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Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Before I put vent in the act, I worked without amplification for a long time. I prided myself on my 'vaudeville voice', which I developed in acting classes and by performing in theater in the days before wireless mics and all the tech that's commonly used now. I found as I got busier though, that a three show day could completely wear out my voice, especially if the venues were noisy. So I bought a Florida Magic PAS 767 (which I paid maybe a little too much for) , and it was adequate for most of my shows, very helpful to have for bigger birthday parties and such. It wore out too quickly though, maybe two years of fairly rough use. So instead of shopping for my next system through magic sources, I decided to go to a music store. I found a good portable system that could be recharged and taken to venues where power wasn't available. It's an Alesis Transactive Mobile. It came with a hand-held wired mic, which I was interested in training myself to use. The system has worked fairly well, but it's kind of bulky and not really as loud as I had hoped. I was working a street festival with a friend recently, and I brought my little system, and he brought his Mackie 150. He uses a wireless headset mic. He had arranged to have an outlet available for his system, and the organizers provided it. I have to say I was totally impressed with the volume and clarity this little system put out. His show went better than mine, partially because his system was loud enough and he was able to hold onto his crowd better. There were other reasons too, but that was a part of it. So, I was at the local Sam Ash the other day and they had a gently used Mackie 150 for 100 bucks less than new, so I bought it. It's a neat little unit with two mic inputs, separate mixing/gain etc. It also has an adapter that will let you mount the unit on top of a mic stand. I gather that Julian Franklin, a big time school assembly guy here in Texas, has gone to the Mackie instead of his Fender Passport 250. He says it works for even the big assemblies. I also ordered a Gim-Crack mic holder. My act is a little like Senor Wences in that there's some juggling, rola-bola, plate spinning etc.. I move around a lot. I love the hand-held for a variety of reasons, but I need a little more hands-free mobility so I thought this might be a good solution. Anybody here ever use a Gim-Crack?
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
tacrowl
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Maryland
1633 Posts

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I carry one with me, and have loaned it to other acts, but have never had to use it. Wouldn't travel without one though.
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Ony Carcamo
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Manila, PHILIPPINES
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Though I have an original Gim-Crack (bought many, many years ago), I have been using my own-made mic holders. I have made probably a dozen different types and designs--I all found them very useful. One of my favorite designs is the one I learned from magician Jeff Hobson.

I always have them in my car and in my suitcases.
Ony Carcamo
PHILIPPINES

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kidshowvent
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410 Posts

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David..I use an Anchor Explorer Pro which I've used in large school venues as well as libraries and other places. It's GREAT!! Weighs about 21 lbs. and can be used with a headset or regular mic (which is what I use..I don't totally trust wireless stuff..too many chances of glitches). Cost is around $850. I work a bunch of schools and I've played audiences of almost 1,000 with it!

Mark
markwade@kidshowvent.com
Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
3058 Posts

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I have been using for about 15 years already my...

Peavey Escort 2000 with a Shure Headworn Mic

Ths Peavey Escort is very strong and the sound quality is way better than other portable sound systems I've tried (Yamaha and Fender)

I recently hooked up a 3rd speaker that acts as my monitor speaker... this prevents me from shouting or stressing my voice. Smile I've been thinking of trying an in ear monitor but it's very expensive.
"The Old Path"
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Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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I looked at the Peavey Escort and the Anchor Explorer, both very nice systems. I'll look them both when I consider my next upgrade. I feel the same way about wireless, Mark. I love using a regular, reliable, wired mic. What brand mic do you use?
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
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I have tried using a mic on a mic stand and a few times a mic with a gim crack... Im sure its just me but I am just not comfortable without a headworn mic.

Problem with headworn mics is that you need to replace it with a new one every once in awhile. Due to the thin wiring the manufacturers use, the mic has a tendency to break after a while. Im lucky if my headworn mic lasts for 2 years.
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

Wanlu's Affordable Puppets
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Wanlu and his Puppets
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Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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The wireless headset mics are popular for good reason. They're comfortable and allow for unlimited mobility. They use them now in all the Broadway Roadshows I see here in San Antonio. I had to force myself to use a regular mic, but I had my reasons. One is that when I found myself underpowered at big venues and had to use the DJ's sound system, they never seemed to have a headset available. And since the only headset I had was specific to the Florida Magic system, I never could get it to work with other systems. My lack of experience and comfort with the traditional mic made for a few shows that sure could have been better.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
Howie Diddot
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San Francisco & Los Angeles California
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Following many recommendations on where to buy my a sound system,

I purchased the FR3-Neo Freedom from Joe Liefer at

http://www.magicandsoundsystems.com/index.php?cPath=66

He gave me the greatest advice on equipment and a 20 % discount on top of it.

I am starting to use a wireless microphone for magic and the classic Sure 55 microphone for venting.

Everything I am using works and looks wonderful
ColinDymond
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Gloucestershire, England
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If you get a stand alone headset mic you can use it with anyone elses system! I have a senheiser system and I've just bought a Da-Cappo D12 mic.
Colin Dymond
http://www.aceofdiamonds.co.uk
tacrowl
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Maryland
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Quote:
On 2011-06-23 00:14, Mr. Pitts wrote:
My lack of experience and comfort with the traditional mic made for a few shows that sure could have been better.


