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Audio Zone (4 speaker) question


BrianD

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We are currently working on our first C4 install and one of the things they have requested is that all 4 speakers in their backyard play the same source of audio.

What is the best way to bind those 4 speakers to the same audio source even though they are connected to different output on the C4amp? Basically they have 2 rock speakers and 2 Bose speakers and they want all of them to play at the same time from the same audio source. Currently the rock speakers are connected to Output3 on the Amp and Bose speakers are connected to Output4 of the C4amp.

Hopefully I have explained this accurately. I am coming from a IT background so bear with me because my AV lingo is still a work in progress.. :)

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1) Go into Agents -> Variables

2) Create a numeric container class called "Backyard_Source" or something similar

3) Put the C4 Amp variable "AUDIO_OUTPUT_03_INPUT" and "AUDIO_OUTPUT_04_INPUT" into the container.

4) Create another numerical container called "Backyard_Volume" or something similar

5) Put the C4 Amp variables "OUTPUT_03_VOLUME_LEVEL" and "OUTPUT_04_VOLUME_LEVEL" into the container.

Now whenever you change inputs on output 3, output 4 will also follow. In addition, volume changes in output 3 will be automatically reflected in output 4.

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1) Go into Agents -> Variables

2) Create a numeric container class called "Backyard_Source" or something similar

3) Put the C4 Amp variable "AUDIO_OUTPUT_03_INPUT" and "AUDIO_OUTPUT_04_INPUT" into the container.

4) Create another numerical container called "Backyard_Volume" or something similar

5) Put the C4 Amp variables "OUTPUT_03_VOLUME_LEVEL" and "OUTPUT_04_VOLUME_LEVEL" into the container.

Now whenever you change inputs on output 3, output 4 will also follow. In addition, volume changes in output 3 will be automatically reflected in output 4.

Awesome Samer, I had no idea you can do this... Does this work with other equipment or just C4 hardware & functions?

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Dan, if you check out the container variables, there are many sets of variables that can be placed into a container. There are different variables for boolean and numerical.

I quickly took a scan on the available list on my equipment. I saw that the great majority of them relate to C4 internals such as volume, power state, LED state etc. They are very few variables that relate to external devices.

Generally I advise dealers to be wary of this mechanism. Once you change one element in a container, all will change to match. This may have unintended effects later in programming. In this situation it is a perfect match. I don't think the client will ever really want to output 3 and output 4 at different volumes or different sources.

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That's not something that I would have thought up, but I don't handle any major programming. I left that behind me in college 10 years ago.... I'm not good with the variable programming. This is where other dealers can really kick my trash! Nice Job Samer... i'm amazed by some of the things you guys come up with!

Blake

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Shami,

We added the four speakers outside into the same container for both audio volume and source for this project. The Audio source for both sets worked well but I was unable to control the volume levels. It may be related to other volume level problems we are having but is there any reason the container would work to control both outputs off the amp but not the volume levels?

Thanks

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A great method compared to the typical cheating (hooking all four up to one output and watching the speakers suffer).

I don't know that I'd call it "cheating" especially since I think I remember hearing that the C4 amp is rated down to 4ohms.

Do you really think the speakers would suffer? Anyone doing and have some input?

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hooking all four up to one output and watching the speakers suffer

I think he means that wiring them into 4ohm gives the amp less headroom. Sure it is rated to go down to 4ohm, but as you increase the volume (to silly levels), you are more likely to induce DC voltages across the speakers (really bad!) compared to giving the amp more headroom had it seen 8ohm speakers across its terminals.

Did I make the correct assumption TrikinCurt?

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Exactly... don't get me wrong, i have two spots in my house wired with 4 speakers to an amp (not a C4 system though) - but if you have the power I would take using multiple outputs anyday, especially outside where you will likely need it to carry.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Samer, is there a limitation on how many containers you can create?

This is probably a bug, but when I go past 9 containers it not only doesn't create a new container, it delete one from the list!:mad: So if I try to create 9 more containers, I will end up with none.

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That's a lot of containers!

Dealers have already pointed out to me that trying to join the outputs of an amp together in a container doesn't work. You manually have to handle these. Putting the amp's volume variables into a container will work.

