Techie stuff

For the techies amongst you, here is an explanation of the process we use in sound file creation.

We have a vast sound effects library of many thousands of sounds at our disposal. These are real recordings and not some digitally created random noise. They are all recorded at 44.1kHz, which is a commonly used sample rate for broadcast audio.

We also are able to record sounds on location to this same high quality using our portable TASCAM stereo recorder.

Once the sound files are loaded onto our audio editing station, we can overlay, or multi-track the sounds, fading seamlessly from one effect to the next. Our mixer is capable of handling up to 99 individual tracks, although for these sound files we rarely use more than eight tracks. Each track is mixed with the others, all tracks having separate control over stereo panning and volume. Even though the Master Blaster is a monaural device, we keep the files in stereo should you which to play them back on another MP3 compatible stereo device.

Once we are happy with the final mix, we create one single master file, typically of around five to ten minutes in length, and export the file to MP3 format, ready to be copied onto your MicroSD card and ready for you to plug into your Master Blaster. As you only have a single file on the Master Blaster at any one time, the sound file will continue to loop until the unit is turned off.

What is porting?

One reason why other sound effects units costing a lot more do not sound half as good as our Master Blaster is the manufacturer has concentrated more on the electronics. The speaker, the bit that makes the real difference, is an afterthought. I have seen all manner of weird and not-so-wonderful speakers being mounted in all sorts of odd ways. No wonder they sound so bad!

Speakers are transducers that rely on a space for the diaphragm to move air in order to create sound. So bolting a speaker against, say, a bulkhead of a boat is a recipe for very poor and muffled sound. The speaker in the Master Blaster unit is contained in a tube, giving it a porting ability, and allowing enough air around the unit to produce a precise yet powerful sound.

To see how to further increase porting, check out the tips and tricks page!