider this as taking a song, and sending each instrument to a different speaker (a reverse sound board.)


Budget is unknown. I'm looking to create a controller so the main point of this inquiry is to figure out what's out there and know what to look for. I've seen some digital wireless 'speaker routers' out there for $600+, I'm looking to develop a device which is about ~$100 retail. The best analogy I can come up with here is a 20 port network router.


I know I'm being vague here, but unfortunately I'm not knowledgeable to be more precise.


Thanks for any help,


Dave
 

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Ok, I'm still not sure what you are trying to do here but I can help on a couple points.


1) Sources are digital, got that. How many?

2) You say each destination will be treated as a generic speaker with speaker wire and power line. A generic speaker in most cases is not powered so it will only require a speaker wire connection. That speaker wire connection needs to come from and amplified source so that source must have a built in amplifier. On the other hand there are also powered speakers that have build in amplifiers that will then need a speaker connection form a non amplified source and a power connection.

3) "Consider this as taking a song, and sending each instrument to a different speaker (a reverse sound board.)" - This part is really confusing. What do you mean by this? Do you expect this "device" to take the inbound signal and be able to send different frequency ranges to different speakers? If so then that is a crossover and in this case an active crossover. If you actual want to differentiate the instruments, I've got no ideas on that and that woudl be really difficult if not impossible.


Maybe I'm just not getting what you are trying to do here. Is this a commercial application?


Is something like that what you are talking about?
http://www.htd.com/whole-house-audio...4Pa38Ta38Ochr0
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1) 2-20

2) Ok - good to know. I'm probably talking amplified as I want to keep the wire count down.

3) If you've ever worked with audio/video editing software the following example should make sense. When editing, you have the option of putting each audio file on a separate track. Useful for mixing and what not. Effectively, I'll have software with up to 20 separate tracks. Each track will be played to a different audio destination. In the case of music, IF the artist provides each instrument on it's own track, I can play each instrument on a separate speaker. I agree with you on automatically pulling out instruments from a mp3, that would be very challenging.


For now, it's for a business plan competition. Sadly, I think I'll need 250K-450K to get it going. Yikes!


Still, thanks for any help and the link.
 

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What you are trying to do is essentially impossible using any one specific piece of equipment. You are trying to take a recorded array of individual tracks and play each one separately through a speaker such that each speaker reproduces ONLY one instrument from one track. There has been no mixing at this point, therefore they must be reproduced just as they are recorded- by 20 different amplifier /speaker combinations.


The effect is easy but costly to obtain. You will need 20 individual preamp/amp + speaker systems.


There are numerous systems out there to pick from but your estimated price tags make it utterly impossible.


Unless your description is not exactly what you are trying to accomplish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nuts. Ok, I figured there wasn't anything on the market which did this. Sounds like if it were ever to happen, I would have to pay to create my own device. I don't even want to think about how much that might be.


Just an FYI, The output device is $100, speakers are extra. They don't need to be great speakers, at most audible at 50'.
 

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Multizone amps are mono and designed for basic backround music and PA paging use. Fidelity is not the grade I believe you would want.


Aside from trying to spatially recreate an orchestra setup, what are you looking to do with this?


BTW filling a area at 50' from the speaker with quality reproduction will require a serious setup x 20.
 

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Might be cheaper just to hire an orchestra. Would probably sound better, too.
 

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I think it's highly possible. Going on 12 channels of audio requirement, with a decent level of quality.


- 12 speakers $480 (this price can vary widely based on your fidelity requirements)

- 12 channels of aplification $240

- Sufficient power supply $80


That price is if you DIY something together. Add 50% if you need someone else to build it for you, or subtract 10-50% if you can get it mass production.


I presume you'll be sorting out the software to output to a couple of multichannel sound cards.
 

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If one PC is the only source, how is syncronisation going to be a concern?
 

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Considering the price point he was looking for, it is impossible if you are looking for any level of low noise, low distortion and acceptable system gain to justify owning a multi-track system in the first place and then dealing with 12+ individuals pow amp/speaker systems.


What is to be gained over a good quality mix and the appropriately adjusted playback?
 

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I'm pretty sure the $100 budget is just for the software and a way of getting 12 channels or so out of a PC. You can get 12 channels out of a PC for around $30 USD, so that leaves $70 USD for profit on the software.


The issue the OP has is there's not many of the shelf 12 channel + amps and quality speaker packages out there to bundle with the software/PC soundcard solution. Now obviously they can be had (multiples of 2 channels are easily available), but we have no indication of the desired budget for this part yet.


In the end all I think the OP needs is a suitable multichannel sound card(or cards). This will the distribute the individual channels of audio to what ever amp/speaker combos the developer or end user chooses to use.
 

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If you dedicate one channel to each instrument, you may need 30-60 channels.


But since this concept was the basis for 2.0, 4.0,5.1, 7.1 etc, what purpose does this fill? The resultant wavefront(s) from all the speakers will take you right back to where we are now-or worse.


The cost let alone the engineering degree it would take to correctly balance all this equipment and the hardware cost makes it, IMHO, not too practical.
 

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I can see some practical uses for it, but I'll let the OP start that discussion.

Quote:
Why stop at 12?

Exactly. If it was me I'd build something modular. Sets of 6 channels should be good. I only used 12 as a a basis to start costing up an implementation. Realistically one might have to put a limit in somewhere, as you'll want to offer some level of support, and supporting someone with 600 channels might not be a wise use of ones time.

Quote:
The cost let alone the engineering degree it would take to correctly balance all this equipment and the hardware cost makes it, IMHO, not too practical.

I disagree, then again we have no idea yet what the application of this is, and what quality is required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Let me put it this way, hopefully it will add some clarity: I'm building what is effectively a kids toy, though the toy is spread out over multiple devices. So take the music from a kids play guitar, that's the quality I'm aiming for (well, hopefully a little bit better.) I'm not looking for CD/home stereo level fidelity or syncing, though I'm not sure how that would be a problem if it was computer controlled. It may be the biggest issue is power needs and/or any hardware cooling needs as this is meant to be outdoors.


Good note about modularity - that's a good way to design it. I would be custom building the device to do this, meaning I would be going to an electronics firm custom building. Now I just need to sweet-talk someone with money.
 

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Yeah, it sounds like you want a public address setup, like what bands use. Especially since you said it was going to be outdoors.
 
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