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A sound investment.



blog-0947045001414097001.jpgI know that this entry is going to leave most of you rather unfulfilled due to a) really having to viewing the layout to appreciate it and my lack of initiative in not doing a video (I will get around to it honest!). I also realise that there is a lot of scope here for making myself very unpopular with other exhibitors at shows. Yes, I have finally managed to wire the layout for ambient background sound - and I think it is rather good!


The hardware was simple - a basic PC sound system with two high frequency speakers and one for the bass. It includes a dock for an MP3 player so that was easy. What was not quite so easy was getting the sounds for it. After a couple of false starts with pre - recorded soundtracks (one labeled WW1 which had a Merlin engined airplane zooming across at all too frequent intervals!) I decided to DIY it. A free program called Audacity was used and various sounds assembled (all free!), from various places steering clear of loads of very poor video game type sounds. The real break through though was finding a site which allows you to strip the audio from YouTube clips (be careful here lots send the anti virus protection into overdrive!). This gave access to loads more stuff.


I have not made the mistake of putting too many different sounds in all at once as I do want it to be background sound and, without being too arty, have made an almost paradoxical juxtaposition between the two ends of the layout. The trick to this is a skylark twittering away to it's hearts content in the left channel while there is a constant murmur of guns on the other side. Sorry, but you have to be here to appreciate it!


One major frustration though was having to do battle with I Tunes to put it on my Shuffle which has sat happily with the same stuff on it for years. Managed to wipe it all off of course and the backup I thought I had made didn't - I really don't fancy listening to an hours worth of birds and explosions at the gym!


So here is the basic set up;




And the temporary speaker arrangement while I work out the best places for them;



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Having 'sampled' the samples, I say they work well, are convincing and the juxtaposition of birdsong and heavy artillery is prosaic. Just mind the low-flying biplane - I think it's had Kevin cowering under his own layout!

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