Buttkicker help please?

  • Hi guys,

    I've seen a few mentions of buttkickers/base shakers on the forum and how they can improve realism with adding the 'feel' to VR flying.

    Does anyone have a link of what I'd need to buy and the setup procedure to get it working for Aerofly?

    Is it a type of speaker which you attach to your chair?

    Thanks and any help would be much appreciated.

  • I was gonna open the same topic:)

    I'm looking into this as well and because I want to implement two shakers (one for my chair and one for the desk where all my controllers are mounted) I was thinking to try BFF's Shaker Card

    It has multiple outputs and on board amplifier.

    Anybody here using this tech?


    Over and Out


  • I went with this cheap option and a cheap 100w amp from ebay

    I have both in series under my seat (+ some extras for G-force/heave simulation)

    Works fine. You need to mirror the audio to your second output (using VB Banana) and I also got an attenuator/bass frequency filter.

    The other/better? option is not to rely on the game audio but to hook sounds/rumbles/frequencies to actions, like runway, flaps, wind, tyres. To do that you need software that can take game data and trigger sounds direct to your buttkicker. Such software was released about 3 weeks ago as part of GameVibe, part of SimTools 2.2 - well actually a plugin update for FS2 is needed and expected soon.

    I'm not using it yet, I need to update from SimTools 2.1 but its on my list

  • I just installed the ButtKicker Gamer 2. I have very little time with it really, but it is fun. It is pretty straight forward to install. You attach it to the post that supports your chair and plug it into the audio out or headphone jack on your computer. The unit vibrates your chair in response to the bass output of the program. I had to download a free mixer program to get both ButtKicker and regular speaker output at the same time. Again, this was a straight forward process.

    A plane that makes a lot of noise in the low part of the audio spectrum makes the chair rumble. Some planes don't make the chair vibrate at all, but that is fairly realistic. Your seat doesn't massage your butt in an airliner!

    I would put this device in the "cool" category rather than the "must have" category, but I am still new to using it and I like it.

  • Interesting coincidence, I just ordered a cheapo amplifier and bass shaker this week for this very purpose, in the post as we speak. I shall pop back to this thread to give feedback and share in everyone's experiences. If it works, it will be a relatively cheap addition to the toybox; I found the full buttkicker device a bit pricey, but there are loads of cheap amplifiers and shakers on Amazon, and the feedback reviews suggest there are plenty of guys out there doing this.

    i5-12600K/MSI RTX 3080/Win11/64Gb RAM/Asus Xonar DX+ Beyer DT990 pro headphones/LG 34" UM65 @2560x1080/Quest Pro/TM Warthog+VKB MkIV Rudder pedals

  • The easy one to setup would be the ButtKicker Gamer2 version

    1) Attach to office chair seat post

    2) Plug transducer into BK amp

    3) Plug BK amp stereo cord into green audio jack on PC

    4) In SteamVR settings, select AUDIO, then MIRROR TO SPEAKERS

    If you're not using SteamVR, just use the included Y-adapter cord for your headphones or if you're using a surround sound system, google how to mirror PC audio.

    The BK amp has filter adjustments to limit what sounds get passed to the transducer. For flight sims I prefer to have the high pass filter ON (pressed in) and the high pass filter dial all the way counter clockwise to filter out as much of the higher frequencies as possible. I don't notice a difference with the low pass switch in or out.

    The BK amp also has +/- buttons for volume control - some plane engines are louder than others so tweak the volume during engine run-up / before take-off and you should be set for the rest of your flight.

  • Just a little question on this: I can see how you would need to mirror the sound signal, as if it's going through a rift, there won't be a signal coming out of the outputs to the speakers. If you mirror the sound output, will it send sound to the speakers as well as a signal to the shaker?

    i5-12600K/MSI RTX 3080/Win11/64Gb RAM/Asus Xonar DX+ Beyer DT990 pro headphones/LG 34" UM65 @2560x1080/Quest Pro/TM Warthog+VKB MkIV Rudder pedals

  • There are normally 2 Ways to activte, as we read here over the Speaker ...low frequencies shakes ...

    ( you can use a Y-cable to hear it on you speakers, and also to send it to an amplifier for the seat)

    Rift speakers are not really nice for real power sound :) )

    and the second is a extra software, who "speaks" with the sim, and "read" when some actions events

    are active, it makes "power" to the speaker.

    The problem is, i dont know if the rumbling software is compatible with FS2 ? there are some ready for FSX ( p3d) like bff.

    mfg, Jens ... Flight-Sim.org

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  • One interesting thing I have noticed from playing around with it today is that it makes the lower FPS you get in VR in other flight sims more acceptable. It seems to fool my mind/body into thinking the less-than-smooth view is a function of the shaking airplane.

    Other people's opinion on this can and will vary.

  • Thanks for the reply, I can see how it would be easy to split the signal going from the sub woofer output on my sound card, feed one side of the Y-cable to the sub and the other to the amp>shaker, but people seem to be using it with VR, so do you think they are not using the rift headphones?

    i5-12600K/MSI RTX 3080/Win11/64Gb RAM/Asus Xonar DX+ Beyer DT990 pro headphones/LG 34" UM65 @2560x1080/Quest Pro/TM Warthog+VKB MkIV Rudder pedals

  • Mirror to SPEAKER really means mirror to that green jack. The ButtKicker plugs into the green jack and if you want your desk speakers to also play the game sounds, just plug the Y-adapter into the green jack and then connect the ButtKicker stereo cable and the desk speaker cable to the other 2 ends of the Y-adapter.

