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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » The Sound Commander (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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scody
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That's exactly correct Clinton...

I just use a Stereo eight inch to mono quarter inch (or xlr) ... and I'm in business!
g0thike
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WARNING. DO NOT BUY THAT ACER ASPIRE ONE

The typical laptop audio connector is not designed to withstand the abuse of a working magician. Eventually the cheap plastic connector inputs will break and you have to spend cash to have them fixed. The movement of the audio plugs will put stress on the connectors.

I had to repair my laptop 3 times with that problem.

If you do decide to buy a laptop as I have been suggesting for years. Buy one with a Expansion Port- either with ExpressCard or PCMCIA Type II CardBus port on the side.

Then buy the correct card from

http://www.echoaudio.com/






As an example:

This Express Card

http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/Expres......ndex.php


This Laptop with a ExpressCard 54 Slot

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/......H24-8003

G0THIKE
g0thike
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CONNECTORS:

Typically you connect the laptop audio to some 1/8 inch adapter to dual RCA cables that plugs into the board or sound system. But if the rca cables are longer than 15 feet I believe, it turns into a radio antenna and you pick up radio signals.

In some case you would need two rca to 1/4 adapters.

Also when you plugging in to a board you got to be sure its a line (audio- ipod, casset player, cd player, laptop, mp3 player) input and not a microphone input. Some board have a line/microphone switch.

If you plug the laptop into a microphone input you will get static. Typically microphone inputs are XLR, some might be 1/4 inch.

To avoid static you need a Direct Box which will convert your line (audio) signal into microphone signal. Also a direct box can properly mix a stereo signal into mono. If you just use a cheap adapter to combine a stereo to mono signal you will also get static since the signals are fighting each other.

I personally use a Radial ProAV1 Multi Media Direct Box. It converts a stereo signal into a mono signal and allows me to plug in an ipod to a single microphone input into a mixing board, DJ system, etc, etc.

Its also passive, meaning it doesn't need power (battery).

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ProAV1/

It has saved my behind many times. Also I am sure if you look around you might find a better price.

Finally if you want to keep the STEREO feel try this one:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ProAV2/

G0THIKE
TheAmbitiousCard
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To late for me. I'll let you know if anything happens to it.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
scody
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Thanks g0thike...

That's good to know.
I've been using my regular sized laptop for over a year, and have had no problems yet... but it's good to know. I recently switched (a few monts ago) to the smaller acer... and so far, no problems.

I usually connect pretty close to the board.... and like I say... no problems to speak of.

I am curious though... I am using quarter inch cable with an eight inch adapter... not sure how this can pick up like a radio... I've used plenty of mic lines that are this long... and don't have the problem.

Anyway... thanks a bunch. I'll keep everybody posted on how long my laptop lasts Smile
Colin Uk
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Hi

When I used a Laptop for music I used to get a hum when using main (ok off battery.

Solved it with a hum eliminator on the line output.

A thought how do you over people that see a laptop and want to fiddle with the keys?

This is something I encountered a lot of when doing kids shows, I even had a kid turn off my MP3 Tech the other week, fortunately on turning it back on, it went straight back to where I was in the show. Dread to think what it would have been like in the Laptop days.

Colin
mr shiney
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Hi
Is it possible to have two remotes connected and working at the same time.
so I could use one as an ankle switch. like the mp3 tech?
thanks
Best Job in the world

Mr Shiney
g0thike
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Scody,

A long RCA cable can possibly turn into an antenna and you would pickup a radio station. The solution is the direct box, then you can run a long XLR cable to a board.

The thing with the connectors in laptops is that they are made out of plastic and in some cases they are deeply imbedded in the moterboards of the laptop and if they fail it might be impossible to replace.

The connectors in IPODS are made out of metal.

I highly recommend Echo Audio cards.


Frank Starsini,

Im sorry I didn't read this post earlier I was away on some shows. But in all honesty for the past few years I have been hyping laptops. You should have seriously sent me a Private Message.

But your laptop connector might never fail or it may. You should look into a external USB audio card in case it does. The usb audio card will reroute the onboard audio card signal until you get it fixed.

G0THIKE
scody
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Thanks Gothike...

I like those ideas.
I'm definitely not one of those guys who thinks he knows everything... so it's nice to hear your thoughts.

I will say this though... I know many non magicians that use their headphones with their laptops multiple times a day, indeed, far more pulling the cord out, and putting it back in, then even a serious working magician would ever do.

I know that in the computer programming world, people do this a lot... It's how they get through the day many times.

I'm not saying your wrong... and I head your warnings... but so far, it hasn't been my experience.

Thanks for the thoughts.
I will include your warning whenever I talk about my system to others.
Alan Munro
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To avoid picking up radio interference, use shielded cables. Also, if you're plugging into a low impedance microphone jack, make sure that you have an impedance matching transformer.
Professor DoDad
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Scody,
How do we order it. I am currently using VSM. Always like having a back up. I think this it. The idea of using the small computer, I can stick under my table and ready to go.

Question for you, I saw you said use a rf controller. I already use one for my computer. Do each of them have a different channel?

Thanks and looking forward in doing business with you.
Professor DoDad
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Scody,
Sorry for another post. One your little acer computer, have you had it skip if it viberates from an unsteady stage? Hope that makes sense.
Thanks!
Darren
scody
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Sorry about that DoDad...
I gotcha in PM...
scody
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I saw that there is a cheap deal on the asus 8.9 inch on buy.com

SAVE $150.00
FREE BUDGET SHIPPING
Buy.com price: $199.99
List price: $349.99

http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sk......id=17992
magicmanfrank
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Any NEW News on the Sound Commander???

Has a Smaller Keychain type remote been found???

=Frank=
The Early Bird may get the Worm, but it's the SECOND Mouse that gets the CHEESE!!!



Frank Thurston

www.FrankThurstonMagic.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Magic-of-Frank-Thurston/116625117910?ref=nf
Professor DoDad
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I have been using the Honeywell Power Presenter. It gives 3 programmable buttons.
Works fine on mine.
TrickZone
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Is there a Mac version?
Michael Messing
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There is no Mac version but that's alright. I am a long time Mac user. When my iCue Duo started acting flakey, I decided to look into the Sound Commander. I had avoided using a laptop for my music system because I didn't want to have anything that large behind my table or that expensive to transport. (I use a pretty recent MacBook.) Using a netbook was an ideal solution. Sure, it's a PC but all I'm using it for is to run Sound Commander and to check e-mail while away from home.

A netbook is so convenient size wise. I'm in my first week of using Sound Commander for my shows. I've done 4 shows with it and really like the responsiveness of the software.

If you haven't ever used a PC before (I use them regularly), it will a little time for Steve to assist you in setting up your system. (He's very patient! I am reasonably knowledgeable about using a PC but I was having a problem getting my playlist working. Several phone calls later, Steve had me going.)

The one thing I would point out is that it isn't like using iTunes. You don't just drag and drop your tracks into the Sound Commander. It's not hard but you type in your song titles and the display name.

I'm very satisfied with it and I really like having an inexpensive netbook to web surf and e-mail check on the road.
magicmanfrank
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Is there a web link to order the Sound Commander?

=Frank=
The Early Bird may get the Worm, but it's the SECOND Mouse that gets the CHEESE!!!



Frank Thurston

www.FrankThurstonMagic.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Magic-of-Frank-Thurston/116625117910?ref=nf
Michael Messing
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No, Frank, there isn't. You purchase it using PayPal. You'll want to contact Steve about purchasing it. His email address is steve(at)sbobo.net .

Michael
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