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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Best School Assembly Sound System? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Salazar Magic
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JBl eons
Carlos Hampton
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Todd,

where did you get it? What is included in your package?
magic4u02
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I just used my IPod and Fender set up today for a show and it worked out perfectly. I just want to get a wirless remote system I can use for it to make things that much easier on me. I took a look at the product that Glod has posted about and it looks like just the thing that may work for my bigger festival and theater performances. All the pieces are coming together slowly for me. I will keep people posted.

What does everyuone feel is the best mic system to use in your shows? This can mean lavalear mic, hand mic or headset mic?

Kyle
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James Adamson
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Kyle,

Which sound system one wants to use is really a decision based on need, functionallity , and price considerations.

Lightweight Portable Systems: Fender, Mipro, Liberty all have an all-in one type format. Get the stands for the speakers. These systems will have more THD (distortion) than semi-componet or componet systems. Biggest drawback is size of speaker. Most of these type systems are availible with battery operation. Some will have wireless mics and wireless transmitters in case you use more than one speaker. Most Cost effective easiest to work, remote control is usually seperate.

Semi-Portable:JBL Eons are powered speakers that have size (12" to 15" woofer)to them and/or very efficent and have a large SPL output. Yahama has or did have something like them. Make sure they have multiple inputs and not just one XLR mic input. Am all in one mixer is availible thru many sources, that could be hooked into them. Mid Range in price

Then you get into the seperate componet systems which would require Mixer, DSP, CD or audio player of some sort. Mount them in a protected rolling rack. Seperate 12" to 15" two-way speakers, and mics as required. Wireless and or hardwired mics as required. Usually the highest price. Best Sound and Heaviest system.

There are several companies that make remote control units for MDs or I-Pod as seen above.

Again it is based on what is important to you and your useage. If your current system works for you and there are no complains, stick with what you have. If you are looking for a system, weight the different plus & minus of each.

Most people do not recconize the difference between quality of sound systems unless they can hear them side by side. A sales tool than audio stores use is having a seperate sound room with varies systems than can be switched from one to the other. If you listen to a 50 Watt system and then immediately hear an 150 watt system 90% of the time if you have the money you will buy the larger system as it is more efficent (in most cases) in sound reproduction.

As far as mics, I perfer a Wireless Headwore mic as feedback is all but elimenated and sound is much clearer and understood. Some people do not like the looks, can't please everybody. Smaller headset mics are now being made by many different manufactors.

I have found that really you need a combination of headset, and handhelt. The reason being is audience control. Especially if you do not have a person running the mixer. Leaving a live mic in the hands of a volunter causes you to lose control and they make speak out of turn. I found this out doing "The Lemon Game" as my helper wanted to talk to much. The Handhelt Mic can solve this problem, but it can cause you problems in a manipulation sequence. If you use the handhelt be sure to get one of the around the neck holders available. Keep in mind the further away the mic is from the source of the sound production the higher the risk for feedback.

Many people will ask about whether to use Omni or Unidirectional Mics. I perfer Uni because feedback is at its lowest. The only drawback to a Uni is your breath sounds pick up easier than on an omni.

Now that I have bored everybody I will hush up.
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magic4u02
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WOW!!! Great information and thank you so much for posting. Tis is a wealth of information.

For my own shows. I cureently use a fender Passport 150 system with an iPod mini set and plugged into it. I have a good quality hand held mic that is wiried and on a stand. I also have a headset mic and a lavalear or lapel mic. I am just still trying to figure out what mic system looks best and sounds best for what I do and for my needs. Do you have a preference of a headset mic over a lapel mic? Also, what brands of both are the best to get?

I also want to get a wireless remote system for my iPod so I can control it from on stage if I choose to. I just also need some sort of LCD system so I can keep track of the track number on the playlist that the show is set up on.

I know Glod mentioned one that is out there that has all of this. Do you know of any others that you reccomend that I can check out and look into? This wireless remote might be the last piece I need for a system that would work best for me this season.

Thanks again for some simply GREAT advice.

Kyle
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James Adamson
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Mic Order of preference:(all should be Unidirectional for best results 95% of the time)

1> Wireless Headset (Very Good Sound, least amount of feedback, sound always the same as the distance between the mic and the mouth is always the same, new smaller mics almost invisable, audience control issues- see previous post above about "The Lemon Game")

2> Handhelt Wireless (Very Good Sound - can vary as distance to mouth can change, Audience control issues solved, freedom of moment, manipulation issues)

3> Handhelt Hardwired (Very Good Sound - can vary as distance to mouth can change, Audience control issues, freedom of moment issues)

4> Lapel (Sound varience issues, feedback issues, rubbing of clothing issues, freedom of movement, audience control issues, almost invisable)

Manufactors of mics: Mipro (great wireless mics), Audio Techinca, Shure, TOA, Samson, Telex, etc. Most of these manufactors either have the small headset mic or one can be added to their system. Prices will vary as each company usually has good, better, best. If wireless get Frequency Agile UHF system.

Remote Control Companies:

As seen above per glodmagic (stagecue):

StageCue controller
http://www.leskini.com/stagecue/intro_pro.htm

Virtural Soundman
http://www.majiloon.com/merch.html

Wireless Wizardry
http://www.wirelesswizardry.com/

All are custom made electronics, can be quite pricey. Heard good things about them. Designed for one man show purposes.

