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Topic: Question about a remote for my new sound system
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Jan 4, 2004 06:28PM)
Hello:

I recently took MagicMikey's and Andy Leviss' advice they offered here at the Café and bought a sound system. I bought the Carvin Stagemate and Sennheiser Evolution 135 Wireless mic. Carvin arrived a few days ago, and Sennheiser should be here Wednesday. Thanks a bunch, guys!

I've never used music in my show, but am going to start. I'm not ready to invest in anything like the Pollock system or such yet, but want to control music via a small RF remote.

I haven't bought the CD player yet, so what I'd like to know - is there a small Discman-type that can be operated with a RF remote? From what others here say, Infra-red is not the way to go - too unreliable. I also should say that I'm going completely with batteries with my system. No AC dependency at all.

So, is there something I can get short of the expensive mini-disc systems? My needs are really simple right now - I really just want music to play as helpers come and go from the stage, so I really don't need more than a way of pausing and then playing the one disc.

I hope I haven't made this as clear as mud! Any help is appreciated, as always.

Best,

Ron
Message: Posted by: Lucy (Jan 4, 2004 07:46PM)
Dear Ron,

My own needs have to be simple too because I just don't want to deal with big sound systems and expensive equipment. For one little routine I did at the Country Club (to which I don't belong) I just took my little $40.00 WalMart special CD and tape player. I already had the music so that was no problem.

You walk on stage, have a volunteer helper push the button and you're set.

You can get as elaborate as you like and can afford but the best thing is to try the simple stuff first. I highly recommend a video camera to give you a record of your strengths, weaknesses, and progress. There's nothing like watching yourself do something you thought was pretty good... To help you realize that good is still a distant goal.

Music should really help you once you get used to it. It cues you about how far along you are and about what comes next.

As far as a remote is concerned I just don't like to have to handle something else. You can get a tape to tape recorder and put your whole routine on tape, or you can have a friend cut your routine music on a CD for you. Be sure you time yourself well... If you use patter leave exactly enough time for it.

Good Luck

Lucy
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Jan 4, 2004 09:26PM)
Check to see if your Stagemate has a CD module option.
Hindsight is 20/20 but many units have built in CD players with wireless remotes such as the Excellent
SoundTech which also has many options like a built in wireless receiver for your Mic check this out!:
http://www.soundtech.com/products/systems/al12r.asp

Anchor Audio has this as well (used to have built in CD or cassette and wireless mic receivers).

The new improved Fender PD-250 (digital series) Amplified systems have built in wireless modules and battery packs and it is rumored are about to introduce a MP3 Module with a RF wireless remote. The new systems (PD-150 and PD-250) are HUGE improvement over the prior ones with the speakers made by BOSE and the ability to actually put them Behind you with the digital echo cancellation so you know what you sound like.
http://www.fenderaudio.com/gear/gear.php?node_id=2228

Now to address what you have already purchased:
Adding a battery CD player, iPod, or Minidisc that has IR remote can be controlled by one of the many IR/RF remotes. http://www.smarthome.com/8024.html

they send an RF signal and a small repeater changes the RF to an IR pulse at the player. Many of the converters are little stick on pods to cover the ir window.

BTW, the little NaviPod wireless IR remote is astoundingly reliable on my iPod from across a large area of stage (reviewed elsewhere in this F/X area)

MagicMikey obviously knows his stuff and (from reading his posts)has been down the same road that I have (Never satisfied and Flavor of the month)and I am sure his current recommendation is a good one.
Audio is so darn personal it's like taste in food.
Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Jan 7, 2004 04:11PM)
Hello Ron,

I'm back with more advice! There are two methods that work very inexpensively.

The best inexpensive method I've seen is used by Duane Laflin (Laflin Magic.) Duane doesn't feel comfortable with wireless remote systems so he just ran a really long cable from his minidisc player to the PA system.

The player is inside his open top table. The cord runs through the center column of the base and across the floor. I didn't even realize that Duane was controlling the music manually until he mentioned it to me. He steps over to the table to get something and he pushes the correct button.

It's simple, low tech and very hard to screw up! All it takes is choreographing your steps to be at the table at the right time.

The second method worked well for me for years but isn't as versatile. It was recommended by Chris Carey in "Find the Stuff That's You." You use a mechanical button cassette player and a Radio Shack remote on/off switch. This lets you start and stop your music but not move to the next track (unless your music is timed perfectly and then you can put it all on one tape with the appropriate pauses between them.)

The on/off switch is meant to plug a lamp into and then into the wall. With the tape deck, it just turns the power on and off. That's why it has to be a mechanical button tape deck. The electronic soft touch buttons don't stay in the play mode when the power is cut off.

Here's a link to the remote: http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&product%5Fid=61-2667

And to Glod, thanks for the compliment. I've tried so many different things that I'm doing my best to pass on what I've learned.

Michael
Message: Posted by: MAGICBYTIM (Jan 7, 2004 04:31PM)
I have tried many things to make my system remote control. I have used the same thing that Duane Laflin used and it works good but I do a pre recorded drawing board. With this I need to turn it off and on without going to a table. I think it made it look like I was turning on something right before the board started talking. I saw this on a camera like lucy mention above.

I have since decided to invest in the VSM. I have used the VSM 6 and now am getting the VSM 7.5. It will do what I need and I do not have to worry about it. It is an exspesive way of going about it but I felt it was worth it to get a better value in my show.
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Jan 7, 2004 07:48PM)
Good advice again Michael. Everyone wants wireless but sometimes a simple reliable wire is the way to go. Click on click off tape player is a viable cost effective alternative.
I have been so bad at times running over to the minidisc "fiddling" with it to cue the song. Oh so bad! It ruins the timing.
I got it down better now (did I say I LOVE the iPod?).

