It’s an automated earthquake simulator, with 6 inches of physical travel, 8.2 audio, dmx lighting effects, as well as mechanical effects– all tied together through max/msp. The operator can initiate and stop the show, and even make a few adjustments in volume and the level of shaking, through a industrial push-button operator console. The audio system is capable of 16 discrete channels with a response down to 8hz. It can monitor up to 16 digital inputs, with an additional 8 capable of a/d conversion. There are also 16 digital outputs to trigger relays, etc. The audio playback system is of solid state design; it’s control was integrated via UDP. The DMX interface is done via TCP, with a current hardware capability to control over 70 fixtures. The system also uses RS-485 for some of the effects. The actual force which pushes the simulator is pneumatic, controlled by solenoids and solid state relays.
Within the rack is a kvm to monitor the cpu which operates the max/msp runtime app. Without the app, nothing at all, would work! The gui shows the status of the the operator console & show, and has several additional (not pictured) tools for behind-the-scenes use and troubleshooting. The application not only monitors, logs and enacts commands from the operator console, but can also operate as a back-up interface. All aspects of the programmed show are controlled through max/msp. Much of this was made more versatile through Col and Text for scripting and value assignments.
Unfortunately, there’s no jitter in this; the viewed image of San Francisco is done via film. It’s a reliable high res solution, when you don’t have the throw or controlled lighting conditions you need for non-pixelated projector views!
That’s it! Of course, we hardly did this ourselves. We worked very hard with in-house teams, as well as a few contractors to complete this project.
Max/MSP is the central show controller software and GUI. It ties several devices together, to create a seamless multimedia/simulation experience.