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Wookiee sound effects roundtable discussion
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GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:18 am    Post subject: Wookiee sound effects roundtable discussion Reply with quote

A number of us have tried building Wookiee sound effects units but they never seem to work out. The problem seems to be battery-powered speakers small enough to conceal under the suit don't have great sound quality or much volume.

However, there are now a number of small, battery powered speakers that use BlueTooth to playback music from phones, ipods, etc.

In light of this, I think this topic should be revisited. I'll start by explaining what I did:

In 2002 I commissioned Hyperdyne Labs to build me a custom Wookiee sound effects module. I supplied him with four yell sounds and four Wookiee "sentences." All were uncompressed WAV files, 16-bit 44.1kHz (CD quality). I wanted two switches; one to trigger a yell, the other to trigger a sentence.

He delivered and the board was great. My dad and I installed it into project enclosure from radio shack and mounted it along with a small speaker onto a breast strap that sort of resembled a bra. We nicknamed it "The Bro" and "The Manzier."

When connected to a full size speaker it sounded terrific, but the small speaker I had on "The Bro" didn't sound so great, and it wasn't very loud, either. Eventually I just got good at doing the Wookiee sound myself, and sold the unit in 2008.

This is the speaker I used:

It's a common radio shack speaker used by Stormtroopers.

So what has everyone else tried?
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Lumpy (Chris Blackstock)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use one of the Aker amps that are being sold by the boatload on the 501st boards. It comes with a strap that I clip around my chest, then I added another lanyard that I wear around my neck so the speaker sits right on my chest and won't move. I don't use any kind of soundboard, 30 years of practice and I've got a decent enough Wookiee roar for people.
The funny thing is that I get more people who assume my Wookiee roar is a recording than I get who think I have a voice changer for my Vader (which I don't either). Laughing
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trickysix989 (Kym)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me I have a small .3 watt speaker in the mask near the mouth area that is surrounded by foam. I have it attached to a amplifier chip and soundboard with adjustable volume output and a push switch runs from the setup to the bottom of my jaw so when I open my mouth the mask mouth opens and pushes down on the push button. The sound is great and volume is easily adjusted.
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GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.3 watts? Is that a typo? It's not even 1 watt?

Do you have more info on your speaker? (make/model) and/or any videos demonstrating it?

What about the board. Is it Hyperdyne? Plecter Labs? etc.
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trickysix989 (Kym)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The speaker is just one pulled from an alarm clock radio. This was the perfect size to fit into the mask. The amplifier is a chip connected to the speaker and the soundboard. I will post a video as soon as I can. I actually had to pull it out of to re-solder some of the wiring.
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forestmoonstudio
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have this programmable sound board that I took out of a sound shirt from Thinkgeek.com.
You can put 20 sounds onto an SD card that goes inside of the unit.
It has an 8ohm speaker.
I am trying to see if I can undo the speaker and add an audio jack so I can play it through my duel speaker system.



Not sure if I can connect the speaker wires to this jack. Anyone know much about wiring this sort of thing? Or if it would work?
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Lumpy (Chris Blackstock)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got one of those shirts as well.
I loved the programmable aspect of being able to push a button and get a sound when you wanted, but never was able to get it to work they way I was looking for so I scrapped it.
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Zaxmon (Ryan Ricks)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I practiced with my voice by mimicking the official Chewbacca soundboard: http://www.starwars.com/games/playnow/soundboards/#/?theme=01
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trickysix989 (Kym)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a quick vid of my chewy sounds. Ill post another one once I have it installed in the mask again.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1vZEovL_CA[/url]
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forestmoonstudio
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds great Kym,

Is that sound board from replicaprops?
http://www.replicaprops.com/cart2/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=35&zenid=ec8210a0a01b7c17354fb69fab798ab0
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trickysix989 (Kym)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes sir
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GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yet another sound board option. Sweet.

They have an MP3 board coming out soon with a built-in 10w amp, and the board supports up to 196kHz 24-bit stereo (the existing boards are a mere 16kHz).

I'm probably going to try this later on this year. I think the answer might be multiple speakers. This could help increase volume without increasing distortion. If the audio is a stereo mix, say with the lower frequencies on one channel and the higher ranges on another, it might help to increase the realism as well.

Kym, where is it mounted in your mask? Can you post pics of the unit installed?

Thanks
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trickysix989 (Kym)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The speaker is mounted at the bottom of the jaw near the mouth behind the tounge/palette. The chip board/amp and battery packs are all mounted inside the mask walls. I'm re doing some saudering and will post pics once I have it installed again. The pics won't show where the speaker is cause it's filled with foam and is a tight space but I'll point it out in a vid once it's all instaled and that way you can see how the sound works with the costume.
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forestmoonstudio
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I figured out how to get my sound system to sound AWESOME.

It came with a 8ohm .05 watt speaker. I had a couple of 10 watt speakers and used one of those.

I made a mount for the speaker that straps around my neck.

Here's a video how it sounds with the .05 watt and the 10 watt speaker.

(That's black spray paint on my fingers. I was painting a bowcaster.) Laughing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHmb4Ej6BvU
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Wookiewannabe ()
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice sound..
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