I made my own type of Soundman at one time. There is a minidisc "Hack" webpage that gave me the info how the wired remote works on the Sony. It sends the unit different resistance values to do the various functions through the same wire (example 3ohm fades the volume, 1.2ohm changes the track, etc.---not the real values just an example).
I made a simple 4 button remote control with Marcello Contento's inexpensive 4 channel wireless control. I hooked a different resistor to each little reed relay. Not exactly a SoundMan but for about $100. not bad.

Now the iPod (Did I say I LOVE the iPod?) little wireless remote controls volume , cueing, and more for $49. but what I really like is the versatility of changing the playlist on the fly...sooo easy and sounds great through the powered speakers.

So Michael, what are you going to buy next for the audience of 20,000 that you will be doing in 2006 ?(just a prediction) :jump:
Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Jan 8, 2004 07:23AM)
Hello Walter,

I'm impressed with the wireless remote you built for your Sony Minidisc. That's pretty neat.

At this time, I don't intend to purchase anything new but you never know. I might have to buy an iPod! (I'm a Mac user, too, so it's only natural. Even my wife wants an iPod, so she probably won't complain about that! She played with one yesterday.)

Ron, as you can tell, there are a lot of different options but they all have one thing in common: it takes a little time to make any of the systems work smoothly and inconspicuously. Knowing what I know about Duane Laflin, he probably spent a lot of time planning how to control his music without it being too obvious.

As I have used three different wireless remote systems (the Radio Shack on/off, CueMaster Pro and Virtual Soundman 7.5), I can tell you that even they look bad if you have to fumble with them or you get you music out of whack!

Let us know which way you decide to go.

Michael
Message: Posted by: MAGICBYTIM (Jan 8, 2004 09:18AM)
I agree about looking bad if your music gets out of whack. Your music has to be just like any other trick you perform in your show. No matter how you decide to control you music it takes practice and lots of it. I saw a show which someone was controlling the show with a showtech and he had several mis cues. He blamed it on the showtech but after his show a friend of mine and I went on stage and my friend used his machine and it worked perfect for him. What it came down to was that he had not practiced with it to know how to use it.

Good luck with what ever system you decide to go with.
Message: Posted by: Tantrik (Jan 8, 2004 12:48PM)
Good description, MagicbyTim!

IMHO, magic is more than just doing tricks, it is performing. That means every aspect of the performance must fit together. If you were a great actor doing Hamlet you'd have a great deal of trouble if the other actors kept missing their cues.

This means magicians need to study how music works with their performance. It means working with the psychology of music as music will induce certain states in listeners. I would also suggest that anyone doing magic should take some courses in acting and stagecraft. Learn how to command the stage rather than just walk out. Learn how a raised eyebrow or pause can cause a close-up audience to gasp. The best magicians, IMO, have it all together. Others just do tricks.
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Jan 8, 2004 06:37PM)
Hello All:

Once again, thanks for all the time and advice...much appreciated! The more I get involved in the music aspect of my show, the more I realize how little I know about electronics.

Here's where I stand right now: I just received my Sennheiser Evolution system yesterday, so I'm busy playing with it. My next step is to take Michael's advice and turn it into a battery operated system using the Radio Shack accesories.

I'm really thinking that I'm going to have to bite the bullet and invest in VSM or Mini-tech. I looked through my own copy of Chris Carey's book, and the set up Michael mentions will work, but I just hate the thought of going with cassette tape.

The Show-tech is not an option right now - however, I think the Mini-tech or VSM may be the answer. I'm going to have to look at all the options. Right now, the VSM has my attention due to the cost - the larger remote doesn't really bother me. I plan on keeping it in my pocket and operating like Mark Daniel does in his Book Magic Video.

After spending nearly a grand on the Stagemate and Sennheiser, I guess now is not the time to be cheap. I will keep you all posted.

Michael: I'm guessing you're currently using the VSM 7.5 and are satisfied with it. Is that correct?

Ron
Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Jan 9, 2004 06:37AM)
Ron,

Yes, I am using the VSM 7.5 and I am quite pleased with it. I had my reservations at first. I was concerned about the size of the remote, but it does work nicely hooked on my belt. I don't have to fumble with it at all. It just looks like I'm adjusting my vest or pulling up on my pants. (I'm not sure the larger remote would be easy to work in your pocket because of the way the buttons are laid out.) The remote looks like a beeper.

One thing I have found essential is the L.E.D. display. Kelly Duro, builder of the VSM, had a special going on from October through December where he included the L.E.D. display free. (You might see if he'll still do it.) The reason it's important is that the play/pause button of the VSM needs to be held down for a second or two. It can't be a quick push like the remotes for my other systems were. Without the aid of the L.E.D., I wouldn't be able to tell if the VSM got the signal. The L.E.D. display flashes the track number when it's in the pause mode and stays on solid when it's in the play mode. That way, I know if it didn't get my signal.

I'm pretty sure I would have a lot of problems with it if I couldn't see the display. It connects to the VSM with a telephone cord and I bought both a 50' cord and a 100' cord so that I could route the display to edge of the stage. (Since you'll be using it with the StageMate, you won't need much cord because it will be set up out front anyway. I only need the long cords when I'm using my JBL system. By the way, the display works on a pair of 9 volt batteries so you'll still be all battery-operated!)

The key to it, of course, is familiarity. The more you use it, the better it works.

