Controlling 25 iPods from a single interface, any ideas?

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

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    #1
    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.

    Thanks.
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    swordfish5736

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    Cesspool
    #2
  3. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    #3
    I just got to know... what is this for?
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #4
    maybe get 25 people?
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    #5
    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

    swordfish5736

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    Cesspool
    #6
    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

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    #7
    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

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #8
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    #9
    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

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    #10
    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

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    #11
    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

    swordfish5736

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    Cesspool
    #12
    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

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm Sweden
    #13
    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

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #14
    Just a silly thought.

    What about using 25 :apple:TVs and Airfoil?

    B
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm Sweden
    #15
    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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