Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Interactive Poll - On-Board Audio on Rollercoasters


Ben Manor said...

I think you guys are a bit down on train audio due to the number of times you've seen it used ineffectively and pointlessly.

Onboard audio is a just as big of a part of an attraction as the visible scenery and the motion forces.

Think of how it affects the experience on rides such as haunted mansion and Indiana Jones Adventure. It is perfectly capable of being used in a beneficial way.
You may sometimes not notice the audio in these cases immediately, but you would sure as hell miss them if they weren't on.

Its just that there are very few examples of it being used in such a way on coasters. Perhaps the best composed example was one of the first, Space Mountain in Disneyland Paris (sadly ruined with more recent iterations). It used to hit crescendos in perfect alignment with passing set pieces, and build tension during slower moments. Really added to the experience.

Just because you've been on a few thrill ride retrofits where an assortment of crap sound effects and stupid slogans are shouted in your ear, doesn't mean there isnt the potential for this technology to be a significant layer of a coasters appeal

Mike Collins said...

Well said, Ben! We'll use your comments in our discussion about the on the next show.

I think Disney and Universal uses on-board coaster audio well, but you're right, we haven't seen any of the other parks do it at quite the same level yet.

Thanks for the good comments!

Carl Petersen said...

Magic Mountain did it well for X2. The only problem is most of the time it doesn't work. Disneyland had the same problem with their first attempt on Space Mountain, but after the big refurb the sound is perfect.

Tom Schulz said...

I'd like to add to the discussion.

I think on-board audio is always a good thing. Actually, I'd like to say "90 Percent of the time," but since I have to pick a side of the fence, I'm all for it! A few examples spring to mind:

1)This winter was my first experience on Space Mountain with On-Board audio. I always loved Space Mountain, but Michael Giacchino's score made it seem that much more fast and frightening. It actually enhanced the experience, matching the moods and moments throughout the ride.

2)On the same visit, I rode California Screamin' with NO sound. Man, is that ride boring without some music to pump you up. Asides from the launch and the loop, its all pretty dull, and there's not much to look at. The music at least distracts from the fact that it's a pretty pedestrian ride.

3)A few years ago I got to ride Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket. The first time my seat was broken, and I had no music. It was an okay coaster with an interesting lift hill, but I've ridden better. I rode it again later that day with a functioning seat, picked some music (Daft Punk) and had a blast! I even started dancing going around some hills.

You may say on-board audio distracts or lessens a coaster, but I say it's an additional emotional stimulus that only can make things better!

Dan the T-shirt guy said...

On-board audio is certainly a subjective things that CAN enhance a ride experience when used properly, such as a ride like Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit or on Rock N Roller Coaster when music is a major part of the theme. But for rides like the "All New" Bizarro coasters at Six Flags and coasters that are just rides rather than full-blown experiences, I say thanks, but no thanks.

I voted no because most of the coasters around are meant to be more of just a coaster than a full blown ride experience. Rides like HRRR, RNRC, and Space Mountain are meant to have it, but otherwise leave it to the dark rides for audio and focus on building a great ride.

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