Michael
Message: Posted by: magicguy22 (Feb 16, 2004 11:37PM)
There's a new choice for wireless MD controllers all of the cool extra's as well

http://www.stagecue.com
Message: Posted by: Majiloon (Feb 18, 2004 05:10PM)
Magic guy,

This Leskovar fellow is a birthday party magician who apparently hacked one of our systems- Mini Tech, or My VSM- and constructed a unit with his new label on it. He doesn’t have much of anything new under the sun to contribute the industry other than to try to undercut our prices. When in fact it costs over $874 USD including his LED- when the LED comes free with my system, and is still cheaper than his. Unfortunately- he is using another AM operating system to trigger his commands.

This guy even cut and pasted text right off my web site/ brochure and put it on his web site to sell HIS product- if you can believe that- believe it! I caught him – and sent him an e-mail. He did not respond, acknowledge, or apologize- instead he immediately changed his text.

Not a person of much credibility, and certainly not someone I could trust with nearly $1000 of my money- let alone a system I can have confidence in.

I really don't like even giving the appearance of dissing someone on-line like this- it's not professional, I know, but this guy really shocked me-- sorry to bring bad news - but I think it is constructive.
Message: Posted by: magicguy22 (Feb 20, 2004 11:43PM)
Just thinking aloud to help me decide on the best system for me.

I need an LED Track display and I need the ability to trigger special effects (like lights and strobes which are both in my show) The Showtech has both of these but the price is prohibitive. The VSM and Minitech don't have remote control of external devices. The VSM has an LED display the Minitech doesn't. The Stagecue has >both< the LED display and can control a power bar remotely.

The Stagecue is more expensive than the VSM considering that Majiloon throws in an LED to a few customers a month, but, in comparison to the Minitech, the Stagecue is less expensive and you get more...auto-pause between tracks, LED track display option, AC power bar control, small 8 button remote control, etc.

I'm leaning slightly toward StageCue but I'd like to do my research and give everyone a fair shake and judge for myself.

By looking at his website the Stagecue Guy seems to know electronics, also his website says that his unit has a 3-year warranty. That's got to be worth something.

Too much to think about! aHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

*****
P.S. To my last post:

After re-calculating costs,
The stagecue with LED track display is only $75 more expensive than the VSM with the LED thrown in for free and I can upgrade to control a power bar remotely!

Good value, but I'm still researching the VSM/ MiniTech

seeya. magicguy
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Feb 21, 2004 09:59AM)
Everyone has been selling remotes that change resistor values for MD functions.
Sounds like it's time for a price war. That would settle it.
Message: Posted by: magicguy22 (Feb 21, 2004 10:13AM)
Right on! Still the feature-sets are different between manufacturers

If I knew more about electronics I would build my own!

seeya
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Feb 21, 2004 10:34AM)
You Can!
I made my own a couple years back. I used garage door remotes (very cheap now with all the multifunction alarm, car starter, key entry, garage remotes).
On the other end use a resistor for each function (stop, volume, etc.). I made mine for less than $100. Here is the Super Secret info:

http://www.esrac.ele.tue.nl/~leon/minidisc/remote/

No offense to Pollack, Majiloon, etc. In fact I Recommend their FINE products! My issue is that given the shareware software for DJs, programmable MP3 players, and more, it's time for someone to make a $99. unit. That would sell in quantity and kill off all the others.
I am sure they will respond with the cost of small quantity (niche') marketing, advertising, support. I do not argue with that, hey, we are small businesses ourselves as magicians. I am only saying:
$99.
If you make it
We will come!
Message: Posted by: Majiloon (Feb 22, 2004 12:38AM)
Glod- I say go for it.

I wonder if the same oversimplification you just applied to a remote controller- could be employed to sell your show?…

The web page you pulled up for the “resister values” is 7 years old and at least one of them is obsolete and will not work on Walkman CD’s or Mini disks recorders that are 2 years or newer. Thus making it incompatible both upwardly & backwardly. but I will not tell you which one sorry.

As to the other over simplification justifying a price of $99 to “build it so you will come” is almost too ridiculous to justify a response. The niche market only has so much headroom for distribution, therefore will not entice overseas Chinese engineering to pursue mass production of such a device- nor could someone afford to adequately handle the service end of the customer support.

But I could sell you a rubber band a popsicle stick, a retired music box monkey (to automate the normally programmed features), and a few resistors- but if it breaks down- and you need someone to fix it – because your show needs it – the next day- good luck- what did you expect- it was only $99- sorry- but - I’M TOO BUSY FILLING OUT 700 ORDERS FOR OTHER PEOPLE!

Let me ask you- Would you use; a $37 wireless microphone, pants from the Goodwill, a shirt cut from old drapery and purchased from a swap meet, your kid’s Fisher price karaoke machine for a sound system, only public domain music, recycled paper brochures, use your mother to cut your hair, and a ’79 Gremlin to get all this stuff to your next show?
If you do—then do you have the right to complain about your lack of success - and or the lack of dependability?

Do I want to rebuild my own transmission if it breaks down? Some things are best left to the experts- I don’t even change my own oil- I can pay someone else to do it that makes less money than I do- why waste my own time fixing my car-

The fact is- I should have done research to make sure that I bought the most dependable vehicle, service plan from the most knowledgable folks- in order to meet ALL my needs in the first place. Having done that- I have the right to expect that it will take care of me- even when I need it the most. Even when my reputation is riding on it.
Message: Posted by: Renaldi (Feb 22, 2004 02:26AM)
I have recently read this thread and others of a similar nature.

For my money I prefer the StageCue whether or not it is manufactured by a "birthday party" magician. I feel it is somewhat superior in capabilities to the VSM and that the Show Tech and Mini Tech are great products but too pricey. Joe Leskovar of StageCue is a prince of a fellow to deal with; very helpful, dependable and knowlegeable.

