Shocking Use of Sound Mill (Customer Story)

Product logoSound Mill

"This software [ Sound Mill ] is awesome."
Martin Menard, Haunt Creator and Tech Lead

Integrating Sound Mill and/or Video Mill into a Haunt that is automated with a non-Windows software app.

Whatever You Do, Do NOT Touch That Button!!

Figure 1. The Haunt (Click to see larger image)
🔍 Click for Larger Image
Figure 1. The Haunt (Click to see larger image)

In brief, this story demonstrates how you can send commands to Sound Mill , Video Mill , or FreeStyler DMX Portal from any third party program (Windows or non-Windows). All you need to do is send simple text message commands from your app via standard UDP networking protocol using a network router. There are lots of UDP tools for many different operating systems on the Web to chose from (some are free).

Watch the Companion Video
play video See the companion Youtube video that has a live video clip of this Haunt in action.

Customer Testimonial
"Although I’ve only scratched the surface with your software so far, I have to say it’s pretty cool. I was able to write a very simple script on my processor, connect to Sound Mill and make it play/stop individual tracks, etc…. It’s one of the few things in life that work pretty much as advertised. The setup really isn’t that difficult, probably because your documentation is pretty accurate. "
- Martin Menard, Haunt Creator

The Requirements
Martin Menard designs and runs an interactive Haunt for a local school, as well as at his house for the community Trick-or-Treaters in Kanata Ontario Canada. It is automated with a Home Automation product named Crestron (not Windows based). There is a lighted button on the entrance walkway (Figure 1, bottom, middle), that when pushed will trigger a DMX light strobe as a the poor soul on the porch gets electrocuted (I'm sure he deserved it). The large wooden box lid also vibrates opened/closed by the 'Monster' inside it (air compressor activated).

In 2018, Martin wanted to upgrade the audio capabilities so that when various events happened in the Haunt, audio sound effects could be triggered by the events. The events might include: a button is pressed; or a lazer beam is broken by someone walking past it, etc. He emailed us to ask if his Crestron based system could communicate with Sound Mill ? It was a good question. Sound Mill 's IPC feature can send/recieve commands to/from another app using standard network UDP (User Datagram Protocol). We advised that all he should need to do is send text commands to Sound Mill using UDP that would start audio files playing. With Sound Mill running on a separate Windows laptop and speakers connected to it, the only additional hardware needed is a network router to facilitate the networking. That was the theory anyway, because we had never actually tested this type of setup.

A short while later, Martin emailed back to report it was up and running with no problems. Next year he plans to add video displays to the Haunt using Video Mill . We're dying to see it.

Figure 2. Electric Chair with Strobing DMX Light
Figure 2. Electric Chair with Strobing DMX Light

Knowledge Base Article
book iconSee this Knowledge Base article that details how to integrate Sound Mill , Video Mill , or FreeStyler DMX Portal with any third party program (Windows or non-Windows).

Gear/Tech Specs

  • Crestron is a Home Automation product (not Windows based) that will monitor sensors and trigger events based on sensor state changes.
  • 2 Crestron processors for sensor monitoring and control of hardware devices.
  • 2 laptops. One Windows laptop for Sound Mill with speakers attached.
  • Network router (for communications between Crestron and Sound Mill ).
  • 1 ArtNet to DMX converter, DMX lights.
  • Miscellaneous lights.
  • Air compressor.
  • Projector.
  • Other odds and ends.

Product Information

* Haunt video courtesy of Martin Menard Copyright © 2018.