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Profile of peppermeat2000
This idea came to me awhile ago and haven't given it a try yet. I'd appreciate feedback, pro or con.

The idea uses a mini tape recorder that has the taped sound of a coin being dropped into an opaque glass or other container at timed intervals (I would use an oversized coffee mug). The magician would produce a coin and "drop" it into the glass. The tape would be choreographed so that the magician would have time to produce, display, and "drop" the coin into the glass.

Timing, of course, would have to be perfect as it would be a bit embarrassing to be displaying your coin at a point in the tape where a coin is heard dropping into the glass. Certain intervals of the tape could be arranged so that at a couple of times during the routine the glass could be picked up and given a shake and the sound of several coins could be heard rattling inside.

The end of the routine could either be simply turning the glass upside down and displaying empty or by producing a jumbo coin through a favorite method and again showing the glass empty. I haven't had any experience using the new compact tape recorders and the sound quality they offer. Any input on this component of the idea would also be appreciated.

Thanks! Smile
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77 Posts

Profile of ferraroj
How about a small hand held device that could fit in your palm? It could have two buttons for the two sounds. This would get away from perfect timing. The hand holding the can would hold this device too, or you can have the box glued inside the can.

I've seen boxes that are about two inches by two inches that contain entire songs, so I'm sure one can be made with the two sounds you want.
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Durban, South Africa
272 Posts

Profile of shinobi
I'm in T.V., and work a lot as a sound engineer, so two issues come to mind..

1) Signal to noise, i.e., coin sound and tape hiss
2) A speaker, small but loud (and clear) enough.

How about a mechanical device, rather than a recorder/playback, (tape or digital) such as a piece of metal in a small glass bottle (like a tote bottle) that you can manipulate with your other hand. The audience will have to be well-misdirected by the hand dropping the coin into the mug, or cover with body angle.
Sid Mayer
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Santa Fe, NM
656 Posts

Profile of Sid Mayer
Why a tape recorder? There are many subminiature digital recorders available. Do some research to determine which will suit your purpose. At the very least, this will solve signal to noise and tape hiss problems.

If you can find one with a jack for an external speaker (or, perhaps, an earphone) small enough to be either worn or palmed near a microphone you can let an external sound system take care of amplification.

IMO this is an idea worth developing.

All the world's a stage ... and everybody on it is overacting.
Slim King
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Eternal Order
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Profile of Slim King
You can record your background music and have all of the ques in the songs. Drop each coin just on a certain beat. That way it would be simple to time just right. Incert a four count tambourine before you shake the jar. You could put audio ques all through the music bed, then just burn it to Cd. You could also place a dummy microphone on the table next to the jar as if the sound was being picked up and played through the PA along with the background music...... Thus removing the directional problems of the sound effects.
Great Idea! Your hands and feet are totally free.
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Atlanta Magician
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Atlanta, GA
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Profile of Atlanta Magician
I agree with Slim King! This is a wonderful way to make your cues in synch with your actions.

Try a mini disk recorder/player if you don't want to use bed music though. All you have to do is hook it up to a small speaker concealed in your table.

I wouldn't amplify it to much though, because a real coin dropping in a real glass wouldn't make that much noise. Some times the more subtle the sound, the better!

"There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees."
-Michel de Montaigne
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398 Posts

Profile of peppermeat2000
Thanks for your input! I'm going with the coin sounds blending in with background music... this makes great sense to me. I'll keep you posted as to how it plays out in real world conditions.
Andrew E. Miller
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Southern California
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Profile of Andrew E. Miller
I think creators such as John Kennedy have already included a device like this in one of their tricks. It sounds like you drop a coin into the cup, glass, mug, or whatever, but you really aren't. it is a fantastic idea and EXTREMELY convincing.

If you get bored go to and watch some magic.

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