Further Thoughts On Tactile Transducers, The Buttkicker(s), Discrete Tactile Channel

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ChrisA, Aug 9, 2001.

  1. ChrisA

    ChrisA Second Unit

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    A discrete tactile channel is also something that I hope will come to fruition. After owning a tactile platform (The Death Star Platform with two stereo buttkickers--now each with their own 2000 watt 'monoblock'), I cannot imagine being without tactile feedback.
    The platform, I feel, is very elegant and not only compliments the proper viewing height, adds a whole new level of experience and realism. For instance, one of the most recent amazing experiences was the plane crash scene in CAST AWAY. The feel of the crashing plane was TOO real!!! My heart rate was approaching 200! It literally scared the living daylight out of me: I WAS ON THAT PLANE!
    In general, as is everyone who experiences the 'platform', feels that the degree of realism is totally enhanced. The vast majority of the time, the platform is totally inactive with no tactile information present. Often, there are subtle, natural feelings of the environment. I would like to applaud the combination of the VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED SUBHARMONIC PROCESSSOR, THE EX 1200 from BEHRINGER, which acts as an ideal preamp as well as subharmonic processor. The subharmonic processor can be defeatable or customized to any infinite level of control.
    After having the Death Star Platform since March/April, I now have a lot of experience with the combination of the EX1200, (2) 2000 watt Carvin amps bridged mono, and two Buttkickers mounted to the 13 feet W x 6 feet D x 8 inch H platform.
    The reason for this post is three-fold:
    1) To recommend highly the EX-1200 as an outstanding way to control the buttkicker(s) and Amplifier(s).
    2) Implore others to take the time and effort to implement tactile transduction as an essential, or at least ideal way to feel as though you are a part of the movie. I will be glad to help anyone or give advice based on my experience.
    There are a few ways to properly implement tactile transducers.
    3) Ultimately, a discrete tactile channel is needed from Hollywood to achieve true, natural, tactile transduction, without reliance on the LFE/SUB output(s). A discrete tactile channel (limited bandwidth is fine, 200 Hz minimum would be acceptable) could allow wonderful tactile effects up to 1 KHz! (Pacinian Corpuscles, our specialized nerve endings responsible for vibration work up to approximately, the 600 Hz range, depending on which neuro books or studies are quoted). Only a discrete channel could take tactile feedback to its proper and well-deserved place in home theater. Tactile feedback from the subwoofer/LFE output is crude and inaccurate compared to what could be accomplished via a discrete tactile channel. I'd be willing to settle for a limited bandwidth of 200 Hz if bandwidth is a problem, but would prefer something closer to 1 KHz.
    I can only HOPE, after experiencing the wonders of tactile feedback, that Hollywood will implement a discrete tactile transduction channel at some point.
    ------------------
    Pictures: The Worm Hole Theater featuring the Black Hole Subs and Death Star Platform
    [Edited last by ChrisA on August 09, 2001 at 07:40 PM]
     
  2. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    Chris:
    First of all, congrats on your new site!! Looks like all your hard work over the last year+ in "gp" has paid off from the look of your HT pics. (I am shocked the MSB progressive upgrade has not taken off more on this site.....I've had nothing but terrific results from my Sony.)
    Quick question, what does the 1200 do? On the audio side, I am very much a novice....so in simple terms would be great.
    Ron
    PS: I too love the BK vs other TT products.
     
  3. ChrisA

    ChrisA Second Unit

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  4. Ben Reierson

    Ben Reierson Extra

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    Chris,
    You say you don't use the crossover in the EX-1200 and just feed it everthing below 60hz? I would think you would want to use the crossover to get rid of some of that higher stuff in the 40-60hz range.
    I have a set of four aura bass shakers, which are nothing compared to the butt kickers, but they are tactile tranducers nonetheless. Anyway, I always thought they worked best when they were only reproducing the signals meant to be more felt than heard, like the 30-10hz range.
    It must work out though because you say they aren't active most of the time, is this just because you have them turned down low enough so that you don't notice them in that upper range?
    Btw, if you were to get your wish and have a dedicated Tactile channel what frequencies range would you give it?
     
  5. John H

    John H Second Unit

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    quote: Implore others to take the time and effort to implement tactile transduction as an essential, or at least ideal way to feel as though you are a part of the movie.[/quote]
    I have been using TT's in my system for several years now. An array of of 8 RBH FX80's were my first installation. I have also used Clark 329F and platinum models.
    IMO tactile transducers are a necessary part of HT.
    I am currently using 2 buttkickers in my setup.
    My TT's are used to activate a queen size adjustable bed in a bedroom based system.
    Like ChrisA I also use a platform mount configuration. One 2' X 4" X ¾" platform for each pair of bedframe legs. Each is fitted with 4 feet from Kinetics Noise Control. This isolates it from the concrete slab floor and allows the bed to cycle. I have 1 BK mounted to each.
    I use 2 subharmonic processors. An Audio Control PCA III generates subharmonics 1 octave below and a Behringer EX1200 generates signals 2 octaves below the original.
    A Paradigm X-30 lowpassed at 50Hz is used to limit the signal feeding the PCA. I use another X-30 lowpassed at 35 Hz to sum the two synthesizers signals before feeding a pair of Carvin DCM1000 amplifiers bridged to 1000w @ 4 ohm mono ea.
    With alot of tweaking I have achieved the optimum blend of subharmonics.
    I also use a PCA on my Subwoofers. Another X-30 lowpassed at 40 Hz feeds a pair of 18" subwoofers with bypassed internal crossovers.
    My pre/pro allows me to bypass it's internal lowpass when using external units. All 5 channels are higpassed at 40 Hz using the pre/pros filter.
    Subharamonic synthesizers really add to the BK's already outstanding performance.
    Chris,
    Are you still looking at that Dbox system?
    John
    ------------------
    Bedroom Based Theater
    [Edited last by John H on August 09, 2001 at 11:59 PM]
     
  6. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the info Chris. This sounds like a "must have." Where did you purchase your unit? And, I assume I could use a couple of y adapters and send the sub signal from the Behringer to the one buttkicker and two SV subwoofers? I assume the SV subs would also benefit from this device?
    Thanks
    Ron
     
  7. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    Chris,
    Great suggestion for the tactile channel. Now if you can only find out who to send the email suggestions to.....
    ps-looking forward to those gp NHTs.
     
