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True North Snow Machine Noise

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by SteveRader, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. SteveRader

    SteveRader Member

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    Any ideas on how to baffle the noise of the machine?

    Sounds like a noisy shop vac :(
  2. bdkdesigns

    bdkdesigns Active Member Fight Leukemia

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    Orlando, FL
    I've built a plywood box before with sound baffling (sp?) in it w/ just the front end and back end open but they are still loud.

    I've only used them twice, and the one time was for The Wizard of Oz which is when we built those boxes. We had four and had to cut two because they completely overpowered the live orchestra. Otherwise, thats pretty much the only trick I know of besides boosting audio.
  3. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

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    Minneapolis, MN
    Used one in one theatre where it was placed on the other side of the attic ceiling (no grid to speak of in this house) and the attic's insulation did an OK job of dampening the noise. Turned the sound system up a bit...

    Used one in the first beam location in a larger theatre and used a powerful fan to blow the snow toward the front of the stage - once again the catwalk it was placed in was basically closed off from the house so it kind of self dampened...

    The box with insulation sounds like an OK idea...
  4. thelightingmancan

    thelightingmancan Member

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    Leesburg Virginia
    I used one last year in a production of Fiddler on the Roof, for Anatevka in the end, it was a great effect. We took a box, and taped it onto the machine then cut out a hole for the snow to exit and stuffed all but the fan section with batting from a sewing store. We then built a little sound baffle for the output with cardboard flaps and more batting. This worked out fairly well.
  5. Chris Chapman

    Chris Chapman Active Member

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    Technical Director
    Greenville, Michigan, United States
    We have 2 in stock that we use pretty regularly. We've had some pretty good luck with wrapping the units in packing blankets, making sure the fan intake is clear.

    I'd like to try the Broadway color scroller solution.

    I read about this trick in Lighting Dimensions a couple of years ago, so pardon me if I get some of the specifics wrong.

    This trick was done by a couple of SOund Designers who were tired of the noise generated by all of the color scrollers in their space.

    You record the sound of the unit, take it into your editing suite of choice, and then invert the wavelengths, creating a "negative" of the sound. Place monitor speakers by the unit, and when the cue happens when the units become live, you playback the "negative" sound. The two competing wavelengths "cancel" each other out and supposedly dramatically reduce the sound the audience hears. Played out individually, they may seem loud, but together they should be quieter.

    Anyone ever try this?

  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Not quite the same application, but a certain show in a Las Vegas Hotel would play, at low level combined with the walk-in music, the sound of a roller coaster overhead, to "condition" the audience to become used to it, so it would be less of a distraction during the show. Seemed to be effective.

    Back to your question, I know there are noise-canceling hearing protectors which work by reversing the phase and amplifying the sound, thus canceling the waveform. Sound insulation and dampening seems simpler and more feasible. City Theatrical manufacturers noise baffles for specific moving lights.
  7. Pip

    Pip Active Member

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    A2/ Sound Designer/ Stagehand
    Manitou Springs, CO
    Yeah, the best example of that is, albeit on a smaller scale, noise cancelling headphones, like Bose makes. I would imagine it would work...

    Although covering it up physically may be the apparent best way to deal with the sound, the user's manual specifically says it needs a fairly good amount of space around it for ventilation... North Snow Machine man.pdf
  8. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Denver, CO
    Haha I miss Vegas...

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