Park Audio, Lighting and everything geeky

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Alex2020, 30th Jul 2017.

  1. Alex2020

    Alex2020 TowersStreet Member

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    It looks increasingly likely that Merlin has ended its audio contract with Bose in most of its attractions across the country and instead they seem to have a new contract with Ohm Audio? Cbeebies Land at Alton uses Ohm audio across the area and Ohm is the new sound system that was installed in HEX. Warwick Castle also now uses Ohm speakers for its Horrible History show and for its new War of the Roses Live Jousting show.

    This will probably be confirmed further when SW8 is finished and we get to see what audio manufacturer they've chosen for the audio on the new wooden rollercoaster.

    What do we think to the switch to Ohm over Bose? and have Merlin and Bose fallen out?
     
    Posted 30th Jul 2017
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  2. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Probably got a better deal on Ohm as part of their cost saving program ;)
     
    Posted 30th Jul 2017
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  3. Alex2020

    Alex2020 TowersStreet Member

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    You're probably right there, Bose Speakers are extremely expensive! :grimacing:
     
    Posted 30th Jul 2017
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  4. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I don't think they've bought a Bose speaker in years.
     
    Posted 31st Jul 2017
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  5. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    There is no contract.

    There is no deal.

    They simply find Ohm better for the park's needs at the moment!

    It is nothing to do with cost. The ATR team also worked on the show at Warwick.
     
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    Posted 31st Jul 2017
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  6. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Only Zuul?
    ;)
     
    Posted 31st Jul 2017
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  7. NemeTime

    NemeTime TowersStreet Member

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    The only Merlin park that still uses Bose speakers is LEGOLAND and that's not all the time.
    Thorpe Park uses EV speakers
    Chessignton uses Yamaha

    I went to towers for my first time in over 5 years last Friday. I think the Ohm speakers sound incredible, but I'm not sure how long they will last outdoors because the drivers look very exposed.
     
    Posted 31st Jul 2017
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  8. Alex2020

    Alex2020 TowersStreet Member

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    I think Bose speakers are simply the best for outdoor use. There's no question about it, no other brand that I've seen last outside for the length of time Bose do. I take Warwick Castle as an example, they are still using series 1 402's in the castle courtyard that must have been there for 20 years or more and they are still going strong. Ohm's (although they sound nice) aren't waterproof and the white one's at Warwick Castle have started to rust already after being installed for 6 months. You get what you pay for at the end of the day.
     
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    Posted 31st Jul 2017
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  9. Ben

    Ben TS Founding Member

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    I think I saw Towers flogging some on eBay... part used, dirty, Bose speakers circa 2002.
     
    Posted 31st Jul 2017
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  10. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    No speaker brand is by default better than any other brand. I heard a lot of people slagging off Bose when I worked in theme parks.. Really there's often nothing wrong with it and so replacing them across parks with a different brand doesn't guarantee improvement. Like Alex says you get whatever you pay for.

    You will never get divine rich sound with an outdoor, permanent sound system anyway. People seem to be deluded if they can hear a difference this way between brands. You just want good, well rounded sound to suit whatever purpose it needs.

    I think most the replaced audio zones at Alton Towers sound good, very nicely done, whereas they sound pants in the Hex cinema and path from Gloomy Wood (as well as playing Nemesis music next to Duel, which is totally off and also out of sync).

    It could depend on a lot more on just the speaker make alone, and I'm sure in Hex's case could be improved, although those Ohm models don't exactly have a great reputation. It also depends how they were installed and the audio source, and all that. Bose built lines of speakers that were hard wearing for permanent outdoor use and so struck a deal with Tussauds for a huge discount, that was years ago though.

    Different AV contractors have different preferences, different sound systems have different functions and uses. Also more recently, park in-house teams have been having more say on these things and so their own preferred makes have been coming in, which are different park-to-park. Those are the only reasons we're seeing change really.

    (Old speakers being sold off is questionable though. We've seen some parks do this before, replace expensive Bose ones with cheap horrible ones to make someone a personal profit, terrible practice, though not known this to have happened at Alton Towers.)
     
    Last edited: 12th Aug 2017
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    Posted 1st Aug 2017
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  11. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Ah, the delusions of audiophiles never cease to entertain. :p
     
    Posted 1st Aug 2017
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  12. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    I'm more intrigued with the idea of 2 companies "falling out". As if Public Limited companies have emotions.
     
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    Posted 1st Aug 2017
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  13. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Well in America, corporations are legally classed as humans...
     
    Posted 1st Aug 2017
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  14. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    In America, Donald Trump is classed as human.....
     
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  15. Alex2020

    Alex2020 TowersStreet Member

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    You're totally right in the respect of hearing the difference, it's all completely marginal at best. Bose are great for creating hard-wearing speakers and I'm intrigued to see whether the Ohm's will last as long with the British weather.

    It's also interesting to note that since the Merlin take over in 2007 we've seen this gradual shift in audio suppliers. Back in the day all of the attractions that the Tussauds Group ran had only Bose audio systems installed so the contract was for sure with the Tussauds group and not with Merlin.

    As for the 'selling off' of Bose speakers or any other premium audio equipment, it's totally absurd and is too much effort for little reward. Plus we end up with shocking audio and an awful on park experience.
     
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    Posted 1st Aug 2017
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  16. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    Ohm speakers are very good arguably better than Bose in certain scenarios. Especially where high levels of sound re enforcement are required. But if the system isn't tuned properly it is not going to sound good regardless of the manufacturer.

    We used Ohm mid top units alongside Danley sound Jericho bassbins for one of the Drum and Bass arenas at Glastonbury this year. Configured in a point source setup and driven by 70KW of Crown amplifiers. The system was tuned so that sound pressure levels and decibels were maximised within the arena, with earth shattering bass and crystal clear mid and high end. While keeping sound levels outside the arena to a minimum. This was partly possible due to the quality of Ohm speakers.

    Just like Electril Bill has said many times that you need proper scenic artists and lighting designers to properly do things on rides. The same goes with audio too. The acoustics of buildings like the one Hex is in, are very complex. They audio system needs to be set up properly by a proper sound engineer who takes into account the acoustics of the space to tune the system. Lots of complex maths and equations are involved but it is an essential process to get the sound correct for the specific space. You simply cannot just place speakers any where and hope for the best. You also cannot just swap a speaker for a different one in the same place and expect to get similar results.
     
    Last edited: 2nd Aug 2017
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    Posted 2nd Aug 2017
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  17. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Good to see another techy on the forums. :) Even if we're from oposite ends of the electromagnetic spectrum.
    (Waves from the lighting booth)
     
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    Posted 2nd Aug 2017
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  18. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    I'm no audio person, but with Hex the main issue seems to be a lack of sub. All top and no bass, making it screechy and probably on the way to nuking the speakers.
     
    Posted 5th Aug 2017
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  19. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    Greetings sir! The lighting side has always fascinated me, even though Ive always just observed. Always loved intelligent lights specifically.

    The Glasto rig this year proved popular.
    The narrator throughout Hex has always had quite a lot of low end to his voice. Bose had it sounding spot on. I bet they have skimped on the sub woofer power. Seeing as they cost the most money.
     
    Last edited: 6th Aug 2017
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    Posted 6th Aug 2017
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  20. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    I have more bass at home it seems, his voice is as you said but Towers got it wrong with the set up.
     
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    Posted 6th Aug 2017
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