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Multi channel playback for theatre

Discussion in 'Recording' started by kmarkley, Sep 13, 2001.

  1. kmarkley

    kmarkley Guest

    I work at a small theatre and am anxious to increase the automation of our audio work. We use ProTools Free, Digital Performer, Peak, Reason, etc. to produce the audio for our productions, but playback during performance is still primarily from CD, minidisk, and simple playlist apps like SoundJam. I have resisted buying a multi-channel audio card primarily because I have been unable to find software that both supports more than 2 channels of output and still allows the rapid firing of cues we require.

    Ideally, there would be a list of cues or events, each of which consists of one or more audio files and envelope and panning information. Firing a cue would result in the associated audio being played on one or more outputs. (Image planes passing overhead, overlapping children's voices from all corners of the theatre, etc., etc.)

    I am aware of specialized hardware solutions such as AudioBox and Matrix3, but these seem overkill for our small space and far too expensive. I am certain our needs can be met by software and a decent sound card. Indeed ProTools does everything we need except allow the flexible (performance contingent) firing of the entire show.

    Any ideas? TIA.

    (BTW: 400MHz G3 B&W, scads of memory and HD)
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Well...most software can output to more than one channel if you set it up properly. Cubase, Nuendo, Logic, Samplitude..etc etc..You have to enable the bus outputs to the desired card outs. Plenty of cards out there with multiple outputs. Motu has a 24i which is 24 analog outs! Imagine that..Combination Nuendo and MOTU 24i would be really really cool..Nuendo is basically like Pro Tools with a vast amount of power and flexability without having to spend 20+ grand to get started. In Nuendo/Cubase?logic or whatever you decide to go with you enable the bus outputs...once enabled you can now set desired channels to go out those specific channels.
    Now, there are specific Theatre sound programs..I dont really research those programs much tho..I did at one time do some testing for someone on a theatre program but for the life of me I cant remember the name..in fact the guy I tested it for now is Rupert Neve's right hand man!! Brilliant electronic genius I might add!
    Anyways..hope that helps in any way and if you have any more q's let me know

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