I am just interested in whether you had a use for the containers or it was just testing. Since I am devoid of all imagination, I can't determine any uses for the container other than the ones mentioned above. Have you come up with a use for them?

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I am driving 42 speakers. 6 of the zones have 4 speakers each. Your container solution seemed the way to go.

So are you saying that the inputs can't be joined in programming but must be physically joined? (y-adapters) :rolleyes:

Since I am using an Audio Switch, I then would not need to use the containers for volume pairing since the one output would feed both channels.

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So are you saying that the inputs can't be joined in programming but must be physically joined?

I meant that the inputs cannot be joined automagically via containers. It will have to be done manually within the programming section using a whole bunch of "if" statements. eg: if input 3 selected on output 1, swap output 2 to input 3. If input 4 selected on output 1, swap output 2 to input 4 etc. You would be using the containers just to ensure volume is kept at a constant throughout the outputs which reside in the same zone.

I am driving 42 speakers. 6 of the zones have 4 speakers each.

Hmm... Thats a lot of speakers. May I ask how many amps you are using to do all this?

Since I am using an Audio Switch, I then would not need to use the containers for volume pairing since the one output would feed both channels.

In a way Yes and No. It would depend on how you are wiring everything together. If you use multiple zone outputs on the amp to feed the same zone, you will still need containers. If you were to wire in parallel all speakers to the same zone then there would be no issues. Perhaps you can provide a quick mock-up of how you plan on connecting the speakers in Visio or something?

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I meant that the inputs cannot be joined automagically via containers. It will have to be done manually within the programming section using a whole bunch of "if" statements. eg: if input 3 selected on output 1, swap output 2 to input 3. If input 4 selected on output 1, swap output 2 to input 4 etc. You would be using the containers just to ensure volume is kept at a constant throughout the outputs which reside in the same zone.

I assume this would not work since when using a Switch the inputs need to be locked on the Amp, right?

Hmm... Thats a lot of speakers. May I ask how many amps you are using to do all this?

Three

In a way Yes and No. It would depend on how you are wiring everything together. If you use multiple zone outputs on the amp to feed the same zone, you will still need containers. If you were to wire in parallel all speakers to the same zone then there would be no issues. Perhaps you can provide a quick mock-up of how you plan on connecting the speakers in Visio or something?

Split one zone output of the Switch to feed two inputs on the amp. Since the switch controls the volume the container would not be necessary.

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I just tested it out. It doesn't matter. It will still amplify devices according to the setup on the front LCD if there is no controller to talk to. You just have to make sure you adjust the volume to a reasonable level (ie. maximum volume you want those speakers to go) of that particular input, and ensure the inputs are switched to the correct outputs using the front panel LCD.

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I currently have a Switch/Amp combo and the customer is reporting that the volume for 3 of the 6 zones appears to max out lower then the other 3 zones. Would this just be a setting on the front LCD of the Amp that needs to be modified?

Thanks

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As V3 suggested, you should use the amp for volume normalisation. Since you are using both the matrix switcher and amp, the ideal situation would be to do the volume control through the matrix switcher. This means you can now adjust the amp volume to ensure all the levels appear the same. For example, say you have rooms A through to F, you might adjust the output levels to something like -10db, -10db, -16db, -16db, -10db, -20db.

Although I am not an installer, the process I would follow is set all the matrix switcher volumes to 90%. Then adjust all the volumes of the amplifier to the same levels using the same source (for example, short mp3 on loop). Once done, give the volume a +3db notch on all outputs for an extra amount of headroom. This ensures you have built in a 10%-15% headroom on volume control.

To ensure that this works, make sure that the room audio volume is connected the appropriate matrix switcher output. As V3 said, you don't even need to tell Control4 about the amp in your situation.

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You can set the input sensitivity and output level on the front panel of the amp to balance out uneven sources and set maximum volume levels.

A follow-up to my previous statement: If you are just using the Amp as a switcher then the statement is true. If you are using a Switch/Amp combo, I do not see a way to balance out uneven sources. The Matrix switch does not have an input sensitivity setting. :mad:

So when using an Amp as a switcher, you actually have more flexibility with evening out source levels. :/

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