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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Sound System Placement (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

JamesinLA
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Inner circle
Los Angeles
3400 Posts

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This might seem like a stupid question, but I was wondering where people like to set up their sound systems in relation to the rest of their show, props, tables, etc?

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Quentin
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Inner circle
1007 Posts

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Hi James,

Depending on where you are performing. If you are doing games etc in a home, then on the floor is ok but I'd prefer it on a table and out of reach of prying hands.

If in a hall, height helps enormously for the sound to carry. In a school, I've often put it on top of the piano.

For outdoor shows I've put it on top of the car, or van. In a shopping centre, if not performing in a special performing area, I have used a shopping trolley.

Basically you want the amp positioned towards the audience, where it will not pick up any feedback (that shrilly uncomfortable sound).

Also I feel audiences don't need to be blasted out of it. You should be loud enough to be comfortably and easily heard. DJ's confuse volume with quality.
p.b.jones
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Inner circle
Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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HI,
I always fit a top hat into my speaker/speaker amp combo so that I can put it on a proper speaker stand this greatly enhances how the sound carries. Regarding positioning Quentin said "Basically you want the amp positioned towards the audience, where it will not pick up any feedback (that shrilly uncomfortable sound). " I assume Quentin is used to using a speaker amp combo? As the positioning of the amp has nothing to do with feed back it is the speaker/mic reaction that causes feed back therefore the speaker that needs to be towards the audience you can position your amp where ever you like.
Phillip
Quentin
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Inner circle
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You're right Phillip, It is the speaker that needs to be towards the audience. I always used a TOA system which is a speaker/amp combination. I know many UK magicians use the Coomber system, also speaker/amp. The exception is for bigger shows where a sound system is usually supplied and the amp is separated from the speakers.

I always referred to my system as the "AMP", so apologies for any confusion.

The most imporatnt points are that the speaker should be positioned for maximum coverage in the performing area and that it should be away from prying hands. Cords and flexes WILL be pulled by little fingers and a speaker falling on a child upsets the momentum of your show.

I recommend you also get a speaker/amp operated both by mains and battery.
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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Living in Perth Western Australia
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When I've been doing some street work recently I put mine under the table that I have my props on. I keeps it safe and the speaker is behind me and adjusting the mic to avoid feedback is not too hard to do. I'm using a Taxi Crate yellow 30 watt model at the moment. I really like it. Good quality. But for many years I used a Chiayo brand portable PA unit that comes with 2 wireless mics, and a built in cd/tape deck for music etc. If your interested or have any questions I have a lot of info on the locally made Taiwanese portable, battery operated PA systems. PM me if you like.
JoJo
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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I set up my table/box behind me on my left and my PA behind me to my right, this the dictates the width of my performing area if I'm in a large room. In smaller venues it's sometimes placed elsewhere to maximise the space.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Salazar Magic
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New Jersey
344 Posts

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I've thought about cutting a hole in front of my suitcase table and mounting a speaker on it, has anyone thought of this or tried it?
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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Living in Perth Western Australia
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It has possibilities if you've got a good set up (as in equipment) and a way to control vibrating etcetra. It would be best disguised behind some sort of decoration. But you've probably thought of that anyways. I must say though that I haven't tried it myself.
JoJo Smile
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Dynamike
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Eternal Order
FullTimer
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I have mine on each side of me for big audiences. I don't use one when I'm in a house. I might get a big one and place it beside my back drop in the future. Because some kids may be mystified wondering where the sound is coming from.
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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I have speakers mounted in a prop box. It is a car stereo system in there & I also use the box as a seat. I only use it for music however I would not even consider having voice amplification from a speaker so close.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Scott Ocheltree
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Malloy Magic sells a table with built in speakers.
I think something like this would be great for small venues, but probably best for music only like Andy does. If you use a microphone and work in front of your table at all you are likely to get feedback.
spatrick
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Tom Sawyer let me whitewash these
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Quentin,


Just to qualify something! Non-Professional DJ's confuse volume for quality.

Those of us who DJ as well as do magic will know that its always volume that you need. As a matter of fact too much volume can destroy the sound quality you want.

S. Patrick
jasonmcconnie
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canada
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Set the speaker stands ahead of the mic to avoid feedback. Away from the walls for less boominess.
miscoes
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Allariz, Spain
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For me a speaker stand in medium to big shows is a must.

Not only to ease the speaker setup but also for the professional image. I don't like to improvisated methods to put my props nor my audio system.

I use several types of powered loudpeakers after many years of using separate mixer/amplifier/speaker setups. They reduce set-up time and are better for "scale" the system... "more people -> more or bigger speakers"

A well tuned system and reduced microphone level allows you to be in front of your speakers but it takes time and good quality equipment to setup it. As a general rule you shouldn't be in front of your speakers to avoid feedback.

There are devices that help in avoiding feedback as expensive as Sabine models and as cheap as Behringer Shark. They "hear" the audio detecting the problematic frequencies and set up a set of filters to avoid feedback in those frequencies.

For small shows I use a Behringer keyboard combo amp.
http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/K1800FX.aspx

It's not really 1800W, but a 12" loudspeaker gives REALLY BIG audio output.

One of the advantages of this kind of amplifiers is that they have a graphic equalizer that "shows you the feedback frequencies" ( by lighting a led ) so you can manually reduce level in that band. It's cheap, robust, sound well (I do also play electric piano with it) but have no hole for a stand so I'll have to make a hole and put an adequate "vase insert"

And, for big shows I use two of this:
http://usa.yamaha.com/products/live_soun....../msr400/
Rolf Reiner
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Mallorca - Spain
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I have recently built a box type table for my kidshows that has a front latch that opens and reveals a Roland Mobile Cube unit.
Works wonderfully for the small-medium sized shows, and the speakers are not on the floor, but about waist level. I also have the receiver for the shure haedset built into the table, as well as the mp3 player. All I have to do is to plug the table in by pulling out the extension cord, and I´m ready to rock. Saves a lot of time and fumbling - there is no setup whatsoever.
RR
Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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Quote:
On 2003-09-23 11:42, Salazar Magic wrote:
I've thought about cutting a hole in front of my suitcase table and mounting a speaker on it, has anyone thought of this or tried it?

A Michigan magician, who used to perform many school shows, did that with a suitcase table that he built. He was using an Amplivox Diplomat for amplification.

I prefer distance from the speaker, and I prefer that it be on a speaker stand. I want it to be to my right, so I can see the controls, and toward the audience. I don't want anyone standing in front of it. If the room produces an echo that goes to the mike, I may lower the stand.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Toronto, Canada
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Hi, James!
For specifics on placement of the speaker(s) relative to placement of the mic(s), follow the link in my signature, and go to the article on "Speaker Placement".
Cheers from Toronto!
Dan.
Dan McLean Jr
JamesinLA
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Inner circle
Los Angeles
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Hi, guys, man, that post is a blast from the past.

For my stage shows I now use a PD-150 with speaker stands. I put the amp either to one of the wings, or if there is a curtain close behind me, I will put the amp there. I have speaker cable extensions when needed, which I usually do.

The only concern with amp placement is that it not be too far from me as I perform because of my ijet remote which controls my ipod, which is hooked up to the amp.

I just did a 500 seat theater with the PD-150 and it had power to spare.

I would like to get a new headset mike to plug into the PD-150 transmitter if anyone has any suggestions in a midprice range. Thanks.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
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