I also have one parting comment and that is about the posts from Majiloon to many of us who are genuinely interested in this topic. Do you really think anyone is impressed by your put-downs? You are only hurting yourself! I would gratuitously suggest you stick to a comparison of your product to your competitors in a business-like fashion. Just my humble opinion.
Message: Posted by: Majiloon (Feb 22, 2004 03:34AM)
I must say- that I didn’t anticipate someone becoming insulted by my last comments-

However much so – I apologize. But that was certainly not my intention, and if you have read my other comments- within the topic stemming from this thread- you will no doubt come to understand that I have been making helpful input.

If you read my comments- from an unemotional standpoint, and in context- - you should see that I constructed it in a way as to be ironic or facetious for the sake of making a wedge into the logic of the comments I was responding to- that’s all. It’s just a common debate tactic- nothing more. Let’s not get side tracked into irrelevance please; I would like to provoke thought- not feelings. If this is not acceptable, then I will refrain from any further comments, with all due respect.

With that in mind- perhaps you can read it again- and find a better understanding,
Message: Posted by: magicguy22 (Feb 22, 2004 07:40AM)
The Gremlin was discontinued in '78...but a fine car nonetheless.






330
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Feb 22, 2004 08:42AM)
Majiloon ,
There is NO place that I have criticized your excellent product. I even recommend them and if you read my post again state, "I Recommend them".

I too read somewhat of a rant. In addition I will be placing an order within a year, however the demeaning tone concerns me.

To explain WHY a $99. product is "ridiculous" is welcome and productive to this subject. A Forum is the place for experts like yourself to inform why it is impractical.

I will attempt to correct my link with more current resistor information if that was your concern but anybody can Google it to locate.

Please chill
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (Feb 22, 2004 09:34AM)
Kelly (Majiloon),
I just want to thank you very much for the time you're spending with us, sharing your expertise and answering questions. Sometimes, the anecdotal nature of many of the forum's posts, based on an individual's own experiences, are very helpful, and can help us to consider many possibilities which otherwise would not have occurred to us. YOUR input, though, based on the combined & filtered input of hundreds of your customers & inquirers, and based on science (as opposed to anecdote), has proven tremendously insightful for me.
As another wireless professional, dealing instead with mics and the like, I certainly appreciate that some things work better than others, and sometimes what works better depends on other factors such as what other equipment is being used, environment, etc... I also appreciate that science is the answer, but that anecdotes can help to define some of the questions. Your insights seem to be geared toward getting the best possible results in a very wide variety of situations & environments, and it seems clear that's a big reason behind your design decisions.

Anyway, Kelly, thanks very much for your help here, because I've learned some things, and certainly have a better understanding of this type of system!

Sincerely,
Dan McLean Jr
http://www.MagicRoadie.com
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Feb 22, 2004 11:25AM)
The cool head prevails.
We also thank you Dan! I believe that you have been the MOST valuable resource the Forum has ever had in respect to technical issues.

Your open source information without respect to brand has been refreshing as has been your Friendly Articulation.
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Feb 22, 2004 11:55AM)
Hello:

I found nothing wrong with Kelly's posts; I thought they were pretty funny and made his point very clear. I'll be purchasing a system soon, and have to say that until recently, the Mini-tech has been my choice by a long shot. However, I'm now probably going to get a VSM based on Kelly's and Magic Mikey's comments.

My main concern was the larger remote; now I understand better about the am and fm frequencies, and reason for the remote size - thanks to Kelly's post.

I know almost nothing about all this stuff, so I depend on knowledgable people like Magicroadie and Magic Mikey. Seems they're both very high on Kelly's system, so I think I'll go with that.

Ron
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (Feb 22, 2004 03:24PM)
Hi, glodmagic & Ron!
Thanks for your kind words! Please keep in mind that I'm thanking Kelly for his contributions to this forum and to the magic community. It's a real good thing he's dong!

I'm not, however, recommending any system. What I AM recommending, is that you learn all you can from pros like Kelly, and make sure you're comfortable with the decision you eventually make for yourself.
I've never used a Virtual Sound Man, a ShowTech, a MiniTech, a Stage Cue, or any other similar system.

It seems to me that Kelly has designed his product based on science, and based on his own set of priorites. Other designers with similar knowledge may have a different set of priorities, and will therefore make different decisions. The most obvious example to be drawn from this thread, is AM vs. FM. The designers end up making different decisions, probably because of a different set of priorities. I suspect this is how Kelly (Virtual Sound Man) chose to build FM/larger size, and Kerry (ShowTech, MiniTech) chose to build AM/smaller size.

Again, learn all you can from pros like Kelly, and make sure you're comfortable with the decision you eventually make for yourself.

Cheers from Toronto!
Message: Posted by: Renaldi (Feb 22, 2004 03:41PM)
Dan, aka Magic Roadie, well stated.

Thanks for your input.
Message: Posted by: Majiloon (Feb 23, 2004 01:44AM)
Thank you Ron, Dan, I appreciate your attitudes, and referrals Glod.

I would like to offer a hand of some sort of reconciliation-
I don’t know if any of you realize how much heat I have taken personally- even before the infamous 2002 Genii article (for which I had no part in). It seems that I am fair game for drive-by snips, and cloaked comments in almost every thread I have been mentioned here at this web site. It seems that some people are predisposed to prejudice, and feel free to exercise it. Sure, I understand some of my comments may seem harsh- but I assure you that they are strategic in nature, and not vindictive- to stir up thought.

However- I do recognize people who could use some of my help- because I am always anxious to give it. This helps me as much as it helps you, as it can help reconcile my 25 years of toil in the business. I have received a handful of nasty enemies because of the success of my product- but- today- I have 739 customers from 17 countries that have more than helped tip the scales in my favor- and they let me know I am making a difference. I came from the streets, and have headlined in my own concert events.

