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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Where Is Copperfield's Microphone? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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shazammagic
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Where is Copperfield's microphone? I've been trying to figure it out, but it must be well-hidden. High-end musical theater uses three tiny lavalier microphones (one over each ear, and one at the top of the forehead), so that in case a mic dies there are two back-ups.

But especially in the case of the forehead location, a wig is used to hide the cord. I'm guessing Copperfield doesn't wear a wig. Any thoughts? I'm mostly curious about his live shows, as opposed to past TV specials. Thanks!
Bill Nuvo
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Quote:
On 2007-04-14 15:47, shazammagic wrote:
Where is Copperfield's microphone? I've been trying to figure it out, but it must be well-hidden. High-end musical theater uses three tiny lavalier microphones (one over each ear, and one at the top of the forehead), so that in case a mic dies there are two back-ups.

But especially in the case of the forehead location, a wig is used to hide the cord. I'm guessing Copperfield doesn't wear a wig. Any thoughts? I'm mostly curious about his live shows, as opposed to past TV specials. Thanks!


Maybe that's David's biggest secret....he's as bald as I am and wears a wig.
Moth
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You don't need a wig to hide the cord...although mrbill's observation could be the exposure of the century.

Anyone with a decent head of hair can wear a cord. And odds are he's only packing two, not three. Men are usually picked up from the "over the ear" location - I'd be guessing it's there. However, I've never been close enough to check! The business end of the body mic has gotten to be about the size of the head on a straight pin, so you'd never really be able to see it unless you were 3 feet or so away.
happy003
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What is the name of the mic.And do I dare ask about price. lol
dearwiseone
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I recently saw Copperfield live and was invited up as a volunteer. I shook his hand, but didn't see any microphones either. I'm convinced it's inside his collar, or on his shirt somewhere, possibly colored to match. (he wears the exact same thing to almost every show, and on his most recent TV special, I believe) so it's possible he has these colored mics. Who knows!
kenscott
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The mic is in worn in his shirt.
shazammagic
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Moth: Good call on the over-the-ear. The smallest mic head I know of is about the size of a pencil eraser, but still if properly colored and attached it could blend in well.

dearwiseone: Thanks for the first-person report ... although I was kinda hoping someone who had volunteered onstage would've seen something Smile His attire is crucial in other illusions as well, so I'm sure you're correct and he's got several mics colored appropriately for each tour. Heck, when Ellen hosted the last Oscars she had dual lapel mics that changed color with her costume ... and that was just for a single event!

kenscott: Any theories on where in his shirt?

Thanks to all for your thoughts!
Grandillusionsmagic
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When he did the show here in Boise I got to talk with him after the show, and I was able to see the cord go behind his ear, so looked closer and he had it in his hair just above his ear. it was about the size of a sewing needle. then as he walked away I saw the "body pack" clipped to his shirt collar it was about the size of a small box of matches (1x1.5x.25) I suspect that he has several mics, and the one he wears depends on the effects he is doing in that show or that part of the show.
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silverking
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Quote:
On 2007-04-15 09:51, kenscott wrote:
The mic is in worn in his shirt.



Very few top pro's will wear their actual mics attached to their clothes (packs attached obviously).
The rustle of clothing when using lavaliere's attached directly to a shirt is a nightmare for Sound Mixers, with silk shirts being among the worst offenders.

Do you know DC wears his mic attached to his shirt to be a fact?.....or just a guess.
If he does wear it on his shirt, it would be interesting to know the method used to keep the clothing noise at zero.
I just saw DC in Vancouver and there was no clothing rustle through the PA, something that usually points to the lavaliere being worn in the hair, the upper cheek, or on the cheek just under the ear.
shazammagic
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Yeah, I agree with silverking about the clothes rustling. It sounds like one over each ear (for even sound, and as a back-up if one fails) is the best guess.

Has anyone known any of David's techies? I'd imagine they wouldn't be sworn to secrecy regarding where his mic was attached Smile
kenscott
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One of his mics is worn around his neck behind his shirt. I have been around him after his shows several times and you can see under his white shirt. So no the mic is not attached to his shirt it is basically hanging
Ken
Moth
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Ken - that's what it does when you take it off of your ear...it dangles into your shirt or outside your collar.

Silverking is correct - these things are rarely used on the lapel or in the clothes.

However, trivia note - the packs have gotten so small (as GI says, matchbook sized) that you can bury the whole rig, mic, cord, and pack, into a wig.

And that's what you do if you have to be naked..or nearly.

Mic goes as close to the face as it can without being annoying to look at. Men resonate slightly more from the jaw, women from the forehead. Hence the "behind the ear"....and I think GI actually solved the mystery here, anyway!
makeupguy
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Here's the deal: The rig on his ear is a direct connect to his stage manager. It's a listening device..not a microphone.

His mic, is a body mike, he wears only one.. at least he did when I toured with him.

its' clipped to his shirt.. and since the shirt doesn't move against the mic, tehre is no "rustling".

I toured with broadway shows for over a decade.. and we used lots of mic placement depending on the desire of the original show sound designer. I'm sad to say that more and more Broadway sound designers are insisisting that they mics are placed in teh center of the forehead or on the cheeks.. fully visible and incredibly distracting. On Phantom of the Opera.. they are hidden at the edge of the hairlines... or acutally in the fake sideburns of teh characters... inother words.. you'll NEVER see a mic on stage during the show on any of the orginal touring companies.

I HATE to see microphones on stage, unless it's hand held or on a stand. However.. id' rather see one in the middle of a forehead than a hand held mic on a stupid holder in the middle of someone's chest like a bad square dance caller.. those just look silly!
Moth
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Makeupguy, thanks for setting the record (?) straight!

I'm totally shocked about the shirt - that just seems so hard to control. But hey - to each his own.

And I couldn't agree more about the ridiculous way in which mics are creeping closer and closer to the mouth...with all the technology, surely they can stay back at the hairline.

Anyway - thanks for the info!
Oliver - Twist
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Before doing magic DC was a ventriloquist, so I thought that he swallowed his micro before each show...just an other illusion that we never noticed. LOL
May all your days be magical



Oliver Twist
kenscott
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Thanks makeupguy so it is a shirt mic like I said above.

THanks
Ken
shazammagic
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I don't suppose anyone has a photo of him close-up enough to prove or disprove the methods? Obviously he wouldn't be wearing a mic in publicity photos, but perhaps he'd still have one on after the show?
silverking
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I'm not sure being 'right' is anywhere near as interesting as discussing wireless mics and their use.
magicmarkdaniel
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The Microphone is one of his best creations and David owns exclusive rights on this effect. It will never be available to the magic community and is patented heavily.

Mark
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shazammagic
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If the microphone is such a big secret, how is makeupguy able to explain where and how it is used?

I brought up the original question out of curiosity, as well as to see if there was a practical way us other performers could mimic the mic placement and style that Copperfield uses. I appreciate Mark's post regarding the proprietary nature of David's microphone system, but if it's viewed as something unattainable, that will limit future discussions. As long as it's not an illusion secret, I don't think we encounter any ethics problems discussing his audio methods?

One thing that all threads seem to agree on is that his audio is excellent, so anything we can learn from the method(s) he uses is a bonus. Thanks for the great posts!
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