Hope that helps.
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magic4u02
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Wow. I can not thank you enough for this great information there James. You should put out a booklet on this information. I am currently doing a festival booklet project and perhaps some of this information might be helpful in it. If you are intersted in including some of your information etc., just PM me. Just a thought mind you since I have found your information a really valuable source.

Any particular wireless headset mic you prefer over any other for quality sound? If you had to personally get a wireless headset mic that could plug into a Fendeor system, which would you choose? I respect your opinion highly.

I am going to check out these other istes for the wireless controller for the iPod as well. Again many many thanks.

Kyle
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TheAmbitiousCard
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For what occasions do these schools have magic shows?
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magic4u02
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Most of them have shows through out the year for different occassions ranging from a spring festival to PTA fundraisers to educational shows for the children of various age levels. Some even have what they call Friday Family nights that have entertainment.

For most of these school shows, you will need a sound system as most are done inside in a gym or even an auditorium. If you are outside, you will also need one in order to be heard clearly with the amount of noise that is around you.

Kyle
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Decomposed
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You can usually use the hand held wireless mic the school has and save the expense.
They should all have them.

You can then concentrate on your music. I've found some technical problems using the house system for music.
magic4u02
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I never deoend on any house system. Over the years I have come to realize that 80% of all house systems, just STINK. Besides, there is nothing better then knowing your own system and being able to rely on it's quality every single time. If you use a house mic, you get different sound qualities, different length of cords etc. There is a bit of unfamiliarity that I personally like to take out of the equation.

If you are to use a house system, or one provided by the client, make sure you go into detail on exactly what it has and what it does not have. Too many people's idea of what a "sound syustem" is and is not vary so greatly that you get there and realize it is vastly different then what you perceived it to be.

Just some thoughts.

Kyle
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chris mcbrien
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Hiya, Ladies and Jellybeans!
I picked up a Peavy Escort 150 (like the Fender Passport 150) this last Friday. I have'nt had a chance to test it yet, that will be this coming Thursday night at a School reading night. The speaker quality seems very good, and I'm happy I got a wireless headset, although I like that a mic and stand comes with this so I can have it set up to take a mic to my helpers when they come up onstage.
Can you say "Happy as a Clam"?. I feel that this was a good investment. At the same time, I didn't go the component route because, like Kyle stated, some magicians don't know sound equipment that well...and I fall right smack into that catagory!
Hope everyone is doing well! Thanks for the wonderful feedback and advise!
Chris
garydunn
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I have used the Fender system in the past, but now use the Peavey Escort 2000. It is in my opinion a far superior system and has enough oomf for most school shows. I have also recently purchased a Beyerdynamic wireless headset microphone which is really small and unobtrusive but has a fantastic sound!

If you've got the cash, definately go for the Peavey system. $850.00 or about £300.00 in the UK.

Gary

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magic4u02
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Chris:
You are most welcome. I am glad to see your new system is working great for you. What are you using for your music and what are you plugging into it?

Kyle
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chris mcbrien
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Hi, Kyle.
What a welcome change from my post I just replied to about opinions!
I'm using a sony boom-box to plug into the system, with a remote. I also use a wireless headset, too. I would love to go the IPOD route but that takes up more money than I want to spend right now. So far it's doing great, though! I really like the portable-ness of the whole thing...and it's quick to set up!
Hope you're doing well.
Cheers,
Chris
magic4u02
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Chris:
An option for you is to go the route I did. I got an iPod mini and it is less costly but still has PLENTY of enough memory for usage to run my entire show and be able to keep all my show music in one spot.

Kyle
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TheAmbitiousCard
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How do you hook up an iPod to a fender passport (or other PA).

I also just ordered an AirClick to run the iPod remotely.


Frank
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magic4u02
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IPod has a stero connector kit that you will need to purchase. This is the kit that allows me to connect my iPod to my Fender with ease.

Kyle
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MagicalPirate
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I use a single JBL Eon 15 powered speaker with a Studiomaster Logic 12 mixer board. My sound is run from a IBM Thinkpad 365X laptop computer. I can set it all up in about 15 minutes and be ready to roll. It sounds great inside or out and is capable of carrying outside in a park environment to draw people in. It is a 180 watt system with the amplifier built in. If you were just using a single mic you could literally put it on the stand, plug in mic and be ready to go just like that. It only requires a mixer when you are using more than one input. These run about $350 used on ebay and about $500 new.

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Tom Stevens
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I use a MIPRO MA705 with built in wireless receiver and battery(without the built in CD), wireless headset mic, and a basic MP3 player with 512 Mb. (US$45 from ebay USA). I only use a bit of music when starting out my program so I've got way more file storage than I need.

As far as handling large crowds goes: If I have a crowd bigger than 150 then I connect the Mipro to a standalone mixer/amp/speaker (I think it's 50W or 75W). I got it from a pawn shop.

If the performance is outdoors then I bring a 12V battery with inverter to power the extra amp.

Issues with mics:

I started using the lapel mic but found that there were too many times when I turned my head and it would not pick up my voice. Clipping it to my bow-tie helped a little but the sound was not as good as with a head set.

With the headset mic I found myself not being able to catch my breath after doing some very lively routines because the heavy breathing sounds awful, and I had to regulate my breathing, and refrain from sighing. This can be solved because I have a multidirectional mic. I bend the headset so that the mic is below and to the side of my chin.

Feedback is not a problem if I place the speaker (which I place on a tripod stand) to the side and in front of my performance area. I just have to be mindful of not walking over to that side if I go into the audience.
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