"Somebody wants to buy a race car- you don’t go to a Bicycle mechanic- you go to someone who has competed in the Indy 500"
You are right Dan, about the method of discovery and development of my VSM. It took at least 1400 conversations, e-mails, secret questionnaires to a select group of customers, and all of my 25 years performing experience to come up with a product that serves the industry the best way it can- and at a price that accomplishes the same for the both of us. It is quite a task- in fact the last 2 1/2 years of my career have been dedicated to the VSM full time so I can be there for the customers.

I might also add that I have some pretty high profile customers- even some that would curl the hair of my closest competitor- but I am not disposed to make enemies. I will not disclose their names, nor do I use them as a sales tool- never. I cannot survive without serving others first, and I am in a unique position to do just that.

As for Ron- who started the thread- I hope I have been helpful, and if you have any other questions about how to best fit your needs and requirements- I will glad to help- or refer you to someone else who can do better, even if it is my closest competitor. I hope that this little sidetrack helps give you a glimpse of who I really am, and I hope I can continue to come visit here – but with perhaps less vitriol or prejudice towards me- so I can continue to contribute-

Did I use enough - - dashes? Can I buy punctuation from the same place you buy a vowel?

You have my apologies for drawing attention to myself,
Cheers!
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 23, 2004 10:00PM)
I guess I can throw in my two cents..

I have seem every kind of remote fail from Showtechs to Majiloon to Harry Blackstone's hi tech stuff. It happens. I am always a little leary when I use one. But I do.

The Virtual Soundman does do what I need it to do. But I must admit that Duane Laflin manual solution has a certain amount of comfort to it.

When I put remotes on my Blooming rosebush, I still put a manual override just in case. I might add that I use Marcello Contento's which have been very realiable. Old habits die hard.
Message: Posted by: RayAnderson (Mar 6, 2004 02:01AM)
HI all, wanted to drop my three cents in to this conversation. First of all HI Dan (MagicRoadie) my buddy from Toronto. Second of all I am disappointed with you Majilloon in your business practice. First rule of thumb in my books is never slam your Competition. Saying you shouldn't buy someone's product because they also perform children's shows is like saying you shouldn't buy a car from that car sales person because he has red hair instead of the normal brown or black.
Second I have the stageCue...I have looked at all systems and I try to be unbias when I buy any product. I am not going to take a personal attack at you or your product even though I am amazed that you would attack your Competition based on what else they choose to do, rather than product to product.
Here are a few reasons why I bought the stage Cue over yours or Kerry's System...First...love the autopause that comes with the Stage Cue...if works on silence...I do not have to put one more sound clip into my music for the device to go...hmmmm..should I pause now?? Ummm..is this the special track I was looking for..all this is so confusing. My stagecue sees silence for four seconds...says umm...its time to pause.
I love the fact that I can control lights, and many other things from the remote power bar.
His LED DOES NOT need 9 volt battery's (woohoo) that alone to me is a selling point. You just plug the LED into the side of the stagecue and it works...nothing else for me to worry about...I can worry about just performing..making people laugh...wow...I mean umm..would I want to worry about anything else. NO!
I am not a birthday magician (not that there is anything wrong with that) I perform for high end clients with big dollars...who expect my show to go off with out a hitch. I used to use a sound man at my shows...and often times I still do...but I have a few bits that I need to have controll over my music...and I use the stagecue...believe in the stagecue...and it has yet to let me down.
I also know that if the situation was reversed Joe would not put you down because of other things that you do as you live your life. He would compare his product with your product spec for spec.
Joe also has built tons of Electronic equipment for me...one offs...David Merry one of my best friends also uses the stagecue...and will back me up on the statement its the best thing he or I have bought for our shows. Dave also has tons of Joe's other products...one offs...and Dave being like myself a working pro...can't hope that his equipement will work...he has to know that his equipment will work...everytime...all the time.

Sorry this was lengthy...sometimes its not about the color of the hair of the salesperson...its what features the car has that makes me place the money down and buy it.

Magically yours
Ray Anderson
http://www.coolmagician.com

Opps..forgot one thing...Majiloon...I do believe that the idea of just pushing a button rather that programming a device is the best means of controlling music...for this I commend both you and Joe for using this method...I believe that at times we are all idiots and the most chances we give outself to screw up we will. So thanks for taking the worry out of having to program one more thing. Two thumbs up to both you and Joe.

Magically yours
Ray Anderson
http://www.coolmagician.com
Message: Posted by: Majiloon (Mar 6, 2004 10:48PM)
Important news;
As to the “Auto pause topic”… I will be ready to release news from my group of engineers that will prove to be extremely helpful to all those who wish to avoid the confusion associated with it. All I can say right now is that after 3 years of research, hundreds of hours, and thousands of $’s of my own money- I have finally solved the problems- once and for all.

I am extremely excited about it, as it has become my most important work yet. It’s funny, I get a kick out of this engineering stuff, Many of you may reward yourself with the money you earn from your shows with Big screen TV’s, new costumes, new illusions, and other goodies. But I have been spending my income on--- research… That must make me a little geekish..

More to come soon…

Cheers,
Message: Posted by: magicguy22 (Mar 7, 2004 05:05PM)
I got this off of the Stagecue website...it looks like technology will soon save us all!

