Airport Express - Streaming background music within large venue

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by andynaismith, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. andynaismith macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2010

    I'm looking to be a bit creative with streaming some music from itunes and was thinking that i could probably do this with airport expresses dotted around a very large room.

    Basically I have an elevated balcony position above a 1,500sqm (50m x 30m) hall and a secondary adjoining hall of 300sqm (50m x 6m).

    In the past we have used a PA system going out to wired speakers which is a bit messy and not possible for the adjoining hall. Also we have usually only been able to run speakers to central positions meaning no background music to the outer areas.

    There is no need for any serious volume - as I mentioned it is for background music only and those exhibitors we have close to the speaker points will not want it to be too loud.

    So basically I was thinking of setting up a network with an airport express in each corner and a couple down the middle of the room with a further 2 or 3 out in the second hall - total of perhaps 10 airport expresses, each with a set of small stereo speakers attached.

    This would add up to around £1,000 which would be about the same as getting a sound engineer in to wire everything together - but we would have the added bonus of being able to use the same system every year as well as a similar setup at other venues.

    We already have a Macbook Pro with Itunes, Ipads as well as IPhone 4's

    If this basic system is possible - would there also be a way to make announcements over the system using a microphone?

    I know very little of airport express etc so would welcome any input on this.


  2. andynaismith thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2010
  3. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Can be done. With the 3rd party app "Airfoil" you can send audio from any application to the Airport Expresses. You can also send (via another, free add-on "Sunflower") all of your system sound out. That could prove problematic if you're planning to use the Mac for anything else.

    But you could switch Airfoil between iTunes and your sound input, which would allow you to do the announcements through a mic.

    How this would work in practice I don't know. One thing that might be a little weird would be that the sound might not be syncronized between all of the Airport Extremes.

    Let us know if it works!
  4. andynaismith thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2010
    Cheers Brian, i didn't appreciate that they would not be synchronised - I thought it would be exactly the same sound coming out of each express' speakers.

    Good news that the mic idea will work for the announcements.

    I guess i'll have to buy a couple of them and try them out at the venue - if theres any serious lag between each express then its back to the drawing board.

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