Excellent practice point! Dan Horn did a whole lecture at last year's VentHaven Convention about the use of microphones. He discussed stands, mics and pickup patterns. The problem is, few acts (variety artists) actually practice with the mic - and that unfamiliarity shows when they get on stage. (Until they've done the show a number of times.) As many years as I've been in the business, I hadn't even thought about some of the points and techniques Dan shared. It pays to understand and know your equipment!
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Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Buzz and Colin.. I checked out the FR3-Neo and the Seinheiser and Da-Cappo D12.. nice equipment. Quality costs though, doesn't it. My policy, my business approach, is to try to pay as I go and use the equipment I have until the upgrade makes sense either in terms of a big gig that will pay for it, or a gig where I absolutely have to upgrade to make it work. I'm planning on developing both my daycare and school show business, and I needed better sound and more volume for the school assemblies, but also greater portability for the daycares. I like my equipment to be as versatile as possible, so I really wanted small and powerful in this upgrade. That's why I chose the little Mackie.

The comfort level with the equipment can make such a difference in the quality of the performance, especially in comedy because timing is SO important. The shows I was talking about that didn't go so well... that version of the act I had performed maybe 200 times at that point. It was tight and funny. The awkwardness with the mic affected my comic timing so much I ended up looking like a beginner. Little things can make a big difference.

My old (90 year old) vent friend Peter Rich says he travelled his act around the world in one suitcase. One figure, no sound system. Times are different now, but it does say a lot about being able to work with house equipment.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
Ony Carcamo
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Manila, PHILIPPINES
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I do lots of school shows nationwide every year and luckily most private schools here have pretty good pa systems. But in those times that there are no pa systems or if theirs are not good for me, I use my ever reliable Amplivox portable buddy pa system. I bring it ALWAYS, even in plane trips... For kiddie bday shows and bar shows, the system provided is almost always fine.
Ony Carcamo
PHILIPPINES

www.onycarcamo.com
Howie Diddot
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San Francisco & Los Angeles California
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David;

I posted to let you know that my equipment was recommended by others on the café and I had a very pleasant experience dealing with Joe; it was not meant to compare my equipment to what you purchased, since I do not know the features of yours.

I use a wireless for magic, but I am getting used to the wired microphone for my venting, I love the sure 55’s look; it is so classic

I have read on the Café in the magic area about performers that pride themselves on announcing that they carry the show they perform in a small bag and they are out the door with minutes of the ending of the act. It works successfully in a very small segment of very accomplished performers performing the same type of routine; most like Copperfield, Fator and others requires more production equipment.

Buzz
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
1054 Posts

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I know Buzz. I was talking about why I made the choices I made, not why I didn't choose the equipment you did. I realize it's never an apples to apples comparison.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
tacrowl
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Maryland
1633 Posts

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Quote:
On 2011-06-23 11:04, Ony Carcamo wrote:
I bring it ALWAYS, even in plane trips...


Ony,
Not sure how it is there, but the TSA here can be pretty close minded. Plus, with the additional baggage fees and weight charges, carrying sound could really add to the travel expenses!

A friend of mine flew his sound to a show in Texas. On the return trip, they refused to allow it on the plane. Something about the magnets in the speakers. Luckily he had a local contact and was able to arrange for them to pick it up and ship it back.

When flying, I've always found it easiest to include a contract rider so the client provides appropriate sound. One line on the rider states: "Mr. Crowl prefers the Anchor Extreme system." In some cases, they've actually gone out a rented that for me.

Tom
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Howie Diddot
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San Francisco & Los Angeles California
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So Tom;

If I include a rider in my contract stating “ Dr. Lawrence prefers a young blonde genetic female to tend to his every need” do you think they would go rent me one?

I require the word “Genetic” incorporated in the wording for the reason that I am in San Francisco.
tacrowl
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Maryland
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LOL... Good luck with that one Dr. Lawrence.
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

ComedyVentriloquist.com

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ColinDymond
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Gloucestershire, England
675 Posts

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I'm, lucky, I do a couple of days a week in my friends guitar shop. I love guitars and I can get some nice deals on sound equipment. My Da-Cappo was a reps sample so I got it for about a quarter of the retail price!
Ony Carcamo
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Manila, PHILIPPINES
610 Posts

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Quote:
On 2011-06-23 13:33, tacrowl wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-06-23 11:04, Ony Carcamo wrote:
I bring it ALWAYS, even in plane trips...


Ony,
Not sure how it is there, but the TSA here can be pretty close minded. Plus, with the additional baggage fees and weight charges, carrying sound could really add to the travel expenses!




Tom,

My Amplivox pa system weighs just about 5 lbs, can run on batteries, and is just like the size of an attache case. That's why I can carry it anywhere.

Here:
http://www.ampli.com/s222.htm
Ony Carcamo
PHILIPPINES

www.onycarcamo.com
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