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Author Topic: Those musical wheels  (Read 1932 times)

JMFabiano

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Those musical wheels
« on: January 29, 2004, 03:35:33 PM »
Possibly stupid question, but I was wondering about the technicalities of the game show wheels with sound effects, including the Showcase Showdown wheel(s), the Star Wheel, and the Melody Roulette.  Are the SFX piped in somehow and played in synch with the wheel spinning, or is it part of the device's mechanism?  The case of the Star Wheel is one that comes to mind, as I've seen occasions where it does indeed beep when moved at all.  Then again, if you remember the MG79 episode where Gene has an "argument" with the SW, you'd assume the beeps can be played independently too.
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uncamark

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Those musical wheels
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2004, 03:52:14 PM »
[quote name=\'JMFabiano\' date=\'Jan 29 2004, 03:35 PM\']Possibly stupid question, but I was wondering about the technicalities of the game show wheels with sound effects, including the Showcase Showdown wheel(s), the Star Wheel, and the Melody Roulette.  Are the SFX piped in somehow and played in synch with the wheel spinning, or is it part of the device's mechanism?  The case of the Star Wheel is one that comes to mind, as I've seen occasions where it does indeed beep when moved at all.  Then again, if you remember the MG79 episode where Gene has an "argument" with the SW, you'd assume the beeps can be played independently too.[/quote]
It's been well established that Denise provides the beeps for the Big Wheel on her sampler.  Her monitor has the camera taking the close-up shot of the wheel and she watches that.  I would assume that the Star Wheel worked similarly, except the sound effects person had a box that made the "beep" noise instead of a sampler.

In the case of "NTT," in the early years the Melody Roulette sound was the keyboard player in the band playing arpeggios on the electric piano (for the first syndie season, it was the harpist in Bob Alberti's band).  I would suspect that the '84 "NTT" sound was off of the keyboard player's synth, but considering how much of '84 "NTT"'s music was not played live by Tommy Oliver and the boys, it was probably on a cartridge, as well.

SplitSecond

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Those musical wheels
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2004, 04:03:56 PM »
Denise does "provide" the SFX, but under most normal circumstances, the MIDI sampler is triggered by an optical switch on the back of the wheel that feeds off a series of black and white stripes on the wheel, so that Denise doesn't have to trigger the effect by hand.

Clay Zambo

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Those musical wheels
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2004, 04:19:42 PM »
I should hope there's some switch that does the triggers the sound...otherwise, geez, what a case of carpal tunnel that could lead to!
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JMFabiano

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Those musical wheels
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2004, 04:50:13 PM »
So it's a combination of manual and sensory, then?  

On a related note, I LOVED the NTT '84's dreamy/hypnotic Roulette sounds.  It's memories of that that partially keep me from calling the later incarnation a total waste.
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tvrandywest

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Those musical wheels
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2004, 05:02:55 PM »
Beware Split Second. He is dangerous. He holds many secrets of game shows!

Quote
So it's a combination of manual and sensory, then?

Because there is apparently still some confusion...
The MIDI is triggered by a relay positioned on the wheel setpiece that is opened and closed by an optical device that reacts to the reflective quality of tape that is positioned on the side of the spinning portion of the wheel. As the pieces of tape pass, they trigger the rapid on-and-off effect. Quite ingenious! The big wheel in the Harrah's stage show uses the same technology.

Denise usually only adds sounds manually as needed in unusual situations or malfunctions, and can kill the audio when the wheel stops at the edge of the tape causing the relay to open and close rapidly (repetitive beeps while the wheel is not spinning). The beep sfx is also stored in the post suite to help "sell" any edits that may be needed in the Showcase Showdowns.

Next someone will want to know how the model droids seem so lifelike   ;-)

Randy
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« Last Edit: January 29, 2004, 05:20:00 PM by tvrandywest »
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DrBear

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Those musical wheels
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2004, 07:36:40 PM »
[quote name=\'tvrandywest\' date=\'Jan 29 2004, 04:02 PM\'] Next someone will want to know how the model droids seem so lifelike   ;-)

 [/quote]
 Nah, I just want to be there for the testing....
This isn't a plug, but you can ask me about my book.

JMFabiano

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Those musical wheels
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2004, 09:44:47 PM »
OK, next question...did the Rainbow Wheel work the same way?  Its sound was more, shall I say, constant; i.e. not depending on when a space is passed.
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davemackey

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Those musical wheels
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2004, 05:44:19 AM »
[quote name=\'tvrandywest\' date=\'Jan 29 2004, 05:02 PM\'] Next someone will want to know how the model droids seem so lifelike   ;-)
 [/quote]
 Lifelike? Bah! Just tell me where I can get a couple of dozen to liven up parties!