"NEWS FLASH

March 1, 2004: New circuitry will be available shortly to StageCue customers. The "Ultra-Pause" circuitry receives information from the Sony© MiniDisc player to tell the StageCue when the track ends, and when to automatically pause, because of the 0:00 time display. There is now two-way communication through the Sony© control cable... not only is the StageCue sending info to the MiniDisc player to control it but, the MiniDisc player sends info back up the Sony© cable to the StageCue receiver to allow the 'Ultra-Pause' functionality. No need to record silence or special digital signals to tell the receiver what track its on....It's Ultra-matic!"
Message: Posted by: RayAnderson (Mar 7, 2004 06:26PM)
Hi Magicguy, yes that info is available...actually my unit was just upgraded...Joe had contacted me informing me that he had solved the puzzle concerning the autopause feature...(He had told me it would be coming) and sure enough he did it...I sent my unit back to him (at no cost to me) and he upgraded it.

I do become a bit of a religious fanantic when I talk about Joe and his products...when I bought his unit a year ago...his statement when I bought his stagecue was that all service or any service in the first three years would be free. But I never dreamed that would also honour upgrades.

Most companies tend to want to make you buy new products to receive their upgrades. But I received the auto pause for free.

Majiloon congrats on using your money on reseach for your company. But when I buy new illusions that cost me thosands of dollars I do that so my consumers will always have the best in what I can give them.

I too spend my own money on promo material, new illusions, research, new ideas not because I want to ...but because I always want my clients to have the best of what is available to me. I would rather buy giant screen TV's, new clothing, but I know for me to keep my business up and running at its best...I have to take some of my income and put it back into the business...so that my business will be that much more sucessful

So for you spending money so that your business is more successful congrats and to the fact that soon you are releasing more info from your team of engineers about the auto pause topic congrats on that...looking forward to hearing more.

But for now I am happy with the stage cue...and the auto pause that is already in use with that product
have fun...stay cool...and good luck

Ray Anderson
http://www.coolmagician.com
Message: Posted by: merryent (Mar 7, 2004 10:51PM)
I was coming back from a week on the road with my One Man Show today and I got a call in the car. A friend of mine told me to sign in at this site to read the stuff going on here about wireless sound products. I've read the last few postings and want to comment on what is being said about the builder of the Stagecue. First of all Joe hardly needs any defending but in this bizarre business Joe Leskovar has my utmost respect. I met him a few short years ago and after seeing his brilliance in his electrical and mechanical engineering, I hired him to build some equipment for me. At that point he was just starting out and wanted to get his name out there so he sent me one (stagecue) to try as a trial. After hearing the rumours about how reliable the stagecue was and it's advanced features I bought one immediately after using it just twice. By the amount of these he sells I'm sure he doesn't do that anymore ..... My show improved 20% overnight. I then asked him about customized projects. I need stuff built just for me, one of a kind stuff. I would ask him if he thought he could build me something, (it was always fairly wierd mechanical and electrical props)I do comedy magic. He would come back to me in a couple of days and say yes. To this day he hasn't declined one idea. He has not only devised the method and priciple he has engineered the unit like a collectors workshop piece. The engineering is astounding. He will build stuff for me and present it to me better than I had imagined...that is his true genius. There is nothing he can't build. To be honest, there are a few of us who truly would like to keep his name to ourselves as he is such a valuable resource, secondly the stagecue is the single best piece of equipment I own for my show. If I play a theatre or club and the sound guy misses my cue because he is trying to pick up a waitress I'm now covered. I should think before anyone slams anyone else on the net they should find out more about their target. Has anyone asked Joe about his training? Joe has an incredible electrical and mechanical engineering background. My show went from a regular comedy club type act to being nominated for best One Man Show at the Canadian Comedy Awards last year.
Incidently his show is as entertaining as he is, he works for adults, kids and the toughest crowd of all magicians.
P.S. I was a birthday party magician too.

Dave Merry
Message: Posted by: jimigibson (Mar 8, 2004 07:04AM)
Mr. Anderson,

If you think there is any "programming" on the Virtual Sound Man (Majiloon), you are obviously not familiar with the product. It's really a "plug and play" unit. I had a little trouble with the pause generator. However, this confusion was 100% user error. Kelly Duro was very patient with me. After reviewing the instructional DVD and the written material, I realized how stupid I was.

I would recommend a mini disc instead of the CD player because of its flexibility.

My unit arrived on a Wednesday and I performed a large corporate show on a Saturday (with minimal rehearsal). I felt very confident with the product and it improved my show 10 fold! Have you ever tried explaining 27 music cues to someone 5 minutes before a show...especially to someone who really doesn't want to help you in the first place? I'm now a big fan of Kelly and the Virtual Sound Man. I think you should seriously rethink your comments.

Here's the exact e-mail I sent to Kelly after the show...

"I finally understood the procedure for generating the pause signal and everything works great. The unit performed beautifully for the show and I felt
very confident with the product! Thanks for your technical support and patience with my "user error" problems."

Jimi Gibson
Message: Posted by: magicguy22 (Mar 8, 2004 08:01AM)
Dear Jimi, I think that Mr. Anderson commended Kelly and Joe for >not< needing programming. He said:

"I do believe that the idea of just pushing a button rather that programming a device is the best means of controlling music...for this I commend both you and Joe for using this method"
Message: Posted by: RayAnderson (Mar 8, 2004 02:15PM)
Jimigibson, Magicguy stated my comment correctly I thanked Majiloon and Joe Leskovar (the maker of the stagecue) for making it easy for us (the performer) to have an easy way to control our music...there are a other systems on the market that you have to program an though there is some advantages to this because of some of the extras you can do with it...more often that not the extras confuse us...and the performer then screws up the programming. I commended Joe and Majillo for making such an easy system to use.
Message: Posted by: David Allen (Mar 8, 2004 04:41PM)
Well this is my first and probably only post, but I must say what I think about the Majiloon Virtual Soundman 7.5. I own both the VSM 6 and VSM 7.5 and I must say that they both have far exceeded my expectations. I have used my systems for 3 years now and have never had one single problem. I love the new 7.5 system. In fact I just recieved the large LED for my VSM 7.5 and here is what I sent to Majiloon when I recieved it:

Hey buddy. Just recieved the LED!! THANKS!!!!!!! I am soooo excited to get this thing workin with the show. Just wanted to say thank you and I will be certainly sending more folks your way. You are da' man!!!

