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Wireless audio switchboard-like setup?

Posted on 2011-03-23
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Last Modified: 2013-12-14
This is a bit of an unusual request for an event I'm involved in.  Cost is a factor in this - I can't afford to drop hundreds of dollars on headsets.  :)

What I am looking to do is create some sort of system where I can pass out wireless headests to about a dozen people.  Then, over the course of a presentation, I would like to be able to send various sound clips to specific individuals.  I do not need to receive audio back.

Cheap bluetooth hands-free devices are probably the easiest/cheapest way to go here, but I'm willing to listen to alternative ideas.

As far as software goes, I have no idea what would be needed to connect a dozen bluetooth headsets as audio devices and route specific sounds to specific headsets.

Anyone have any idea if there's a way to do this?  Thanks!
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Question by:Jason_Place
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 35390899
Hi Jason, by the absense here you might get the impression that the experts feel this is for the too hard basket especially if cash is a problem.
Only ideas I can come up with is if everyone brings a laptop or an ipad or mobile.. and you stream to them
You need some type of Audio gateway
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms898941.aspx
http://www.softick.com/bluetooth-audio/

This is the area I dont know about>> route specific sounds to specific headsets.
 ideas
Video conferencing type for audio
Probably a tool like Messenger windows live  or Voip where each individual has brought their laptop/mobile  logged onto messenger here you add everyone to your contacts and then open them all up on your desktop, then add an individual audio file to each member.
Gnome Meeting
http://www.ekiga.org/

Merete
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Author Comment

by:Jason_Place
ID: 35391822
Hrm, that could possibly work.  I was thinking more along the lines of multiple audio devices for the laptop, and a program that would allow you to switch quickly between them.  Kind of like how if you have a USB headset you can switch between that and your normal system sound, since they're separate audio devices, but with an interface that's a bit easier to work with.

Thanks for the input.  I'll let this stew a little bit longer and if no one else bites I'll close the question.  :)
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 35398367
refs to>Kind of like how if you have a USB headset you can switch between that and your normal system sound, since they're separate audio devices,<< hmm unfortuantely what you have on your PC/laptop is entriely different, this option they both share the same audio card on the motherboard as a base.
As to sending out  separate sample sounds to 12 different users on 12 separate sources would require like you said a main interface/ a board distribution system combined with an AMP mixer that connects to these 12 sources, and they in turn require a way to receive these signals individually.
I just dont know of anything like this outside of wired sound booth in a msuic store.
Here they play different cd's to different headsets, but it's wired from a main console and uses 5 different CD players
Mixing console is the closest to your idea but of course it's noway what you need.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixing_console
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_mixing_console

P2P hosting is another option where the users click a sample to play using your own web page.

Sorry matey this is just out of my experience range.
It is possible but with lots of cash I dare say and you'd need a lot more hardware and software to achieve it.
It all sounds simple enough but when you get down to it it is more complex.
How often would you require this type of convention?
The Web is probably the only way round this.

All the best
Merete
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Accepted Solution

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Jason_Place earned 0 total points
ID: 35418749
Actually found a way around this over the weekend, when I could borrow a few headsets from friends.  Paired each bluetooth headset with the laptop, which added them (in Windows 7) as separate audio devices.  Started up multiple instances of VLC, then changed which audio device each was outputting to.  Opened up the folder with the .wav files I was using, and I could drag the file to the VLC console appropriate to the user.  I had to make a little "cheat sheet" grid showing which VLC window was paired with which user, but that was easy enough.

Thanks for the ideas!
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Author Closing Comment

by:Jason_Place
ID: 35452325
No definite solutions otherwise, figured out a way to arrange it.
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