This year's spookshow prowlfest, fueled by the college's Entertainment Technology Department, required an innovative sound-control re-vamp. For City Tech Professor and independent show control programmer John Huntington, this meant using an all-Ethernet domain, and eschewing old scripting languages.
"I've written a new MxM LLC driver," he explains, "that enables SFX 6 receive control commands from Medialon Manager, over our show Ethernet network." Through using Medialon's Low Level Communicator device driver creation tools, Huntington has eliminated the need for conversion to MIDI, as well as the requirement for several interface boxes. This lets Medialon Manager control SFX 6 for sound playback in tidy, efficient fashion, and Huntington posted the driver on the Medialon website for others to use and extend.
SFX 6 is every sound designer/programmer's lifesaver. It features such plusses as cues that output to a true matrix (any number of inputs to any number of outputs), the ASIO playback engine supporting 16-bit or better WAV, MP3 or WMA audio files, and audio cues that contain mono, stereo or more channels. SFX 6 also enables one to drag-and-drop multiple sound files to create a multi-channel, synchronized audio cue from existing mono and stereo sound files.
Says Stage Research representative Carlton Guc: "Pertaining to SFX 6's compatibility with products such as Medialon Manager, we look forward to working with end-users such as John in developing more interfaces, as well as on future installations and shows calling for the integration of protocols of this nature."
Huntington is pleased with Stage Research's SFX 6 software's newfound adaptability to Medialon Manager in dressing the Haunted Hotel up with creaks and crackles for 2008. "For Gravesend Inn projects in years past," notes Huntington, "we've had to work with a crude MIDI signal sent out on a MIDI cable. Now, we've got a much simpler interface, using less hardware and allowing enormous room for future expansion"
SFX is found at all levels of theater from academics to the pros. Professional theaters use the software to create reliable and enriched soundscapes and it has been employed in many award-winning shows, including several Tony award winners. The academic stage (elementary education through college) and amateur theater appreciate SFX for the high quality of shows it can create and because it can be easily run by novice operators. Students using SFX get the added benefit of learning the software they will most likely work with when they enter the theatrical job market.
SFX 6 provides features that no other product can. It enables designers to refine and create effects on-site rather than having to shuttle back and forth between a studio and performance space. This affords the freedom to optimize sound designs for the acoustics of the space and other components of the performance. SFX 6's newly rewritten audio engine frees the need for an OS playback engine for hassle-free mixing and placement of audio. SFX 6 features an intuitive user-interface and can be programmed to run complex events with little or no user input.
About Stage Research
Stage Research is the developer of SFX, SoftPlot, LightFactory, ShowBuilder: Sound Design and other audio and lighting software. For more information, call 888-267-0859 or visit www.stageresearch.com.