David

I am a faithful VSM user!! I just want to encourage anyone who may be juggling the decision on weather or not to buy the VSM to get it. It has turned my show into a production. I even use it in my birthday parties. Oh and to cover the topic about the size of the remote, I love the belt clip remote. No need to wonder where you left that little key chain laying at when you need your music. You always have the remote on your belt. And I must say that I have people all the time asking me who did my sound. That kindof tells me they didn't see the remote action. Well, I will quit my blabbering, but I hope that if you are looking for a GREAT, RELIABLE, and AFORDABLE remote system you will check out the Majilloon!!

Dave
ps. You may have noticed that I didn't comment on any of the other systems (Stageque, or Show Tech). I think it is best to not open my mouth about a system that I don't own. Just seems like there are a lot of comments from folks who like to bash things they know nothing about. Hope my comments helps someone in the decision process.
Message: Posted by: RayAnderson (Mar 8, 2004 06:23PM)
Hi David Allen, I am not saying that you shouldn't own a remote controlled music device...I am also not saying that are not a great tool (I have one) I am saying that don't put your Competition based on what else he chooses to do (don't put someone down because he also does children's birthday parties...and say on a place like this that people shouldn't at least look at his equipment. That is why I became involved in this thread in the first place. I want everyone to look...to research all products so that they can make informed choices about what they are buying. I am not saying that the VSM 6 or 7.5 are not great products...I am saying I choose an other product based on my needs and wants.
I am also saying compare equipment spec for spec...machine for machine. When you buy a car you don't buy one just because it looks pretty...you buy one based on your needs...your wants and the one that is closes to that and in the best price range of what you would like to buy usually wins.
When I bought my mic after using for a few years new ones came on the market...called up Dan McClain Jr (MagicRoadie.com) said hey buddy I know there is this new mic out...it looks great is it better than the one I am using now. I really want it, Dan said well it is $500.00 I said no problem...if I am going to have better sound and the mic looks better on (it was a new headset) then I want to buy it. We set down an looked at the pros and cons of both headsets...my old mic was better for what I needed it for...it wasn't about the money or who was the nicest guy...it was the product.
What I am saying David is this...I don't feel that this is the place that you should say by this or that...but it should be a place where you can find out info about stuff you don't know. That is why I promote places like http://www.magicroadie.com. It is unbias and it will help you make the right choices in finding what is best for your sound. Always make good choices...talked to more than one pro (if I need to know about sound...I talk to two or three guys that sell sound equipment so I have as much info as I can; that way I can be sure I am getting exactly what I need.) Find out everything and all things about all your choices. Paul Daniels said it best...there is always more than one way of doing something...and try and research as much of them as possible so that when you walk on stage you know that you are using the best method for you.

So in this tread of..."help me find a good remote sound device that will help me controll my music" Research all of them...so you know what each has...the pros and cons.

I know I did...I researched them all so that when I made my choice I had info about all of them. So for all you people reading this post in it's whole. Just read all you can about all the products out there. Talk to them, know what your getting why your getting it. Then make the best choice for yourself. Have fun and may your show be the best it can be!

Magicially yours
Ray Anderson
Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Mar 8, 2004 07:06PM)
Hi All,

I thought I would add something here since I have had the opportunity to use both a MiniTech and a Virtual Soundman.

I used a MiniTech for about 6 shows, a year and half ago. It did the job but a few times I pushed the button and nothing happened. Not often though. I don't know if it was intereference or if I screwed up pressing the buttons.


Then a little over a year ago I bought a Virtual Soundman 7 (I think they are up to 7.5 now). I love this system. I have never had a problem with it. The remote (I got the FM upgrade) is great. I clip it on my belt in the front and I never have to fish around for it or have trouble finding the right button. It has worked really well for me.

I bought it originally for my stage show, but now I often hook it up (along with the Minidisk) to a ghetto blaster for my stand-up and close-up shows.

Hope this can help some of you.

Mike D
Message: Posted by: Kerry Kistler (Mar 12, 2004 02:32PM)
Greetings all,
I, too, spent several days researching the various remote music systems available and finally ended my bleary-eyed on-line search with the VSM 7.5. Kelly (Majiloon) answered tons of questions during the several hours of phone conversation we had and was a champ through all of the purchase transaction.
Did he sound a bit shrill in one of his posts? From my observations of Kelly, I think he was smiling while posting the whole thing.
Long live the mini-disc (whatever remote system you choose to run it).
Blessings,
Kerry
Message: Posted by: g0thike (Feb 24, 2005 09:55PM)
The following are products that I want people to be aware of, I don’t have them, so if you buy them and they work let us know. If they suck also let us know.

IPOD RF REMOTE FOR $40.00- $50.00 bucks
I read this article at:

http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000520026578/

They mention an RF IPOD remote for $40.00 bucks that you can buy at the following address.

http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/airclick/index.php


Another article I read is at:

http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000327026993

It can be ordered at:

http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?CAT=Remote%20Control&PROD=IJET

Personally I don’t have these products or an Ipod.



