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This basic tutorial shows how to create a stereo sound file using AUDACITY that has different dialog on left and right channels. The general purpose of doing this would be to easily set up two talking skulls that appear to be having a conversation with each other such as “Joking” skulls. The final sound track is fed into both JEMMY TALK controllers and by removing the appropriate jumper from each controller, you will have two skulls that converse with each other from a single sound file.
As a side note, this method also works with my AUDIO SERVO CONTROLLERS and SQUAWKER TALKER CONTROLLERS.
The steps below assume that you have the two separate audio files that you want to use already recorded and on your PC.

With AUDACITY open, click File > Import > Audio (screen shot #1)
Import your first audio file then repeat the above steps and import your second audio file. Screen shot #2 shows the two separate audio file graphs (2 channels each).
At the left of each graph there’s a small box with the name of each file, just to the right of the name is an arrow for a drop down box. Click that arrow and then choose Split Stereo Track. Do that for both audio files. (screen shot #3)
Next, delete ONE channel from each sound file by clicking the “X” to the left of each file name. You want to end up with just two different graph lines. Screen shot #4 shows where you should be at this point.
Click the drop down arrow next to each file name, the options now show the track as left or right. (screen shot #5 shows this track is left channel)
Make sure you have one track selected as left channel and the other as right channel.
You’ll probably need to split each channel’s audio into small sections with gaps of silence in between so the opposite channel can “speak”. You can split each track by clicking the “I” selection tool at the top. (screen shot #6) Use your mouse to move the “I” across the middle of the track and click where you want to split the track. A thin vertical line will appear where you clicked. At the top, click Edit > Clip Boundaries > Split. (screen shot #7)
In the top toolbar, click the dual arrow button, Time Shift Tool. ( screen shot #8)
Use your mouse to drag the clip and create a “dead” space in the track. Do this as many times as needed to arrange the two tracks so that only one is “speaking” at a time. Of course if you want both skulls to be active at the same time, you would just let the tracks overlap, for example, lets say you want them both laughing at the same time.
Screen shot #9 shows the two tracks split up and spread out so that only one channel at a time is actually outputting audio. You can see how it alternates as to which channel is actually speaking. You can condense the audio graphs by clicking the Zoom tool at the top, then move your mouse cursor to one of the tracks and right click. Each time you right click it will shrink the graphs. If you need to make them bigger, just left click.
You can play the audio to hear what it sounds like at any time with the Pause, Play, Stop buttons at the top left. If you have left and right channel speakers connected to your PC, you will hear the dialog changing sides.
When you are happy with the creation, click File > Export. (screen shot #10)
Give your new file a name, destination, choose WAV or MP3 and click Save.
A Metadata window will appear (screen shot #11) You don’t need to add any info here, just click OK. That’s it, your new split channel sound file is DONE!

 

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You can also do this with 2 songs or sound files so one system can play 2 different rooms. I have done it many time with 2 systems playing to 4 room sounds.
 

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Hello JMAN, I've been looking around forums to find how to do this exact thing. I am using the prop jam'r 4 channel controller and two of my props only need 2 channels to control the air valves. Now I have two props talking to each other using just one controller. The audio separation between left and right is perfect. One speaker behind each prop makes the "conversation" even more realistic. I will try and make a video and post. This also helped me get into audacity a bit further. Thanks for your tutorial!!!!
 

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J-man
I have been using Audacity for my skellys for years with VSA, using 5.1 export to send audio to different skellys. I am having issues with audacity this year with vsa. I picked up a better pc running windows 7. I get an error when loading the audio exported from Audacity. Strange thing is my old pc running XP works fine. Have you run across this issue? I got the second pc because I have 10 skellys and need to use more speakers, but now i am stuck.
Thanks in advance
Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #10
J-man
I have been using Audacity for my skellys for years with VSA, using 5.1 export to send audio to different skellys. I am having issues with audacity this year with vsa. I picked up a better pc running windows 7. I get an error when loading the audio exported from Audacity. Strange thing is my old pc running XP works fine. Have you run across this issue? I got the second pc because I have 10 skellys and need to use more speakers, but now i am stuck.
Thanks in advance
Rich
Wish I could help but I don't use VSA and not really very knowledgeable about it. If the combination works with XP, I would tend to think there's a compatibility issue with Windows 7.
 

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Thanks for the reply, I have asked brookshire and Jon told me to use a plugin with media player. I have no idea how to go about it.

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Was he specific as to what plugin? There are downloadable plugins for Media Player, do a quick google and take a look.
 

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I use Audacity quite a bit to edit and combine audio files for different areas of our setup, but have not tried anything like this to give a voice to a prop. What props and hardware are y'all using for the talking skeletons/skulls setup?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I use Audacity quite a bit to edit and combine audio files for different areas of our setup, but have not tried anything like this to give a voice to a prop. What props and hardware are y'all using for the talking skeletons/skulls setup?
www.Audioservocontroller.com
I have Audio Servo Controllers for servos and Jemmy Talk Controllers for store bought motor driven skulls.
 

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J-Man,

Can you point me in the direction of some pirate sound effects for my skelly? made a Jolly Roger and just need some Pirate spoken word effects.

any help would be appreciated.

thanks,

Mike
 
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