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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Random Sound Effects Through Show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mystical Matthew
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I need a way of playing random sound effects through my show.

I have an MP3 Tech, which is awesome. I rely on it heavily.

Unfortunately it only plays tracks in sequential order. I need a way of playing a specific sound effect through my PA at a random point through my show. If I could have several random sound effects to choose from that would be awesome.

My mixer can take two inputs and has a DJ Slider. I could make both this and the MP3 Tech play well together... I just can't seem to find a "random sound effect remote"...

Anyone have a suggestion? Preferably something economical?
Bill Knight
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Matthew, check this thread, it is a long one but very informative

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......m=11&160

If there is nothing there that meets your needs, I have, until I read this thread, been using a Roland SP404 sampler. This has 12 buttons which you can assign a sound / track to and will play when you press the button. You also get 10 banks so that, in effect, you have up to 120 samples that you can play at the touch of a button or two.
I don't think that I have described this very well but there are videos online if you want to search for them.

Hope this helps

Bill
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
www.magicbill.co.uk
Jeff Haas
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Matt,

The thread Bill linked to may not answer your question; it's been going since 2004 and discusses mainly solutions for playing a set list of queues.

How do you see using your random tracks? Do you need a remote or can you press a button on a panel? That will be the biggest question...there are limited solutions for doing this from a remote.

The only one I know of for sale, with a remote, is the Cesaral Soundmaster:
http://www.cesaral.com/Cesaral%20Soundmaster.htm

The challenge I see with using a remote to trigger a whole bunch of tracks is that you need to have a button for each track and then build them into something that looks normal. Cesaral has done this with a microphone and a magic wand.

FYI, the Roland SP404 is about $400.00 and is overkill for what you want. Do you know someone with electronics knowledge? There's a unit that does what you need at Sparkfun:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product......_id=9715

This would require some work - putting it into a box, and building a small panel of buttons - but it does what you want and it's $50.00. It can trigger up to 18 sound tracks just by hooking up buttons to it.

I don't have one yet because I don't have a valid excuse to buy one. I currently have an Arduino microcontroller with the Adafruit WAV Shield (hooked up to a motion sensor for Halloween, but that's a different topic.)

Jeff
Bill Knight
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Matt
Listen to Jeff, he knows his stuff. His information in the thread I linked to was fantastic. I couldn't afford an mp3tech and also, I wanted to be able to change the list on the fly. The 404 IS overkill but it does do the job and, while it isn't cheap (I live in the UK so don't know US prices) it is a lot less than an mp3tech.

Jeff
Can I just thank you for the info you have provided through Magic Café & your web page, I know the thread is old but I only joined the forum recently and I read it 2 weeks ago and have already changed to laptop, winamp, r/f remote setup. Your input really helped me so, thank you VERY much.

Bill
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
www.magicbill.co.uk
Skip Way
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This may be a little too simplistic, but it works reasonably well for me. http://www.thinkgeek.com sells the Personal Soundtrack T-Shirt with a hard-wired 20-button remote for $29.99. The remote comes with 20 pre-loaded tracks and effects, but you can load your own using MP3s, the included SD Memory Card and your computer.

I cut the remote wires leading to the cheap speaker and had an electronic-savvy buddy reattach the wires to a plug that fit into a wireless mic transmitter. It works great for those on-the-spot sound effects.

Pro: Up to 20 specific sound effects are available instantly and at any time by pressing a button and the price isn't bad.

Con: Don't expect iPod or Sampler quality sound. It's not bad and certainly meets my needs, but it isn't the highest quality.

Con: The size, type and proximity of the buttons to one another. The button pad is about the size of a thick credit card and has this stiff plastic with bubbles for buttons. Not always easy to hit right on the fly. Even after sticking small flat craft gems to my primary effect buttons (for tactile recognition), it took lots of rehearsal time for me to instinctively hit the right button every time.

Con: The bulk of the remote, battery pack and transmitter makes it nearly impossible to conceal in a prop. I've used it attached to my belt (under a coat), inside my Busker's pouch and Velcroed to the top of my table. These solutions work fairly well for most of my routines.

Con: If you use a wireless mic in your act, you'll need either a separate receiver for the SFX remote or a receiver capable of handling two separate transmitter channels at once.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Jeff Haas
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Bill, you're welcome! Glad you've got something that works for you. You can't beat a netbook for the size of the screen, giving you the ability to see what cue you're on from across the stage. And they're cheap, too.

Skip, I've seen the website for that shirt, but you mention the main concerns I had...the remote isn't designed for anything more than being a toy, and the quality of the playback isn't the best. If you're happy with those then $30.00 is a steal. (There was an episode of The Big Bang Theory where they had one of those shirts, it was really funny.)
Colin Uk
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The MP3 tech has a added remote which when you press the number it will pay that track straight away regardless of where you are in the show or you can have it modified to cue a specific track up.

Example:

You are at at track 3 and you want to play sound effect 20 just press 20 ad it will play instantly.
Mystical Matthew
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I ended up opting for a REALLY low-tech solution. What I need this for is an experimental bit and I'm not sure if it will work yet.

Long term the Sparkfun board is definitely what I need. I have a background in programming. I'm thinking that if I hooked that up to and Arduino micro controller I might be able to put together a more advanced version of what I'm working on. For the short term I need to find out what works theatrically and build a longer term solution from there...

I really appreciate everyone's help! It seems to me that there's a market for "random sound effects at a button push" but there aren't a lot of viable solutions.

We're typically heavily scripted, so the need for a "random" sound effect is unusual. It's just necessary for a routine that I'm working on.
Sock Puppet Monkey
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I recall seeing someone who gave out a sound effect kind of machine and they had the spectator hit the remote as they felt. Was pretty funny as I recall.
rcarmichael
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Sydney, Australia
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Hi Matthew,
In case your idea does not work, here is what I do.
I don't like to have too much equipment on the stage - so I set it up all sidestage, with a single XLR heading up to my Speaker (Active, of course).
Backstage I have the full rig (depending on the show, of course), so EQ, Mixer, Wireless Reciever, and a Laptop (I actually use a Netbook, because of the portability - its only running lights and sound after all!).
I personally use lighting in my full show as well, so the system works off a Lighting Syncronisation application - but if your not also syncing lighting cues, then this step is not neccessary.
Set up all your cues into a presentation application such as Microsoft Powerpoint. Each audio cue on a new slide.
I have two bluetooth pedals on stage, which are very small and hardly noticeable. I simply walk up to the pedal, hit it, and the next cue is activated. If you don't like the pedals, a simple bluetooth "clicker" works in exactly the same way - have it behind your table or in your pocket! It has a fair reach as well, so if the venue has their own "suitable" audio equipment, I juct bring a 3.5" to 6.5" RCA (or XLR), they plug it in and it works in the same way!
If there is anything further I can do to explain this method, please let me know.
Sincere regards,
Ryan Carmichael
Ryan Anand Carmichael
http://www.RyanCarmichael.com/
Fitz
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Phoenix, AZ
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It may be over kill for this application, but the Roland SP404SX is an awesome and powerful tool for an illusion show. I highly recommend it!

Fitz
I have a daily web show all about magic at http://FitzMagic.info
Lou Hilario
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Yes, I agree the Roland SP404SX is a must for a great show. This is now on my wishlist.
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
http://www.louhilario.net
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