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Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Any system with an external/aux input works with an iPod.

The minimum input should be three. One for the iPod, One for a Wireless microphone, and one for a hand held microphone.

The hand held is for assistants called on the stage. The wireless, lapel or headset is not the best for the assistant.

Now this is an individual preference: The weight of the Sound System.
The Fender Passport 150 deluxe, an excellent choice, a little pricey, 22 lbs and an extra trip to the car plus set-up and breakdown time. The system is great for multiple type shows and school schools. I have it love it and use it at conventions, all day events, and large audiences. This system was designed for a small band.

As Gary Sheldon said, "SRM Mackie 150 is 150 watts 3 inputs total weight 7 lbs retails for 250.00". This is my favorite and fits into my Lefler table, quick set-up and break-down. Ideal for a birthday party. This system was designed for a one person "band" or guitarist who sings.

For a handheld microphone, I use the one that came with the Fender Passport, on both systems. I bought a used Audio Tech, with wireless headset microphone and it worked well.

I have a Droidx Cell phone and now testing a new app called Stage Manager, ($4.99). Initial attempts at set-up crashed but an up grade came and it is a cueing system for your shows. Looks promising. If one has a Android cell phone, try the apps. Five bucks is a lot cheaper then an iPod, micro tech, or a computer system, if you already have the Droid cell phone. (Of course it doesn't have a remote)
Dennis Michael
kidshowvent
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Moonrazor..I have an Anchor Liberty as well! It's an older one, 4500 series, but I love it. I also have a Sound Projections 200 watt system I use for outdoor shows. I'm sold on Anchor products! As I am a vent only I use the Shure Mic SM-58, which is used in most theaters. You'll notice a lot of vents (Jeff Dunham et all) use a mic on a stand. The head of the mic is wider than an earphone mic and we need it to do all the variations of voices. If we were just using our own voice like a magician the earpiece mic would be perfect!

Mark
markwade@kidshowvent.com
cabin fever
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Quote:
On 2011-04-03 13:30, Potty the Pirate wrote:
This is a minefield.

Your telling me!

Just now discovering this!

Thanks for your response Potty.
Quote:
On 2011-04-03 15:00, Stevethomas wrote: I was lucky enough to get one of three iCue2 SoundBox PA units that Virtual Soundman produced before shutting down, and that's great for small parties up to about 100 people in outdoor settings.
Steve

I do anywhere from 2-6 birthday parties a week part time and would like to liven up my show with music and sound effects but I want to look PROFESSIONAL. Not like some guy who just threw a bunch of stuff together haphazardly.

I got a line on one of these practically new but know nothing about them. Could you please answer a few questions about it for me?

A). Reliability. Have you had any issues with yours? And how much have you used it?

B). I’m foggy as to why one would need the L.E.D counter. I take it this is nothing more then a helpful reminder as to where you are at musically in your show? Or would you use it to remind you if your using sound effects as well?

C). How difficult is it to remember where your at? Couldn’t you just make a “playlist” of songs and sound effects on your ipod, stop and start as need be then advance to what is next in the show?

D). And what about a remote? I’m unclear as to the importance of it. I’m always within feet of my suitcase table. SEEMS to me I can just reach over and tap the ipod to advance? What and/or where does one put the key fob when not preforming (vest pocket?)? Advantages and disadvantages of having a remote?

E). Right now I have no amp for my voice and have never really run into a problem. This unit looks pretty nice. I guess another option would be to just get a dock for an ipod with a remote and forget the amp for my voice but it sure seems like a plus to have it. What is your take?
Quote:
On 2011-04-05 05:02, Dennis Michael wrote:
I have a Droidx Cell phone and now testing a new app called Stage Manager. Initial attempts at set-up crashed but an up grade came and it is a cueing system for your shows. Looks promising. If one has a Android cell phone, try the apps. Five bucks is a lot cheaper then an iPod, micro tech, or a computer system, if you already have the Droid cell phone. (Of course it doesn't have a remote)

Hmmm...

Thanks Dennis.

I happen to have a Droid X myself.

I take it you download the app then plug your phone into your sound system? Do I have that right?

Learning on the fly here...
Chris LaBarge
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Upstate New York
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I use the Happie Amp 1.0 for birthdays, libraries, and other smaller events. I have been using it for 1-6+ events a week for over a year now. The sound quality is very good and the battery is a plus. This system is great because it is very light and easy to use. I set the speaker up on a stand next to my case and put the iPod on the corner of my table. As I need to play, pause or advance, I just go over and tap the screen. I am very pleased with how this works. I haven't had any reliability issues at all.
Remember that if you listen to any system being used by any performer it will only sound as good as the time put into getting it set. I have heard many of the systems mentioned above by many performers and each has sounded good in the right hands and terrible in the wrong hands. The Happie Amp is a good solid system and Brian is a good guy that stands behind his product.
David Thiel
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Western Canada...where all that oil is
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I have the MiPro I told you about...great for small-medium events and a dream to cart around.

