Flaming Lips - Zaireeka synchronization

So, the Flaming Lips came out with this 4-CD album, and it was composed such that you could play any combination of the 4 CDs simultaneously (two of them, three of them, or all four) and the composition would sound, um, composed. It would make sense, musically. In particular, I hear that the drumming was supposed to combine really awesomely.

Anyway, I was thinking about this, and I realized that I had enough gear to be surrounded by four systems playing at once. The only problem is getting the various parts to start playing at the right time. Roon’s zone grouping wouldn’t do it, since that would only play one of the four parts at a time. Does anyone here have any suggestions on how to get this done? In particular, with Roon, since I don’t use any other player apps?

Thanks for helping me solve this musical puzzle!


Mux them together to a single stream before playing?

That might be the closest I get. Unfortunately, the obnoxious artist intended it to be heard on four systems. I think they were going for an immersive vibe.

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:joy: :+1:

Edit Consider me sucked in. I love the Flaming Lips but have never felt the need to own this. I do like a challenge though and am thinking about trying this. If what you say is true there are 15 potential mixes of the album. That’s not something I’d care to coordinate from separate CDs playing in unison. I feel a second-hand CD purchase coming.


Something like this: How to overlay/downmix two audio files using ffmpeg - Stack Overflow

Part of what I’m drawn to about it is the gearhead aspect of it. Setting up four systems in my basement listening space looks to be awesome to experience. It wouldn’t be audiophile approved, because of the disparity in systems I would have to use, but I don’t think that’s what the artist intended, so…

Here’s the four systems I could swing:

System One: Devore Fidelity O/96, driven by VTL ST-85 amp, Lamm LL2.1 pre-amp, and PS Audio DirectStream DAC.

System Two: Aerial Acoustics 7b, driven by PS Audio GCC-100 integrated, and Musical Fidelity V-90 DAC.

System Three: Klipsch Heresy I’s and SW019 subwoofer, driven by NAD C 316BEE integrated amp, and Squeezebox Touch.

System Four: Klipsch RF-3’s, driven by Sony STR-DN1040 AV receiver, music streamed to receiver.

I guess I could combine all that gear in other ways. I would have to use digital files, since I no longer own a CD player or transport. My basement has plenty of room, so I could be 12 feet from each system.

I think a buddy of mine has the album on vinyl, though I’m not 100% sure it was ever released on vinyl. I only have one turntable, though, so I can’t go epic like that.

I wonder if there is an app that will allow one mouse to control four computers at the same time. The idea being that each computer runs a Roon remote install, but each one controlling a different zone.

Or some way of scheduling the start against a shared clock?

That’s quite an impressive 4 feed system BTW, mine would involve Bluetooth speakers. I’m buying a set, too much fun not to, but will go the mixing route.

I vaguely recall getting this to work years ago with SONOS, setting setting each speaker to play a different Album as an “alarm”, which got them all to sync properly.


That’s brilliant! Roon has an alarm clock extension. I think you found the right solution for this, @Jason_Henry! I’m a little worried about my Roon server banging off four alarms at the exact same time, but it’s totally worth a try. Thanks!

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FYI, I’ve not given up on this. 4 CD set ordered and should arrive for the weekend.

Nice. Good luck! First weekend I get the house to myself, I’ll set up the systems for in-room listening. That’s gonna take a while, because pandemic.

It’s even got a pet project name, Rip & Mix :slight_smile:

Not sure that would work with endpoints without grouping as their is no master clock without grouping and each will have its own clock.

I should have been more specific. I used the Sonos App to accomplish this, back in 2013 or so.

I wonder if I could set up four windows endpoints in order to try to get their clocks synchronized?

Possibly but it’s the DACs thats the clock source in Roon.

I think we’re talking about two different clocks: the clock for the alarm and the digital conversion clock. I don’t think the latter will be a problem, as any differences are likely to be unnoticeable at the scale of music timing (as opposed to “audio” timing). I’m mostly worried about the Roon server running all alarms at a noticeably synchronized time and the individual endpoints responding to the server signal at the same (macro) time.

I imagine it will use only one clock for the alarm, that will be either the core or the host for the extension. It won’t use individual clocks from each endpoint the alarm feature is centralised.

I don’t have anything to add about the practicalities, but your comment about there being 15 potential mixes (or solo albums) is bugging me because I can only find 14:

1 & 2
1 & 3
1 & 4
1, 2 & 3
1, 2 & 4
1, 3 & 4
2 & 3
2 & 4
2, 3 & 4
3 & 4

Am I missing one?

1,2,3 & 4?

Product of a misspent youth, 4 horses is a lucky 15 :slight_smile:


I was just about to delete my previous post as I just realised I missed what should have been the most obvious combination :slight_smile: