Dark Hour Haunted House controlled by Q-Sys Core 500i

The Dark Hour Haunted House, a new Texas-based attraction has installed an all-QSC audio system controlled by dual redundant Q-Sys Core 500i processors.

Comprised of three realms — Dominion of the Dead, Coven Manor and Voodoo Vengeance — the high-tech haunted house is kitted out with a variety of QSC Audio active K Series, KW Series and KLA Series loudspeakers, as well as AcousticPerformance and AcousticDesign loudspeakers driven by CX Series and PowerLight 3 Series amplifiers.

The entire audio system is controlled and optimised by redundant Q-Sys Core 500i processors supporting multichannel audio file playlists and managing approximately 60 zones. The system also supports five paging stations and is tied into the building’s fire alarm system.

QSC’s audio solution is part of a vast package of audio, projection, lighting, show production and building control equipment sourced and supplied by GC Pro, Guitar Center’s outside sales division, who also installed in the 30,000 sq. ft. Halloween haunt. GC Pro Affiliate Programme member DJ Sound & Lighting integrated and programmed the QSC system.

The Dark Hour QSC speaker systems include AcousticDesign AD-S8T Surface Mount eight-inch, two-way loudspeakers driven by CX404 amplifiers plus AcousticPerformance AP-5102 ten-inch, two-way and AP-5122 12-inch, two-way loudspeakers driven by PowerLight 3 PL340 amplifiers, as well as active K8 eight-inch, two-way, K10 10-inch, two-way loudspeakers and KW181 18-inch subwoofers. A performance stage located next to the admission line is also outfitted with two flown hangs of three KLA12 Active Line Array loudspeakers and two KLA181 subs each, and also includes KW122 12-inch, two-way floor monitors.

“A typical area in the haunt might have as many as eight speakers, each with individual sound sources such as heartbeats, piano, ambiences and ghosts whispering and moving about, which was simple to set up,” said Troy Gallaher, project manager with DJ Sound & Lighting. “But we have a vortex room, a big spinning tunnel that, when you’re walking through it with your eyes open, makes you feel like you’re going to fall over. So we added four speakers in different places along the length of the tunnel, and we’ve got them firing off at different times. So the sound makes you feel like it’s spinning, too.”

Gallaher programmed the system for iPad control, including a page that switches the entire system on or off: “It’s got a giant red button that says ‘Start.’ Hit it, and it turns green. And I gave them one UCI that has an individual start/stop and a volume for all of the rooms, and also a control to turn on what I call the Doppler Effect for the three different rooms that have that. They can go into one of those rooms, turn on the Doppler, and then turn on that sound and hear it bounce around just by itself, and adjust the volume.”

Five Q-Sys Networked Page Stations are tied into the Dark Hour system.

“Probably the best part of the whole process was QSC’s 24/7 support,” adds Gallaher, who reports that he challenged the QSC support team with some complex sound design questions. “Those guys are amazing and will work with you on anything, day or night.”