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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Sound System (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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wizardofsorts
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Chicago, IL
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What sound systems do you use (if any) when busking? Have you ever gotten into trouble over the use of amplification?

Edd
Visit the Wizard of Sorts at http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Jim Snack
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Inner circle
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I've used an Anchor MiniVox, but honestly it wasn't worth the trouble carrying the extra weight. Travel light and practice vocal projection!
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
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magicsoup
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I have used a Fender Amp Can. I also play music during my show so I need something, it's not an option for me.
Kozmo
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I think that an amp is a really good idea. It gives you an immediate presence, also, you don't have to holler so it mellows your voice and makes you more likeable. I might just buy me one of those fender cans soon. How much was it?

koz
magicsoup
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I bought mine two or three years ago for $250 Canadian.
KingStardog
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The magic warehouse has a mini PigNose amp. Anyone use these?
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
Rich Cowley
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Orange County, CA
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I've used a PigNose on rare occasions (they're the lightest/most reliable things I've come across). But, I have to say, 99.9% of the time I avoid electronic amplificiation altogether.

While I understand tedb's opinion of "an amp mellows your voice and makes you more likeable", I would instead suggest that, with a little voice training, I've found you can project even a weaker voice a goodly distance, and still retain the "likeable" qualities of that same voice.

Another upside to avoiding amps is, any other acts working nearby won't be irritated with you when you drown them out using artificial means. In some cities/zones, amps are forbidden anyway, so if you train and rely on just your natural abilities, you'll never have to compromise.

Thanks for listening!
"Mankind's greatest problem is a perfection of means, and a confusion of ends." - Albert Einstein
BroDavid
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America’s North Coast, Ohio
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I simply project my voice. After years of public speaking, MCing public events, and doing radio and other voice recording for commericals, etc. I can "reach down" and be heard above the deafening roar.

The only time I had a problem, was one show when I was ill with a fever, headache, etc. and completely lost focus on everything, including projecting my voice.

Not using an amplifier has a couple of advantages. First, you don't have to drag it around, you don't eat batteries, and you have a reason to say, "Come in closer now, so you can see and hear the magic...The only speaker that you will hear feedback from, is me..."

I do have a couple of portable sound systems, and use them at gatherings of 500-up, but so far that had not been used for my magic act. MY crowds are generally a bit smaller than that.

But I have been thinking of using my bullhorn a little, just to see if it helps in the flea market...

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Kozmo
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I have been getting intense headaches lately from doing many shows in the sun and talking very loud. A sound system is in my very near future, plus my voice is kind of raspy so...I'm gonna have one. And to tell the truth, the guys who consistently get the best hats have one, wtih some exceptions.

koz
Rich Cowley
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Orange County, CA
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Tedb, I'll share some thoughts I learned while making a living for almost 15 years on Philadelphia streets:
  1. To fight dehydration (your headaches and raspy throat) keep your hat *on your head* until the end of the show, and drink *only water* (no Gatorade, no soft drinks, no alcohol) while you're out there. That might help quite a bit. Also, keep your shows short: it'll be easier on your voice, and easier on your audiences (remember, they're out in the sun as well!)
  2. Learn a bit about proper voice projection; your simply "talking loud" can strain (and in some cases ruin) your voice. An untrained voice with the volume turned up not only burns out the performer, but can often sound thin and "whiney" to an audience. Aim to give the impression (even with your voice) that *you're in control*.
  3. I must have been one of your "exceptions", because I was one of only two acts in the area I worked that *didn't* use a sound system, and (blushing here) we were the only ones making a living at it. Look closely at "the guys with the best hats", and I suspect you'll see *other* reasons for their success besides their microphone. I've seen a lot of street shows, and I've never seen a straight correlation between sound systems and success.
  4. Always, always, always remember: the more stuff you need to do your show, the more dependent you become, and the better your chances you have of some minor catastrophe (tired batteries, stolen equipment, etc.) fouling up your flow.
Thanks for listening!
"Mankind's greatest problem is a perfection of means, and a confusion of ends." - Albert Einstein
ROBERT BLAKE
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When I started out doing street magic (13 years ago) I wanted to get a big crowd without the aid of an amp.

After a few years I was able to get my big crowd. Then I decided to buy an amp.

Some magicians who are starting with street magic think that having an amp will help to get a crowd. This is not true. I saw performers die who used an amp.

So my advice is first learn to get a crowd without an amp and then buy one. The amp is great and it saves your voice. I always use it.

My amp is a CRATE (taxi) and you can find it on their website http://www.crateamps.com

Look for the taxi/limo series. I use the taxi and I can easily do 12 shows of 45 minutes with it before recharging. This was, for me, the best buy for my street show.
Smile
James Peters
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Romford, UK
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I use a Fender Accoustasonic Guitar amp. Not the cheapest, just what I have available!

I play guitar anyhow, and the amp had an XLR input for a microphone.

James.
wizardofsorts
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Chicago, IL
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Does any know anything about the Anchor Liberty system? I have a Theatre Degree and therefore am trained in voice projection but after an hour or so I get tired. I thought I could use the amp to make my voice as loud as it was being projected (so as not to annoy other performers) but I wouldn't have to work as hard.

Edd
Visit the Wizard of Sorts at http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Kozmo
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Guys, I make a living doing street magic and I get good crowds and I get good hats. The reason I wanted to get an amp was to help with this new problem of headaches. They are nasty and very painful. An amp would help with that.

I'm 46 and been doing this for a long while. I likely will never take voice lessons and an amp will help build. They can hear from farther away. I would think an amp is in my near future. It's going to be one that I can attach to my table so that when I move my table as I go through the show, the amp moves back with me. I think this will work. I'm thinking of how to design all of this now. We will see how it comes out...

koz
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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Koz, will the microphone be a radio mike I assume? How much can you expect to pay for a lower end system like this? Can you also plug a boom box into it for music?
Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Kozmo
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I think you could plug a CD changer into it, a battery-powered one.

The mic will be wireless, a lapel mic.

koz
hat trick
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Koz...

Check out this PA system: http://www.hisonic.net/SH120B.htm

Best...
Hat Trick
Kozmo
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Hat trick, I don't know what to think? It might be great, might be junk. I want to see what I'm buying.

I'm thinking about an amp can...Fender...

koz
wizardofsorts
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Chicago, IL
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If you buy this type of amp your microphone receiver would have to be battery powered also. Do they make these? And if so, where do you get one and how much are they? I was looking into the Anchor Liberty System with a lapel mic.

Edd
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Kozmo
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Yea, they have wireless mics that are battery operated. Lots of them.

koz
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