Question Haunted House Audio - How's it done?

Discussion in 'General Tech & Gadget Forums' started by Jaurhead, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. Jaurhead

    Novice Member

    Feb 26, 2015
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    Orange County
    Basically, what I want to replicate is an audio system like you would find at a haunted attraction, like something Universal Studios or Knotts would produce. I know they use multiple amps and longs runs of speakers (likely 70v?), but I just need some guidance as far as how it's done.

    Spoiler has the history of our craft and what I'm about to take on.

    2007 - 2011, my friends from high school and I put on fun little haunts in our yards for Halloween. You can check out a video recap here that was put together to help get our 2013 season going...but it never happened.

    I had no idea how to properly install speakers, so I was haphazardly using secondhand AVR's and other stereos that I'd ripped apart and ran many lengths of speaker wire (blissfully unaware of parallel/series wiring) from them to lots of cheap satellite speakers. It worked for us, I blew up a few AVRs over the years, but nothing major.

    7 years later, I'm getting to do it all over again with some of those friends with a professional-level budget! Plus we're all growed up now :p

    We haven't hashed out the details on everything yet, but in my initial idea is there will likely be 6 zones of audio. The main one will be an all-encompassing soundtrack that can be heard throughout - almost an ambient bed layer. This will be played over 4 large PA speakers hung over the entire haunt (which will be housed in a 3200 sq ft indoor space).

    The remaining zones will be scene specific, including a kid-friendly walk near the main event, and the number of speakers will vary depending on layout. But I'm guessing something in the 5-10 speaker quantity per zone.

    So my ideal setup is a media player that can read a USB/microSD and play a track on repeat. That player will need pre-outs (nothing more than stereo is necessary as I'm not doing surround effects), and then I'll need an amp that can drive the number of speakers for each zone.

    My initial findings have led me to a Technical Pro UREC7 (media player) and then a Pyle PT8000CH amp to drive each zone. I know what they say about Pyle (and that amp in particular - I don't know who they're foolin' with 8000 watts)....but that's basically all I've come up with at this point after a couple nights of research. I was also looking at the Lyx Pro SPA series of PA speakers. They can read a USB/microSD card and play a track on repeat, plus they can be daisy-chained together via xlr. My only concern there is that each speaker needs its own source of power, which isn't out of the question entirely. Essentially, everything is on the table right now.

    There are other effects I'd like to tackle as well, like a bass shaker-enabled walkway/platform or related scene, but that requires its own set of processing and amplification. I can do it with a cheap AVR and the SA230 bundle from Parts Express, but again, if there's a streamlined method to get it all into an AV rack like they do at the pro haunts, I'd love to incorporate that. Budget wise, I would comfortably say around $5k to do it all.

    TL/DR: $5k to build a 3200sq ft, 5-zone haunted house audio system. GO!

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