So I’ve just returned from Island of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. I found it interesting that there was a close correlation between game audio and theme park audio (well.. from my observations). Now, I’m no theme park sound engineer and I’m sure it’s a huge challenge, but here are a couple of things I noticed that were similar to our world.
The amplitude of the music being output was extremely specific to only reach a certain range before it naturally faded (very similar to 3D audio with radii volume in videogames). For example – the Jurassic Park River Adventure theme was distinctly different at the entrance area and the exit area, but both cross faded naturally over distance seamlessly.
There was definitely something special going on in the “Toon Lagoon” section of the park. There was an orchestral main theme playing throughout the area, without any vocals. As you got closer to certain shops/attractions you could hear the singing from the character that the shop/attraction that it was based on. So, for instance, as I moved closer to the Betty Boop merchandise store, I could hear Betty Boops voice fade in naturally as I got closer to the shop singing along to the main theme in sync. Very clever, and again similar to some game audio scenarios.
There were also a lot of negative parts about the audio, some areas of the park had horribly distorted high end with, what felt like, a huge high pass filter on as well. I think this might be due to the age of some of the speakers, but when they’re blasting out at a ridiculous DB SPL level, it just hurts.
I’m certainly keeping my ears out throughout the trip as it’s definitely an interesting industry in terms of technical achievements, especially in audio.