I have a Shure headset mic which has operated flawlessly.

I also have an Anchor liberty 4500 series which is wonderful and sharp and does bigger groups...but it's heavy -- especially at the end of the day. I'm glad I have it, of course...but I really try to stick with the MiPro wherever I can. Crisp sound...built in battery and very light and small to cart around.

Your best bet is to quit listening to us. Go out and play with stuff in showrooms. See what suits you best...and then go sniffing around to find it on sale. Everything is always on sale...somewhere.

Lastly: If you go cheap -- and by this I mean 'get a used system at a price too good to believe' or 'buy a brand you've never heard of' -- you WILL regret it. Sound is critical...and way too many performers forget that.

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


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Potty the Pirate
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There are lots of factors in the choice of amplification. For instance, will you be using the system for music and speaking, or just speaking? A PA is best for the spoken word - my SoundRanger has a speech clarity function, and makes my venting and patter crystal clear. Systems that are designed for music have a softer edge, so don't project your spoken voice as clearly.
Most of the time I'd rather sacrifice the smoother tones when I'm playing music, but have the clarity there when I'm speaking.
More advanced set-ups can provide solutions for both music and the spoken voice, but you're getting into pricy gear, and a lot more set-up.
Best hand-held mic for the voice is recognised as the Shure SM58, and for instruments the Shure SM57 (these are the "industry standards"). Lapel mics work great in small venues, but for larger venues you're better off with a headset mic (the very expensive ones as used in musicals, etc, are great. They're flesh-colored so they are barely visible. Forgot what the standard is for these, but again there are a lot to choose from).
I personally don't favour the Fender Passport series. Although they're an "all in one" solution, they take a bit more set up, and the sound is slightly muddy. They're really intended for musicians, not speakers.
Best thing is to call a few professional stores and talk to the guys who know all the stats and technical stuff. Tell them exactly what you plan to use your rig for, and pick their brains. You'll find the sales folks at music stores love to talk about this stuff, and you can learn a lot. If you really want to be sure, go and try out any particular equipment before you buy.
In my experience, I want: a good loud amp with plenty of room to boost it up when things get noisy; a built-in radio mic for almost every show; inputs for a separate hand-held mic, an instrument, and an iPod or other music device; a built-in rechargeable battery so you can perform outdoors without the need for power; line out to connect to additional PA when neccessary. The Sound Ranger provides all this, and has served me very well. But there are other options, and it's well worth looking at those.
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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After reading this thread I've decided that to compliment my Fender 150 my next purchase will be the SRM Mackie 150. An amp with 150w in a 7lb package is perfect for when you only need a little bit of help. My wireless mic, and my ipod each cost me more than the SRM Mackie amp does.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
ColinDymond
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Gloucestershire, England
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My sytem might be regarded as over the top.
I have a Fishman solo amp, 220watts with input for two mics and an auxillary input.
I have a seperate case that has my senheiser radio mic, my ipod and remote dock and a Roland sp404 sampler. These are all wired and ready to go so all I have to do at the venue is plug in one power cord and thenI have three other cables that are all cable tied together so I can pick up this as one snake and just plug the three ends in the right sockets on the amp and I'm set.
Great quality but not cheap.

http://www.aceofdiamonds.co.uk
themagiciansapprentice
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Essex, UK
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A sensible solution ensuring you are ready to go - always important with kids around you.

I've got my current set-up down to a minute.
Have wand will travel! Performing children's magic in the UK for Winter 2014 and Spring 2015.
MoonRazor
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Quote:
On 2011-04-05 06:26, kidshowvent wrote:
Moonrazor..I have an Anchor Liberty as well! It's an older one, 4500 series, but I love it. I also have a Sound Projections 200 watt system I use for outdoor shows. I'm sold on Anchor products! As I am a vent only I use the Shure Mic SM-58, which is used in most theaters. You'll notice a lot of vents (Jeff Dunham et all) use a mic on a stand. The head of the mic is wider than an earphone mic and we need it to do all the variations of voices. If we were just using our own voice like a magician the earpiece mic would be perfect!

Mark
markwade@kidshowvent.com

Hey Mark, I agree Anchor is a great product. I was working with an other performer and he was using the Explorer and the sound was amazing, in my opinion it blew my Liberty away. Since you have both, how do you think they compare?
I was also able to compare it with a performer that was there the year before who had a Liberty like mine but also had the companion speaker. This was in a pretty big tent, think small circus tent 100 ft. x 60 ft or larger. The Liberty seemed a little small
for that space but the Explorer was loud and clear and only had one speaker positioned in the middle of stage, behind performer. I'm confused b/c the Liberty seems more expensive than the Explorer.
Also, Do you use a headset mic at all or just the Shure mic you mentioned. Thanks Mark, Tom
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Yes, you have it right with the Droid.