CONVERTING AN IR (infra red signal) REMOTE TO RF (radio frequency) Remote for $49.99

Visit this site for a remote extender, it converts the IR signal to RF so you can have an RF on your existing CD player remote, Boom box or if your Mini Disc has a remote it should covert the signal. Please note that your audio equipment must use a remote since it must have a receiver. If you lost the remote you can get a Universal Remote and program it.

http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?CAT=Remote%20Control&PROD=LRRX
Message: Posted by: MR2Guy (Feb 24, 2005 11:26PM)
Hi all

I happen to be the product manager and one of the engineers of the AirClick RF remote for the iPod. It seems no company is developing solutions specifically for performers using an iPod, and I would highly recommend you take a look at our AirClick product at http://griffintechnology.com/products/airclick/index.php

We work closely with Apple, know all the iPod's remote protocols, so you can be assured that this product will not let you down in the middle of your show.

It's $40 and has a very small remote with a clip, and works up to 60ft. (realistically, 35-40).

We are also adding some performance features, where you can control any of the iPod's functions, such as pause between songs, etc. soon.

We also are making an RF USB donge, where you can control your computer remotely, so if you want to control your songs during a performance with, say, a laptop, this would be ideal.

We will be shipping in approx. 4 weeks.

If you have any suggestons or want more info, PM me, or email me at jason@griffintechnology.com

And yes, I'm a magician.

Take care

Jason
Message: Posted by: Micheal Leath (Feb 24, 2005 11:40PM)
Thanks for the links g0thike. I wonder if they make anything like the RF IPOD Remote for MP3 Players or Portable CD Players? Can you turn off the sleep mode on any of the players so that it does not turn off after a few minutes?

Jason,

Would you be able to add features like auto fade and anti sleep? How about push a button and the volume drops to a preset level to allow you to talk over it and then push the button again and it goes back up to the normal level?

If these remotes can be purchased for so little, then why does something like the VSM or Showtech cost as much as it does? They do basically the same things as the much cheaper remotes shown in those links. Yes there are a few more features on the much higher priced products, but enough to justify the much higher price?
Message: Posted by: MR2Guy (Feb 25, 2005 01:31AM)
[quote]
Would you be able to add features like auto fade and anti sleep? How about push a button and the volume drops to a preset level to allow you to talk over it and then push the button again and it goes back up to the normal level?[/quote]

The AirClick receiver already has anti sleep, i.e. it will wake the iPod on issuing any command.

Auto fade has been discussed, we're still not sure. My personal take is that you should record fades/crossfades to your original music material. But we are also discussing allowing users to issue any command that the iPod recognizes, and do whatever they want to with the feature set the iPod supports.

We have no plans to drop the audio to a preset level, you will have to do that by holding down the volume down button for a couple of seconds.

Take care, and thanks for the interest

Jason
Message: Posted by: g0thike (Feb 25, 2005 09:22AM)
Jason "MR2GUY"

I posted this info by mistake on this thread. Please visit my POST and copy and paste your messages in there. Sorry guys.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=74089&forum=11&51&start=30#20

G0THIKE
Message: Posted by: KenW (Feb 26, 2005 01:07PM)
I have owned my StageQue for a few years now. It has worked perfectly in well over 250 shows. Joe knows what he is doing and his performances as a magician is non other than "pro". MMMM...I have never seen the StageQue being offered on magic auction sites...MMMM.
Message: Posted by: Majiloon (Feb 26, 2005 08:32PM)
Michael-
These little $40 iPod remotes are junk- none of the 3 manufacturers know anything about stage environemnts or the challeges for the live performer- so you will not have the features you need- and the dependability that is required for your live performance.

All three of these units use a OEM keybob transmitter that I have already worked with and could design a reciever to match it with the power rating they use for the receiver- for $40- but - but its still junk-

This is just a cheap-out remote that is in no way appropriate for the professional-
It does not have the features required - nor do they have the power to handle the job.
If you want more specifics- then you can give me a call- but I will not educate these poeple by publishing a lesson plan on line.

Cheers-
Kelly Duro
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Mar 2, 2005 09:42PM)
KenW
I second that. The StageCue has woked awesome for me on both a Minidisc control OR the iPod.
Super friendly and never has a bad thing to say about anyone.
Jason, I will be placing an order for your low price solution. At $40. you have met our price point to see if it meets our needs for smaller venues. Please consider an auto fade as that would make it perfect.
Message: Posted by: Richc98 (Mar 7, 2005 08:09AM)
Hello All,

I think the bottom line here is to write down exactly what you want a system to do for you. Compare the products.

I did that and bought the Virtual Soundman 7.5 with the mini disk player, because of the different things that I needed it to do, which it fit the bill for me. I love the on board speaker so when I practice I don't have to hook up my sound system.

Side note, I use it with the Fender PD-150 and also P10W with the wireless mic.

Boy does it save me trying to get someone to press or adjust play,pause/stop,forwarding/skipping to the next track, fading, waking the system from sleep and volume control. (Always burn a cd as a back up)
Message: Posted by: trixy (Mar 17, 2010 08:46AM)
Hi
Looking for something like this
http://www.engadget.com/2005/01/08/griffin-airclick-remotes-for-ipod-and-itunes/

Where can I bye it?

I wonder if I can use it at the Ipod and get the Ipod conect with the Sound system I have..PA equipment..
Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Mar 17, 2010 10:56AM)
Trixy, the Griffin AirClick is no longer being manufactured, although you can still find them on eBay. The key thing is they don't work with the more recent iPods so you would have to be careful to make sure you find one that works with your model.

I am using an iJet NAV remote with my 4th Generation iPod:
http://www.valueoutfitters.com/iJet-Apple-iPod-Remote-iPhone-Remote-p/ijetappleipodremote.htm

This will work with nearly any recent iPod but the 5th Generation iPod Nano. (That's the current one with the built-in video camera.) Despite the claims that it will work, the receiver blocks the audio out port on the 5th Generation iPod Nano. (I tried it earlier this week.)

Michael