Controlling 25 iPods from a single interface, any ideas?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by jersey, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007
    Hello All,

    I have an upcoming installation for a client, and need a solution to control approximately 25 ipods, and hopefully keep them in sync. I'm looking for a way to play, stop, etc. all of them at the same time, from a single interface or remote. Would love to use shuffles of nanos if possible.

    Any ideas or suggestions? I cant seem to find anything - and I'd hate to watch someone run around once a day turning on 25 ipods.

  2. macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2007
  3. macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2011
    I just got to know... what is this for?
  4. macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2009
    maybe get 25 people?
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007
    For a client wanting to get 25 different sounds playing at the same time to create an ambient soundscape.

    As for the apple ipod dock, it wont work as they will be scattered in various places on opposing walls, so not all within the same line of sight.
  6. swordfish5736, Mar 22, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012

    macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2007
    ipod docks and IR blasters

    you could do this with something besides iPods though

    the airplay ability in iTunes allows you to play to multiple wireless speakers at once. Though not sure how you could play 25 different things at once
  7. macrumors member

    May 3, 2007
    I'm assuming this is a reasonably serious venture? I'm also guessing that you didn't need the iPods because they're portable or have headphones? In which case - I'd buy several multi-channel firewire audio interfaces. 25 is an annoying number; 20 would be 2 10-channel devices. Connect each channel to a powered speaker (or amp and speaker if you must) and the interfaces to a cheap Mac. Then use Logic (maybe even Garageband; not used it) to write a multitrack composition, sequenced as you require. If you do want headphones then you'll need headphone amps as well.

    This sounds like fun :cool:
  8. macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2012
    Could you not record the 25 sounds as separate tracks using a music program then just play it back? That would be a lot easier than messing with 25 iPods.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2006
    This is an area of some expertise for me and I've recently completed a theatre commission for a similar atmospheric exercise. (I was limited by the fixed installation within the auditorium though.)

    The idea of doing this with iPAds would be interesting because you could have video playing on each screen which somehow relates to audio from each device. In which case of course, your original question would still stand.

    However, as you're just using iPods for audio there are far more tried and tested routes. As others have suggested, a single machine running Logic (I'm presuming you're a Mac user), ProTools or any of the major DAWs. (GarageBand would not do as it can't route individual tracks to individual hardware outputs.) An external firewire or USB2 interface with sufficient outputs (there are some available with 24 outs + you could simultaneously use the built-in outs of your Mac), amplifiers for each speaker.
  11. jersey, Mar 23, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012

    thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007
    This sounds like a much better idea as they can all be controlled via one simple interface. Any recommended external interfaces?

    I was limited in my thought as to the number of channels I could get directly out of the Mac via optical - didn't consider external interfaces. Initially I had thought about making 5, 5.1 files and using 5 Minis to send the audio to 5 AV receivers for decoding. One Mac Pro with 1 interface is way cleaner.
  12. macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2007
    if you find something that supports all 25 channels in one box you could use a mac mini they still come with FW800

    of course if you can daisy chain them together you could still use a mac mini. Would be a lot cheaper than buying a mac pro
  13. macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2011
    Stockholm Sweden
    Suggested interrface.

    + one Rme Fireface 800
    This is a safe way to the signals out of the computer. Not cheap though.
    + Firewire cable to computer of choice
    A Mac mini is good for this
    + Two pieces of Behringer Ada 8000 Ultragain
    Cheap stuff. Good enough sound but may have quality problems, mostly with internal power supply (do a 48 hour test run)
    + Two good optical cables.
    Dont cheap out on these.

    This gives you 24 solid balanced outputs allowing you to run long cable lengths to either active speakers or amps.
    Add two signals (stereo) on the headpone output of the Fireface 800.

    And, yes, I have recorded up to about 20 simultaneous channels with the Fireface. Never need this many outputs though.

    Software for playback.
    Probably Sonar.
  14. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Just a silly thought.

    What about using 25 :apple:TVs and Airfoil?

  15. macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2011
    Stockholm Sweden
    Alesis hd24

    Another alternative is the alesis hd24 or hd24xr
    These are dedicated recording boxes with 24 channels.
    It is rather easy to gang together several of these so they run the same time line using the built in sync functions if you need even more channels.
    A bit old technology but very stable and able to run 24/7. Age seen it it not beeing quite as easy to get the sounds into the box as we are used to today.

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