A). Reliability. Have you had any issues with yours? And how much have you used it?
Fender Passport 150 Deluxe with CD: Excellent except once when a CD jammed in the built in CD unit. Fortunately, I had a portable CD player that worked in the RCA Inputs.
My SRM Mackie 150 never failed to produce high quality loud (enough) sound, even for a large room. Relity on Both 5 stars out of 5 Stars. (I had an Anchor, it was great but it was heavy and required an extra trip to the car. (This is important to me when I do multiple shows or have to go up and down steps.)

B). I’m foggy as to why one would need the L.E.D counter. I take it this is nothing more then a helpful reminder as to where you are at musically in your show? Or would you use it to remind you if your using sound effects as well?
It is nice to know where you are at or if you skipped a track. I rather use a laptop with Powerpoint then the LED. Also the LED on some units are to small for me to see without my reading glasses.

C). How difficult is it to remember where your at? Couldn’t you just make a “playlist” of songs and sound effects on your ipod, stop and start as need be then advance to what is next in the show?
This is generally how it is done with an iPod, and using blank tracks helps the process a lot. No need to stop and start. just advance to the next track from the blank track.

D). And what about a remote? I’m unclear as to the importance of it. I’m always within feet of my suitcase table. SEEMS to me I can just reach over and tap the ipod to advance? What and/or where does one put the key fob when not preforming (vest pocket?)? Advantages and disadvantages of having a remote?
For kids shows, this is fine to start and stop. For more professional shows, it is nice to have a remote. The remote is an added touch.

E). Right now I have no amp for my voice and have never really run into a problem. This unit looks pretty nice. I guess another option would be to just get a dock for an ipod with a remote and forget the amp for my voice but it sure seems like a plus to have it. What is your take?
An amp is critical if you do a lot of shows to save your voice or in a large room. I do have a Dock for my iPod, but find a simple CD player with a forward button works just fine.

Now here is an interesting alternative: Personal Sound Track Shirt.
It uses an SD chip and you can program it to use 20 of your sound or music tracks. The cool part is this can have sound effects that can be used over and over. Throw the shirt and speaker away, and put an RCA plug on the ends of the wires. This way it hooks into your sound system. For $20 bucks, you can't beat it and it has so many possibilities, including buying two and use the shirt for close up effects and fun. It would works similar to Sylvester the Jester's Soundjacket he uses in a show and also much cheaper than anything on the market. The SD chip cost near this price and it comes with one! The possibilities are endless!
Dennis Michael
kidshowvent
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Hey Tom...I think I really prefer the Anchor Explorer Pro to my Liberty. Just the weight alone makes a huge difference..35-40 lbs. vs 20 lbs. I was hurting my neck lifting it up on the stand every show. Also, the Explorer plays almost anywhere. I did a show with two elementaries combined into one large auditorium..probably 900+ kids, and it was crystal clear! I have also used it in daycare centers and libraries and I have plenty of power and the excellent clarity makes it a wonderful addition to my show.

Being a vent, Tom, I use the Shure SM-58 mic on a stand. Being a vent I need to be able to have a mic that I can back away from and also has a wider head then a headset so I can get more out of my puppet voices. Also..I'm not a huge fan of wireless. Call me old fashion.. but I can always depend upon hard wire directly into a sound system. I was trained on a mic on a stand and it's what I am used to.

Mark
markwase@kidshowvent.com
kidshowvent
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Opps..my email should be markwade@kidshowvent.com. I'm a terrible typist!
LMLipman
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I've been using the Happie amp about two months now, mostly for birthday parties, some in community center rooms. It works very well and is extremely light. I also use the lavalier mic it came with. The problem with the lavalier is that it doesn't pick up as well as I might like, although better than nothing. Like Al, I need to use both hands and like the lavalier better than the headset, which I used to use. The headset is probably better for large rooms where you really need to get your mouth close to the mic.
Larry Lipman
Lorenzo the Great
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Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Larry
Clip the lavalier right under the knot of your tie, that might help.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
cabin fever
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Quote:
On 2011-04-06 11:15, Dennis Michael wrote:
Yes, you have it right with the Droid.

O.K., cool. That’s what I thought, thanks for confirming.
Quote:
Fender Passport 150 Deluxe with CD: Excellent except once when a CD jammed in the built in CD unit. Fortunately, I had a portable CD player that worked in the RCA Inputs.
My SRM Mackie 150 never failed to produce high quality loud (enough) sound, even for a large room. Relity on Both 5 stars out of 5 Stars. (I had an Anchor, it was great but it was heavy and required an extra trip to the car. (This is important to me when I do multiple shows or have to go up and down steps.)

