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Profile of irishmagic
I used to borrow a sound system from some friends. Until the day came everyone was booked and I was out of luck. For me, the Apollo 6000 was the perfect solution. it fits almost all criteria, its small (18lbs) and packs a punch. you may want to consider investing, it's not only small but has a built in wireless mic, plus 4 extra inputs. Oh, I forgot to mention it has a built in battery. with it there is almost never a question because it can play for small shows as well as larger ones. A friend uses his for large school shows. I know a lot of people who have multiple sound systems, if you don't do too many "huge" shows you really should look further into the Apollo because of its versitility. I got lucky and found it on Ebay but you can do a search on the web and find some dealers.

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Farmingdale. New Jersey
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Profile of vmendoza
Yes it is good to be prepared, and I have several different systems to play for different sized crowds of 100-5000, but years ago, I was attending the graduation ceremony of a friend, and the keynote speaker was Avery Brooks.

When they introduced him, he began to speak as he stood up without the aid of a microphone. His voice alone filled the entire hall, and opened my eyes to how powerful a trained voice could be. Now I'm naturally soft-spoken, so I decided to get some vocal training. You don't have to scream to be heard in a room of people and you don't have to strain your voice.

Yes, a sound system is ideal, but if you can learn to project your voice, a situation like this won't jam you up.

Last year, while doing a Hyp-show, I had a situation where the amp died on the dj who was providing the sound that night, and it happened right in the middle of my show, after the induction and several routines. After supressing my inital reaction to freak out on stage and realizing that I needed to drop the routines that required music and substitute other ones, I put the mike down and kept the show going sans amplifiaction. I had to continue over the ruckus of people laughing and cheering and still maintain control over my subjects. Like they say, "The show must go on." The training I had came in very handy, and my voice was just fine.

Oh, in case you were wondering, the show finished wonderfully, and they've already booked me for this years Project Grad. This time around, I'll use my own system and tacked on a little extra for doing so.
Reuben Dunn
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Has a purple ribbon wraped around my
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Profile of Reuben Dunn
There is an alternative to this specific question.

I did a christmas show in Wales, 40-50 people seated in cabaret style in a hotel dinning room.

What did I do?


I might suggest perhaps at some point taking acting lessons, and learn how to project your voice and be heard.

Too often performers will tend to speak with their throat rather than using the diaphram. This is where the strain comes in.

Of course having a portable PA system is preferable, but for me, at least, with a smallish room / crowd size of 30-50 is no problem in getting heard, or, for the energy level to remain.

Try performing a play for 2.5 hours in front of an audience of over 400 people without microphones..

Just a thought.
Good Thoughts.

Reuben Dunn
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I can't believe I made
968 Posts

Profile of RickDangerous
I did a show on monday for about 150 people. I had no mic, but they could all hear me. It's important not to scream, but to have a strong voice. Don't be scared, just do it.
Mindguy is right, taking acting lessons is the best thing you can do (I did and I learned a lot about using my voice etc)
"Reality is what you can get away with."
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"Think for yourself and question authority."
Timothy Leary
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Profile of entity
The original post stated that he had a show THAT NIGHT, and that he knew ahead of time that the sound system at the venue was out of order. He wanted to know what he could do for that night, or if he would be heard without a sound system.

He had no time for acting or voice lessons in one day.

In my opinion, renting a small system for one day was his best option.

- entity
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Eternal Order
High Desert
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Profile of Decomposed

I paid 224 dollars for mine on Ebay. It is 35 watts and yes its sturdy. The battery is found locally also thru a med supply company.

Thomas Rudolfo
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Vienna, Austria, EU
640 Posts

Profile of Thomas Rudolfo
Sometimes on smaller groups I also use a system similar to the one Rich uses. Its a kind of amplifier and works great. YOu wear it on your belt and have a headset.

But I also agree with Rick. Of course it depends on the accoustics in the room you perform. In one of the two theaters I perform my full evening show at the moment the room also is for about up to 100 to 200 people. But the accoustics are that good that my own voice is enought though I don't have such a strong voice like many others.

But IMO if you use a mic it should be quite visible and not one of the little tiny ear bugs since this could lead some people to the solution that you use the technique to cheat.

Here one of Kreskins shows come to my mind where he uses a quite big mic although he also could have used on of the modern tiny ones. But in using such a big mic such solutions never came up.

Think positive and you'll see, how beautiful your life can be!
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Las Vegas
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Profile of Colin
Craig Steele, a member of the boads here, kindly gave Drew Mcadam and myself a lesson in voice projection. He very professionally took us step by step through it all, and it was well worth the few hours it took to learn the basics of it.

After a little practice you could easily fill a decent sized room (with a few hundred people) with your voice. By the end of the night we were WHISPERING and that was was filling the room (about 20x20meters and a ceiling of 12 meters)

I'd highly recommend flying him over to the US and getting lessons from him!

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419 Posts

Profile of Spinnato
For some reason, this thread bugs me.

If you're being paid by a client as an professional performer, shouldn't you already own some sort of PA system and not worrying about how you're going to be heard hours before the performance??

"Always be prepared." Think I remember hearing that somewhere!!

Just me, I guess.
Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5771 Posts

Profile of Alan Munro
I don't know how reliable the house PA systems are at the banquet facilities that you perform at, but in my area they tend to be rather lousy. They tend to overheat and stop working. I prefer to setup my own system, so that I don't have any surprises. I use a Crate Limo amp, with a Sennheiser Evolution 845s mike - the sound is really nice! The amp is 50 watts and is self powered, so I don't have to look for a place to plug it in.

The last time that I used a house PA was at a convention where the system had been used all weekend, without a problem. Most of the time, the management will swear that they have a great PA, but they cut out 90% of the time.
Tony Iacoviello
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Eternal Order
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Profile of Tony Iacoviello
How did it go Friday night? What did you end up using?

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