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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Amplification. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gallagher
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1045 Posts

Profile of gallagher
I´m against Amplifacation,.. in ALL forms on the Streets.

I´ve nothing against the Shows,..
or most of the guys using them,.. personally.
Only, the waves they are making.

Pitches.
Streets.
Towns,
are being shut down to ALL outdoor Performers,
because of noise problems.
It isn´t a new problem.
It´s been going on for the past twenty years,
starting with the South American Indian Mafia.
Now it´s creeping more and more into our ranks.

Guys use Amplification for obvious reasons.
One,.. you can play bigger crowds,..
bigger hats.
Two,.. if no one HAS interest,..
at least they WILL hear you.
Three,... to save the voice.,.
it´s much easier then developing theatrical speaking technique.
Four,... to compete against other noise,..
waves, autos, human trafic,.. other performers.

any ither reasons?
probably.

Most, if not all,,don´t understand the workings of their amplifier.
THIS IS PROBLEMATIC.

A little Crate,.. kicking out 20 Watts, doesn´t sound loud,.. ten meters in front of you,..
it isn´t.
But this little Crate, at 20 Watts is pushing out 119 dBs.
This means,..
at 100 meters,.. it carries the same loudness.
Amplifying not only your circle,..
but,..
a good 100 meters to the right,..
a good 100 meters to the left,..
ect..

Three weeks ago, a gentleman set up 50 meters from me,
a nice little motified Peavey amp,
200 watts.
124 dBs.
yeah, he got stopped,..
I was stopped, as well.
(He explained to me, that his music just don´t sound "good" unless it has a drive. )

I suspect, next year, all Sidewalk Performing in this town will be band.

Solution?
What if UN.amplified Performers organize
and begin contacting towns?
Explaining the differences between the two alternatives?
Promoting non-amplification,..
condemning amplified,.. for the obvious reasons.
Getting Pitches, Towns, to open again,
for non.Amplification.

yeah,..work,..
cleaning up garbage left from others,..
not fun,..
who wants to do it,...

feeling lazy and old,
gallagher
Eric Evans
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Rio Grande
645 Posts

Profile of Eric Evans
I disagree. Amplification, when used responsibly, can help immensely, especially here in America where often background noise often exceeds 70-80 decibels.

In Europe I have used an amp only once. It isn't necessary there. But here in America, where break dancers and musicians blast away, they are a necessary measure to hold onto ones voice and pitch. UNLESS, you're working sidewalks. Then who needs it?
gallagher
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1045 Posts

Profile of gallagher
Hey Eric,
it´s always nice hearing from you,... even without an amp!
I understand what you´re saying,..
and you´re probably right.
It´s just that "the American way" is starting to spread over here.
ah,.. it hurts,
not only the ears.
I wish we could spread it in the other direction!

I believe,.. HOPE, these things go in cycles, as well.
For a while, Loud will be "it".
After a while, "Calm and soft" will `be´.

I often preach, Flexiblity/Mobility is our strength, as Street Performers.
I guess, sometimes my super-powers are just a bit,... tired,....lazy,...
Did you know, Loud Speakers contain Kriptonite?
True.

hey, wishing you well.
Smiling audiences,
with open eyes,
open ears,.
and open hands.
gallaghers.
Mario Morris
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Mario Morris
2040 Posts

Profile of Mario Morris
I have bitter sweet thing going on with amps.
I dislike them and the amp wars that seem to start through the result of them.

On the other hand their are pitches I feel you just need one.
Festavels for one. Its a shame but if other performers are using it on their pitch well its an issue.

The one thing I will mention to new guys starting out.
Learn to work with out a PA, this will be a vaulable tool to you.
I have seen it often where a performer turns up and his pa fails for what ever reason and they feel they cant work for the day.
Learn to use your voice but trust me never mind how good is your voice projection you will aventualy blow your voice box.
bropaul
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Florida
220 Posts

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I agree with you Mario. I started working as a street performer in 1974. No one used amps the technology wasn't there for one thing. The crate slugs were silent and as a magician, I worked sidewalks, store fronts and small intersections where I'd draw 50 to 100 people. I worked my voice and moved into festivals where I had to do shows for 250 to 500 people.

Sure, I did get complaints about not being heard in the back and lost some of the back now and then. That time of my life, I was much more aggressive and learned how to project my voice, talk to the back of the crowd, bring 'em in as close as possible and use people in the back for bits. I remember when I started using the "Walking Knot" in the early 90's, I'd make a lady in the back stand on a bench or box and she stayed there and we conversed from a distance. This made the audience listen. Hmmm... That led to me working and walking in the crowd to hold 'em in.

I do have a small crate amp that is which I use a hard wire lapel mic that is the size of a shoe box and half as thick. It runs on 6 AA batteries. I use it with the volume at a 3rd most of the time and most people don't even know I'm mic'ed because the volume is so load, but it is just loud enough to break the edge and make me audible. In fact I use an old "Pig Nose" which is the size of 3 cans of beer and use it the same way.

So it is a responsibility thing, for the performer, the governing bodies and also a communication thing between performers. The latter is the biggest problem. Seems these days performers have lost the camaraderie of the old days and are all about hogging the pitches and pushing others away.

Funny how things have changed over the years. We used to be a tighter family out there. But it is the way of things.

So back to the subject... We just need to be responsible and understanding of the situation. Busking is a job like any other job and we need to work what works and keep it GREAT so we are invited back. I even have places I work where they don't allow amplification, but they turn their heads when they see the show and they realize that I'm not trying to talk to people on the next block, just my little group where we enjoy a show.

Just keep the volume to where you are talking to "your" crowd and not the others and that will make the difference.
Bro. Paul West

www.BrotherPaulMagic.com
gallagher
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1045 Posts

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Bropaul,... just read a gospel.
Thanks for your insights.
I hope others, at least think about it.

There´s a great, great book: "Milo and Roger".
In this treasure, Arthur Brandon discribes HOW one developes a `Stage Voice´.
He and Roger, `til the end, never used a mike.
`till the end, he thanked his voice instructor.
,.. a great read.
,.. a great schoolbook.

. . . . . .

Actually, in the back of my mind, I´m already talking to Electrinic Technicians,
about building a `Distortion/Channel Blocker´.
From what I understand,
Police already have `em.
ahh,...
the dreams of a sidewalk-sadist.

dreaming it easy,
gallagher.
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