When Oceaneering identified the need for a better ride vehicle amplifier product, they went to Alcorn McBride.
Matt Kent, head of creative services at Oceaneering Entertainment Systems, says that “they quickly understood what we were talking about. Before AmpTraXX we had to specify separate marine amplifier and playback units and make more room inside the vehicles to accommodate them. Now, we have a complete audio system from Alcorn consisting of the AM4 audio playback unit and the new AmpTraxx amplifier. Combining these allows us to achieve a much smaller footprint which is an incredible lifesaver for us – it means less equipment to cram into a vehicle.”
Alcorn McBride Director of Engineering, Jim Carstensen, compares the size of the AmpTraxx amplifier to that of “a large hardcover book, which is tiny for a 400-watt unit.”
Oceaneering’s newest product, EVO-6, a full-programmable, fully motion-based six-passenger tracked ride system will be the first ride vehicle to use AmpTraXX.
Kent says that, “Alcorn McBride’s track record for customer service is amazing. They respond to us instantly.”
Rob Trudell, Oceaneering project engineer, adds that Alcorn “really stepped up to the plate” to quickly develop a product that met the very specific needs of Oceaneering-caliber ride vehicles. “They had an operational demo ready for us in only two weeks and our complete production run in four months! That’s amazing!”
The new AmpTraXX DSP-Enabled 16-channel Ride Vehicle Amplifier is a companion to Alcorn’s RideTraXX 16-channel solid-state audio playback system and TourTraXX GPS-triggered multi-channel audio player.
Each 25W channel of AmpTraXX has independent DSP capability, including a 9-band EQ, dynamic range and compression control (DRC), as well as gain and stereo/mono mixing capability. Channel pairs can also be bridged to provide 50W if more power is required. AmpTraXX is easily programmed with graphical Windows and Mac OS compatible software included with each unit.
All settings are non-volatile, and the USB and serial interfaces can also be used for on-the-fly volume and mute adjustments for installations equipped with a control system. AmpTraXX can even be controlled directly from RideTraXX, eliminating the need for an external control system.
Each amplifier is completely protected against short-circuit and overdrive events, and all inputs and outputs are on vibration-resistant, locking connectors to guarantee years of maintenance-free operation. A dual-color LED constantly displays the status of the unit.
AmpTraXX has been uniquely designed for vehicle applications, and potential applications include not only theme park ride vehicles but also multi-lingual transportation systems and tour buses.
Kent is impressed that AmpTraXX has “16 channels of audio in the footprint of a device that would normally have 2 or 4 channels. Before, it would have taken four or more devices of the same footprint to give us the equivalent output. It has digital signal processing on board so we for the first time, we don’t need additional devices to achieve the same task. And custom brackets from Alcorn allow the AmpTraXX and Alcorn’s AM4 Digital Audio Machine to be stacked, which frees up a lot of panel space.”
The longevity of the product life is also attractive: “Unlike a typical amp or speaker system, which is generally obsolete within 6 months, AmpTraxx is going to be on the shelf for a minimum of five years. I can just put it into a vehicle and not worry about it.”