Oops!

I was directing this particular question at Steve seeing he had a soundman and I have a line on the same one.

Some of the stuff other posters have mentioned seem like overkill for what I would be using it for. The Mackie looks like a winner so thanks for giving me a lead on that one.
Quote:
It is nice to know where you are at or if you skipped a track. I rather use a laptop with Powerpoint then the LED. Also the LED on some units are to small for me to see without my reading glasses.

Are you saying you use a laptop to do all your work?

I like that idea.

If I have this right you currently use a laptop as the brains for all your music and/or sound effects but are looking into using your Droid X to replace it instead?
Quote:
This is generally how it is done with an iPod, and using blank tracks helps the process a lot. No need to stop and start. just advance to the next track from the blank track.

Nice!

Can you clue me into how you get a blank track? Is the ipod playing nothing until you advance to the next one?
Quote:
For kids shows, this is fine to start and stop. For more professional shows, it is nice to have a remote. The remote is an added touch.

Yeah, that’s again pretty much what I figured.
Quote:
An amp is critical if you do a lot of shows to save your voice or in a large room. I do have a Dock for my iPod, but find a simple CD player with a forward button works just fine.

I’ve never really run into an issue using my own voice for such a small audience but there has been moments. One of the reasons I have started down this path.

And again. Are you using a laptop or an ipod or a combination thereof to control everything?
Quote:
Now here is an interesting alternative: Personal Sound Track Shirt.
It uses an SD chip and you can program it to use 20 of your sound or music tracks. The cool part is this can have sound effects that can be used over and over. Throw the shirt and speaker away, and put an RCA plug on the ends of the wires. This way it hooks into your sound system. For $20 bucks, you can't beat it and it has so many possibilities, including buying two and use the shirt for close up effects and fun. It would works similar to Sylvester the Jester's Soundjacket he uses in a show and also much cheaper than anything on the market. The SD chip cost near this price and it comes with one! The possibilities are endless!

Thanks Dennis.

I have one and am currently playing with it. I also want to thank you so much for taking the time for such a detailed response.
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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The blank track, is made by an audio, or sound producing software and it runs for what ever time you want. I made a bunch of them in mp3 format. There are many audio softwares makers on the internet. I used one I had from Adobe.

Music...is over and automatic plays next track
18 minute blank track running
Press next/skip/forward to Advance to music track and like above it automatic plays next track when over
18 minute blank track running

I've used the laptop several times. It was one more added trip to the car and overkill for birthday parties, but it is nice to know I can do this.

I just got my droid, and it is much smaller then the laptop, so I want to make some Droid apps. It seems like something I can do. How it works I don't know because I haven't done it yet. It's small and goes every where I go.

Right now, for birthday parties only, because I had problems with my iPod, like automatically shutting down, losing my place, I find using the SRM Mackie 150 with CD velcro on top of it works just fine for me.

My rule of thumb, the sound system should exceed the cost of one monthly show fee or at least near it. A thousand dollar system can be an over kill. The Mackie and the CD is less than $300. A computer is more, and I don't want that to disappear, stolen, or break down moving it a lot. I got an iPad so I might try that if I can find a program that works for that.

I don't do more than one show a day except multiple shows in the same place. I am turning 65 and have a retirement income, my wife works and has an income, I have good health insurance, so I don't need to kill myself with 500 Shows a year like some others. I am contented doing up to 100 shows a year, helping out at MAES, and KIDabra, running my own one-day convention each year, running two magic clubs a month, and helping others succeed... I love what I do.
Dennis Michael
Starrpower
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Quote:
On 2011-04-05 05:02, Dennis Michael wrote:
I have a Droidx Cell phone and now testing a new app called Stage Manager, ($4.99). Initial attempts at set-up crashed but an up grade came and it is a cueing system for your shows. Looks promising. If one has a Android cell phone, try the apps. Five bucks is a lot cheaper then an iPod, micro tech, or a computer system, if you already have the Droid cell phone. (Of course it doesn't have a remote)


I have an Android tablet, and like most electronics the screen "fades" when it is not active. My concern with using it as a show management tool is that the screen would not stay "on" throughout the show. Is there a solution for this?
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Quote:
On 2011-04-07 23:02, Starrpower wrote:
I have an Android tablet, and like most electronics the screen "fades" when it is not active. My concern with using it as a show management tool is that the screen would not stay "on" throughout the show. Is there a solution for this?


I'm new to the Android market, and this issue was also a concern with the iPod. I don't have a tablet, but I would look into the settings display or power, and plug in the unit.
Dennis Michael
Starrpower
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It appears that my unit uses the AC plug for recharging, not for power while using it. Ugh! Seems the more advanced technology gets, the more limited it is.
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