  • but people seem to be using it with VR, so do you think they are not using the rift headphones?

    I spent months on this issue of mirroring rift headphones signal to bass-shaker. SteamVR, various apps, Realtek h/w options. The only reliable thing I found was this:.. EDIT: I don't know why the forum s/w keeps deleting this link??

    You get a new virtual output, which you send your game output to. This output is control by the s/w and sends the signal to both Rift and to bass-shaker, AND you can have differential volume control which is useful as normal FS2 audio is fairly quiet.

  • A few other bits that may or may not be of interest. If you are driving them with a splitter off a regular audio signal, you should consider an amplifier with an adjustable cutoff filter for most flexibility. A fixed low pass will also work, but obviously you can’t adjust it to suit. Or use a subwoofer output.

    The SteamVR software lets you mirror audio if you have a Vive. It may work with the Rift but I don’t know. With mirroring you get audio in the headset using the sound device in the headset and can have audio for the shakers come from another audio card. Where this gets important is if you are doing voice comms with something like TeamSpeak where you can designate an audio source to use. That way you hear other players in your headset but don’t feel their voices in your shakers.

    Some of the guys over at Xsimulator.net have shakers under their seats as well as at their pedals. As Phil mentioned, there is now Game Vibe which lets you use all sorts of channels and shakers and it doesn’t use the regular audio at all. It’s still using audio cards (I use little USB sound "cards"). It takes a Pro ($70) license to get the Game Vibe component so may not be of interest unless you are wanting to build or have a motion sim. There is other software available just for vibrations like SimVibe too. I chose to just go with two amps for stereo so I could have shakers for the right and left side. I used four Buttkicker Minis since they are fairly inexpensive and if I put 2 of them in series they would match the output impedance of the amps I used. I have the cutoffs set to just pass the really low stuff (~125 Hz). It works great on the mirrored audio.

    One thing for sure is for me vibrations add a lot to the experience. Speed-dependent wind is another amazing cue but the Aerofly FS2 plug-in doesn’t support wind yet. Other sim plugins do and it’s great stuff!

    This photo shows my four minis under the chair I use. They are basically at the four seat attachment points. The seat isn’t mounted in the photo.


    Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog, MFG Crosswind pedals, 2 dof Motion, Valve Index

  • Right then chaps, thanks to the advice on this thread, I've got my bass shaker set up and installed in a rough but working condition. I took the front panel headphone output, through the cheapo amp, into the bass shaker. The amp, which has a separate sub output channel, connects to my chair now after I fixed a bit of plywood to a couple of convenient holes I found and then the shaker on to that. A bit of soldering and raiding the box of AV cables and we are up and running. Haven't had much time to test, but first impressions are excellent effect for the price. I'll be back with more detail when I have time.

    i5-12600K/MSI RTX 3080/Win11/64Gb RAM/Asus Xonar DX+ Beyer DT990 pro headphones/LG 34" UM65 @2560x1080/Quest Pro/TM Warthog+VKB MkIV Rudder pedals

  • Hey Jay, it’s DIY. My build thread is over on xsimulator

    Happy to answer any questions. It was a lot of work, and I invested a fair amount of money in it, but I now have my own flight and driving simulator.

    But if you check out the other guys' sims, there are some masterpieces. I lust for a 6 degree of freedom where you really feel the heave, yaw, etc. I’ve just got pitch and roll and approximation of the other forces.

    Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog, MFG Crosswind pedals, 2 dof Motion, Valve Index

  • Wow, I am very impressed with this. Feels great in FS2, but I guess there is not that much variation in the sounds while in flight. I've just had it running in Project CARS2 and it's amazing, really adds to the immersion big time.

    Whole setup only cost £45/$65, so for the money it really is a great addition to the toybox. I think once the sound engine in FS2 matures and we get more landing gear noises, landing rattles etc, it will be even better. Thanks for the info and inspiration, off to do some more testing :thumbup:

    i5-12600K/MSI RTX 3080/Win11/64Gb RAM/Asus Xonar DX+ Beyer DT990 pro headphones/LG 34" UM65 @2560x1080/Quest Pro/TM Warthog+VKB MkIV Rudder pedals

  • Hey John, unfortunately there isn’t a one size fits all "volume" setting. Some sims have less bass than others. PCars2 and AC both have dry strong bass. AFS2 seems a little light in the piston aircraft. I was flying P3D the other day in an A2A 182 and it was so strong it caused my shakers to thermal out and stop working until they cooled. It’s one of the problems with piggybacking shaking on audio. Putting your amp where it’s easy to tweak levels "in flight" is a good solution.

    Also fun is raising/lowering the gear in the AFS2 Corsair as well as folding/unfolding the wings. There’s a strong base clunk that comes in as each gear or wing hits the stops. It’s kind of a trip to feel that.

    Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog, MFG Crosswind pedals, 2 dof Motion, Valve Index