  8. ChrisA

    ChrisA Second Unit

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    quote: You say you don't use the crossover in the EX-1200 and just feed it everthing below 60hz? I would think you would want to use the crossover to get rid of some of that higher stuff in the 40-60hz range.[/quote]
    There is NO REASON to use the crossover in the EX-1200 since it is already getting the LFE/subwoofer crossover output. There is absolutely no reason, IMO, to get rid of ANYTHING. 40-60 Hz is meat and potatoes, even for the tactile transducers. The nice part about the EX1200 is that you can adjust the amount of DEEP bass and Subharmonics relative to the plain input it is receiving from the LFE/sub. Additionally, you can set the overall level to your liking. Having it reproduce up to 120 Hz would also be fine using the EX-1200 since you could simply boost the subharmonic generator level higher. There are several knobs on the EX 1200 which allow fine tuning to make the most out of the LFE/Channel for tactile transducers. Of course, the problem one can run into when feeding tactile transducers too much info above 120 Hz is you may start to get vocals and unwanted effects on the soundtrack that start producing unwanted tactile information. THIS IS ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS FOR THE NEED FOR A DISCRETE TACTILE CHANNEL, but there are a few more.
    When tactile transducers follow the soundtrack instead of a dedicated tactile channel, it is impossible to have proper amounts of tactile response relative to the soundtrack. It is important to generate subtle tactile effects, which are often missed when using the LFE and soundtrack. There are also grossly exaggerated effects which should be reproduced in a much smaller magnitude. Feeding tactile transducers the LFE/sub channel is HIT AND MISS. Even with hit and miss, IT IS INCREDIBLE, and adds SO MUCH to the realism. Once you experiment and gain experience, one can see what a revolution, AN ABSOLUTE REVOLUTION, a discrete tactile channel could make. Further, limiting the tactile transducers to the LFE channel/sub output limits the frequency response and therefore the higher frequencies that we are used to encountering daily. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR MISSING IF YOU'VE NEVER EXPERIENCED IT. The goal of a discrete tactie channel should be to reproduce tactile and vibratory information to approximately 600 Hz, with the same naturalness we feel in real life, and ewhat the characters are feeling on the screen. It is all about virtual reality. And it can be a heck of a lot of fun also. Imagine having the speeder bikes in "Return of the Jedi" vibrating with fundamentals in the 400 Hz range as well as very low fundamentals. Imagine having this vibratory information provided through a discrete channel to your tactile tranducers. Tactile information through a discrete channel would be able to to convey the full natural touch and vibratory sensation we are accustomed to, additionally we would be able to discriminate a much larger range of sensations from much more subtle as well as very LARGE effects. The gain of the discrete tactile channel could also be adjusted independently of the other channels to match the desired, personalized level.
    quote: I have a set of four aura bass shakers, which are nothing compared to the butt kickers, but they are tactile tranducers nonetheless. Anyway, I always thought they worked best when they were only reproducing the signals meant to be more felt than heard, like the 30-10hz range. [/quote]
    I am unable to compare the Aura's to the Buttkicker's. Not to mention each installation is different. Further, the amount of customization available with the EX 1200 makes an apples to apples comparison impossible. I can tell you that a human being is designed to feel vibratory information upwards of 600 Hz. Pacinian Corpuscles are only are main vibratory sensors. Vibratory information also involves our vestibular system (motion sensing, depending on the degree of motion), as well as a little bit of help from other nerves in our body. 10-30 Hz is nowhere near the bodies capability to sense vibration. 600 Hz is close to the upper limit of vibratory sensation. The problem is that there is no discrete channel for tactile output upon which to show you just what we are all missing and how damn amazing a true tactile channel could be.
    quote: It must work out though because you say they aren't active most of the time, is this just because you have them turned down low enough so that you don't notice them in that upper range? [/quote]
    The reason I am raving over the EX-1200 is because it is outstanding, flexible, and inexpensive for what it does with tactile transducers. All one needs is an EX-1200 a tactile tranducer, and a cheap amplifier to run the tactile tranducer. To answer your question, the reason they are not active most of the time is because I have been watching a lot of 'girl' movies [​IMG] Just kidding. My point is that they are very elegant when implemented properly. For the most part, they are only active when something big is happening. There are also very realistic, subtle effects which are nicely conveyed. Sure, if you want to put U-571 YOU WILL BE AMAZED!!!! Sure, if you want to FEEL like you are in that sub, IT WILL ROCK YOUR WORLD, just like the people in the sub. IT IS AMAAAAAAZING! In fact, it is my favorite demo! When the bombs stop dropping, it rightfully has no tactile response. Appropriatey, no vocals or unwanted information is conveyed into tactile information. Again, this is nowhere near what could be capable with a discrete tactile channel, but with the EX-1200, it makes the most out of using the soundtrack and the LFE/Sub output.
    The buttkickers are limited to 200 Hz, but the Clark Synthesis units are full range. The Buttkickers are very well-built articulate devices if implemented properly. If the day comes that we have a dedicated tactile channel capable of 600 Hz, then I would probably keep the Buttkickers and simply ADD the Clarks. This is a bridge I would cross at that time.
    quote: Btw, if you were to get your wish and have a dedicated Tactile channel what frequencies range would you give it?[/quote]
    5-600 Hz. It is possible to consider up to 1KHz, but 600 Hz is reasonable. Remember, a dicrete channel makes all the benefits possible without any disadvantages. A discrete tactile channel would not have voices present in that channel or anything else that would not be proper for tactile. Cetainly, the tactile channel is mostly about getting the PROPER amounts of tactile response and bringing out the subtleties, like the character in the movie tapping their feet on a wodden floor. We should be able to feel subtleties just as we do in real life. A LOT OF SUBTLE, REALISTIC TACTILE INFORMATION IS NOT CONVEYED CURRENTLY, AND CAN ONLY BE DONE WITH A DISCRETE TACTILE TRACK.
    SUMMARY:
    1) TACTILE FEEDBACK IS AMAZING, EVEN IN THE CRUDE WAY WE FASHION IT FROM THE LFE/SUB TRACK, IF PROPERLY IMPLEMENTED.
    2) The EX-1200 IS VERY AFFORDABLE ($175) AND MAKES THE MOST OUT OF THE LFE/SUB CHANNEL AND SERVES AS AN ACTIVE STEREO PRE-AMP FOR ADJUSTING THE LEVEL OF THE TACTILE RESPONSE.
    3) A DISCRETE TACTILE CHANNEL WOULD REVOLUTIONIZE OUR EXPERIENCES WITH MOVIES.
    4) AN ORGANIZED EFFORT SHOULD BE MADE TO CONVEY OUR SUPPORT AND DESIRE FOR A DISCRETE TACTILE CHANNEL.
    ------------------
    Pictures: The Worm Hole Theater featuring the Black Hole Subs and Death Star Platform
    [Edited last by ChrisA on August 10, 2001 at 06:59 PM]
     
  9. ChrisA

    ChrisA Second Unit

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  10. John H

    John H Second Unit

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    I would use caution when using a subharmonic synthesizer on the Aura's.
    Dropping the bass an octave and mixing it back in will put extreme excursion requirements on an already displacement limited situation.
    The BK's are monsters when it comes to low frequency extension and are ideal for this.
     
  11. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    John:
    Thanks for your thoughts. Any suggestions on where to purchase the Audio Control PCA III? How much should I expect to pay?
    Thanks
    Ron
     
  12. John H

    John H Second Unit

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    Ron,
    I believe the PCA III is a discontinued item now.
    I have been using my original unit for a few years. Several months back I noticed my local dealer had 2 units still in stock. I picked up both. I now use 2 in my setup and gave one to a friend.
    You might be able to still locate a new unit. You also see one once in a while sellng on e-bay. They also occasionally show up on the used gear audio sites.
    I beleive Chris metioned he had run one down a few months ago before deciding on the EX1200.
    John
    ------------------
    Bedroom Based Theater
     
  13. ChrisA

    ChrisA Second Unit

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    In my opinion, I would not use a subharmonic synthesizer with subwoofers. I feel they are fine with tactile transducers, but not worthy of placement with subwoofers. I like natural bass from the subwoofers, which is already hard enough to get from Hollywood. Just my opinion of course. Certianly, a subharmonic synthesizer could add more depth to the bottom end at the expense of 'naturalness'. Considering that the LFE often contains a lot of artificial crap anyway, it certainly might be fun to try it out. Considering that U-571 can already knock the wind out of people through the tactile, and already blends very well with the subs, I don't see the need to hit people in the face with the subwoofer voice coils [​IMG] The 8-9 Hz from the Buttkickers already give the realistic feeling. Taking the subs from 20 Hz, as is found in many DVDs supposedly these days, down to 10 Hz is kinda cool, but I'd prefer that Hollywood did it by using better, uncastrated, full-bandwidth sound effects. For instance, consider the Telarc recorded sound effects that have 7 Hz fundamentals, such as the live Cannons recorded in the 1812 overature... no fake subharmonic 7 Hz there. (As most of you know, Telarc CD's, many of which are by Eric Kunzel, often contain sound effects with single digit fundamentals. However, since we are going to be limited to what is provided by Hollywood, I guess it could be fun to generate some artificial 7 Hz for the subs. I hope that we continue to find more full-range sound effects that do not have the bottom end chopped off.
    Most people do NOT have the subwoofer headroom to put subharmonic processors on their subs anyway, so IMO, just get the subharmonic for the Buttkickers.
    ------------------
    Pictures: The Worm Hole Theater featuring the Black Hole Subs and Death Star Platform
    [Edited last by ChrisA on August 11, 2001 at 05:31 PM]
     
  14. John H

    John H Second Unit

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    Chris,
    That is why I recommened the PCA. The lowest subharmonic signal the subwoofer will see is 17.5 Hz from the low end of a 35-70 Hz frequency sampling range.
    A higher sampling range range can be selected for an inadequate subwoofer.
    I have been using a PCA on my subs for several years. I have never been a naturalist though! [​IMG]
    John
    ------------------
    Bedroom Based Theater
     
  15. ChrisA

    ChrisA Second Unit

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    Going to watch EMEMY AT THE GATES with a few other friends. CAN'T WAIT!!! I haven;t gone to a commercial theater since Gladiator (because I couldn't wait).
    BOMBS AWAY!
    [Edited last by ChrisA on August 11, 2001 at 07:07 PM]
     
  16. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    Thanks for all the information and input. I relly appreciate the feedback.
    Ron
     
  17. John H

    John H Second Unit

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  18. ChrisA

    ChrisA Second Unit

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    Stacey Spears Reports from CEDIA that there is the new buttkicker II. It is smaller, more powerful, more efficient, and cheaper! This one will fit in a 2x6 while the other required a 2x8.
    For those who don't know, Eminence Speaker Corp is the OEM for the Buttkicker. I'll have to give Marvin of tech support a call on Monday. This may be the time to purchase 4 new ones to replace the other 2 buttkickers. Headroom is nice to have on any device that pushes the extremes on occasion. I'll probably stack two on the left side of the plaform and two on the right (side by side) and in stereo. I wonder if they are shipping yet?
    They are probably still 4 ohm loads, so it might be tough to get the bridged 2000 watt mono to drive a 2 ohm load properly. In general, I am anxious to discuss the physics with him. The Crown K2 amps are still the best way to go IMO, as they are fanless. I'll probably sell the Carvin's and grab a couple K2 amps. I need to look into the QSC Audio amps first to make a decision.
    Check out both the Crown K2 as well as this amp manufacturer for alternatives to the Carvin amps.
    www.qscaudio.com/products/amps/plx/plxspecs.htm
    On a further note, I'm a little weary about the new one. I was just thinking about what Stacey Spears reported. Physics dictates that the decrease in size and increase in efficiency may indeed change the resonance frequency. You don't get something for nothing. Hoffman's Iron law for subwoofers applies to tactile transducers. Something tells me that since the efficiency is increased and they are smaller, they probably have a much higher resonance frequency. This means they might have traded off some deep bass extension capability. I am not going to be quick to jump just yet. The smaller size itself is inconsequential and not of benefit to me. If there has been a trade off for deep bass extention, I will probably not be interested in the new unit. Newer is not always better. I'll be sure to clarify exactly the differences. Whatever the case may be, the Buttkicker transducers are absolutely wonderful devices.
    ------------------
    Pictures: The Worm Hole Theater featuring the Black Hole Subs and Death Star Platform
    [Edited last by ChrisA on September 09, 2001 at 04:56 PM]
     

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