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   Portable Sound System for Performers

One of the best, if not the best sound system for a Storyteller, Ventriloquist, or Magician is the Florida Magic system from Florida Magic. This system has power, is small (5 lbs), and simple to use and setup. If you exceed the capacity of this then the venue probably has a good system. This will handle some pretty large venues. I'm holding the unit at the left using the included headset mic. It has built-in rechargeable batteries built in and works on AC. Included is a beltpack transmitter plus both a Clip Mic and a Headset Mic. The beltpack has a volume control which is nice especially for performers like me that don’t have a sound person. There is a storage compartment for the AC cord, Mics and beltpack. There is a carrying handle and shoulder strap for ease of carrying. The new system has better sound and a tone control. I have used the older Florida Magic system for years. This is the new model and has some significant improvements and is an outstanding unit for performers.


ChatterVox

Sound-wise my shows fall into 4 groups. First group is large venues. These usually have good systems and mics. Maybe I'll need the Gim-Crack but usually what they have is good. I give the sound person my CD with the music. I do a few of these. Second is large groups, school gyms, large library rooms, church fellowship halls, etc. They may have sound and even that varies. The Gim-Crack maybe, and more often the Florida Magic System. A CD player plugs into the system for background music. Very adequate and at 5.5 pounds and one piece it is very easy to set-up and use. I do many of these. The forth group are small venues that don't need any sound. Unaided voice is fine. The CD player (or MP-3) plugs into a Honey Tone amp and is fine for background music. I do a good many of these. The third group is my weak spot. Right around the edge of 1 and 3. On the upper edge of unaided voice but maybe not needing the power of the Florida Magic system.

The ChatterVox fills the needs of this third group. In the pix you can see what you can't see, the ChatterVox under my shirt. One pix I raised my shirt to show the unit. A headset mic is included as shown. It has rechargeable batteries and can use Alkaline AA batteries if you can't recharge. It is light weight, thin, and comfortable to wear and use. To see/hear the ChatterVox CLICK

http://chattervox.com/

Transmitter Holder

Sometimes the transmitter case gets pressure when clipped on the belt. Since I move a great deal during the show, I have a tendency to knock the case off my belt. If I tighten it or put it inside the belt the pressure often deforms the case and causes dropouts in the sound.

To solve this problem I use a small web loop to hang the case from the belt. You could also make this from a shoestring. It hangs loosely in my pocket. This was it can't fall out, gets no pressure, and I can access the switch. It can easily be retrieved from the pocket. This way I get no cut-outs. This works very well with the Florida Magic system that tends to cut-out when there is pressure on the case.

Gals could use a similar system. If necessary a large safety pin or similar mechanism could be used to hold the loop instead of a belt.

(See also Gim-Crack below)


String Mic Holder

I needed a portable mic holder that could be used with a handheld mic supplied by the venue if a handsfree mic was not available. I made this out of available materials. At the left it can be seen folded up.

I used a piece of wide Velcro that had both sides so it could be made into a tube. Two pieces of wide Velcro could be sewn/glued/stapled together to make this.

I punched two holes and used wide shoestring (Thin will hurt your neck) tied into the holes to go around the neck.

The mic is slipped into the tube and the holder hung around your neck. The Velcro allows the tube to open to insert the mic with its cord still attached.

I've shown a close-up of the holder with the mic and another pix from further back.

To use the mic with a volunteer, slip it up through the tube, then replace afterward.

It is very compact and can be easily carried to shows. It hangs well even if you move around a lot. I keep one with me at all time in Drango's case.



Gim-CRACK Mic Holder

The Gim-CRACK Mic holder is a great little device that is commercially available. I carry one in Drango's case all the time. It has an adjustment to fit just the way you want. The holder is bendable and can be bent to fit all mics from skinny ones to the fat wireless ones. The legs hold it slightly out for better sound pick up. One of the advantages of the Gim-CRACK is the ability to bend the holder so that I can slip the mic in and out one handed. The opening on the front allows the mic cord to slip in and out.

It is shown here without a mic and with a mic.

It can also be used to hang a wireless transmitter from the belt (see Transmitter holder above). I tuck the holder part into my pants and clip the transmitter to the neck strap. The adjustment can be used to adjust the length and the excess tucked into the pocket along with the transmitter. (In the picture the transmitter is hanging outside the pocket with the excess displayed.)

The Gim-CRACK is available from Good-Show Productions. You can call Al Good at 717-375-2119 or e-mail at


Ring Mic Holder

The ring mic holder shown with and without a mic. It is made of a stiff metal ring from a craft store. It is wrapped with hockey stick tape. The ring was broken and the ends bent up. Detail if the mic holder is a standard Radio Shack mic clip. The ring ends are stuck in and secured with Goop adhesive and wrapped with black plastic electrical tape. Here I am using the ring mic. While not a first choice it is handy, packs well, and serves when you need hands free and its not available. It can be flipped over the head and held close to audience members you use on stage.


Home Made Hand Held Wireless Mic

One thing I sometimes want is to have a wireless handheld mic. The Sekaku unit comes with a clip mic and a headset mic. I took a crevice tool from an old vacuum cleaner, cut is square, and inserted the transmitter clip into the narrow end. The clip mic can be clipped to the plug and the wire wrapped around the tool. I covered it with black electrical tape. (Some how mic are supposed to be black. Who knows why!) The tool is easy to slip into the case and when I need a handheld mic, I can quickly put one together. This is useful when several people will need the mic or you have audience volunteers who need the mic.


Sky Handheld Wireless/Corded Mic

This is a handy mic to have with you. It is both a wireless and a wired mic. The small rectangular unit wit plug goes into the sound system, in my case the Sekaku from Florida Magic and is the receiver. The small cylinder unit fits the plug on the back of the mic for the transmitter. Remove the transmitter and a standard mic cord (included) plugs into the mic. A word of warning. This operates on the less desirable frequencies and is not a pro unit. It is subject to interference and should not be used as a primary mic. What's it good for then? It is a good back-up mic, either wireless or with a cord. It makes an excellent wired mic to use with the Sekaku from Florida Magic. It is also handy to give to the emcee at churches, schools, libraries, etc to make announcements an introduce you. Many times they are not really prepared for that especially if you are providing your own sound. That can make you appear more professional and helpful and you want your host to be happy. Unlike the Handheld unit I described earlier, this keeps your mic free so you can mic yourself beforehand. This Sky Mic is available from Florida Magic although it is not pictured on the web site. At the time of this posting it was under $50. Call for details..