what do people use for Amplification

This is the place for Technical Tips, Questions and Answers.

what do people use for Amplification

Postby jovack » 05 Apr 2011, 11:01

hello

i am now at the stage of looking for Amplification or sound system what do people use???.

i have a car horn speaker, 35 watt amplifier, personal cd player, and microphone. but thats all. i have no Idea what to do with them. how do i power them if im in the middle of a field. i have been over to maplins this morning and the bloke that works there said; what i have wont work it would drain a leisure battery in 20 min. and that i should buy a all in one PA system. he said the battery will last 8 hours on there PAs.

so i come to fellow punch and judy men in need of help..........

john
jovack
Weenie
Weenie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 17 Feb 2010, 22:04
Location: essex

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby johnstoate » 05 Apr 2011, 13:01

Hello there, - All you really need to do first is click on that little 'go' button, bottom right of your screen. - This particular topic has been discussed a few times previously, and some of the answers are in there. - I particularly like the 'speakeezy' unit for small 'ish' gigs, comes in at around £90:00p for the complete setup, but have a trawl through and see for yourself :D
John
Weaselly distinguished, Stoatelly different!!
User avatar
johnstoate
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 821
Joined: 26 Mar 2007, 15:07
Location: Lancashire

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby Chris » 05 Apr 2011, 13:37

I really do get a little tired of having to remind people that they would find most answers they need about Punch and Judy on the Punch and Judy website which I suggest they investigate before posting the same questions over and over again on here.

Firstly if you look on this forum - the Punch Workshop - you will find the topic has been, as John said, covered several times over the years. For example I just Searched this message board (by clicking Search) for the word "amplifier" and got 6 results.

But before that, if you had looked on the Any Questions part of the website you would have found some information there.
http://www.punchandjudy.com/help/cat1.htm

And even before that if you had looked under Practical Punch on Punchman's Tips You would have discovered a vast amount of advice titled "Advice on Sound Equipment".
http://www.punchandjudy.com/tips.htm

Also there is a facility to "Search the whole website". You find it under the main button: "Information". Search for amplifier or speaker and you should get even more information.

Then, if none of that answers your questions then by all means ask on here.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby jovack » 05 Apr 2011, 17:58

slap my wrist........i am sorry to have put anyone out in having to reply to this. i did read the other topics on amplification and they where based on complete set ups which i found interesting. also how long will it take to drain a 12v battery running a set up off of it.

i do forget that there is a lot more to the website than just the forum.


as i said in the beginning slap my wrist :oops:
jovack
Weenie
Weenie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 17 Feb 2010, 22:04
Location: essex

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby Alessandro Toccaceli » 05 Apr 2011, 22:54

I think a good alternative is a mini mobile laptop, with usb microphone and active speaker.
it can mix automatically your live voice and any kind of mp3 music or sound efx, in a editable play list. vv

laptop:
http://www.laptopinyo.com/2008/07/asus- ... ni-laptop/

microphone:
http://iondrumrocker.net/?p=348

camouflage speaker:
http://www2.shopping.com/Tic-Industries-TFS5/info
User avatar
Alessandro Toccaceli
Porky
Porky
 
Posts: 40
Joined: 13 Mar 2011, 16:24
Location: Milan, Italy

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby Chris » 05 Apr 2011, 23:39

We are concerned here with Punch & Judy. Why on earth would we need a laptop, mini or otherwise?
Why would you want an editable playlist?
Why would you want your speakers to look like rocks?
And how would we power this system? Those speakers appear to be mains only.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby Alessandro Toccaceli » 06 Apr 2011, 00:15

No, the speakers don't have to look like rocks, but shape apart, I think the rock speakers work properly .
We can't say the same for the speaker in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6LmZ0A1s9U , that produce a very low quality and noisy output.
You can edit a play list, for example, with that strange low quality midi files or mp3 you can find here:

http://www.punchandjudy.com/periodmusic.htm

Actually I've seen Punch and Judy shows with soundtrack in several situations of the show.
If you don't like battery or mini power generator, you can try this on top of the booth:

http://www.solar-cheap.com/portable-fle ... bal-solar/

Anyway I'm quite convinced that you don't need all the stuff above, just because the only power you need is in your voice and in your talent.
User avatar
Alessandro Toccaceli
Porky
Porky
 
Posts: 40
Joined: 13 Mar 2011, 16:24
Location: Milan, Italy

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby Peter » 06 Apr 2011, 08:37

We can't say the same for the speaker in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6LmZ0A1s9U , that produce a very low quality and noisy output.

This is a Punch & Judy show - a very good one as it happens. It's meant to sound like that. You don't expect concert hall sound quality from a travelling show .
This show, if I remember correctly arrived in Covent Garden on public transport in a large kit bag. If it carried one of the sound systems you suggest he would have needed a vehicle.
He got good amplification from a simple portable set up. Just what we all strive for.
If you read the comments under the clip you'll notice not one about the sound quality. That's because it does the job it was meant to.

Anyway I'm quite convinced that you don't need all the stuff above, just because the only power you need is in your voice and in your talent.

Your voice is good enough if you are working indoors or at small venues.
This show and many others also work at the seaside and in large open air venues to large audiences performing several shows a day. You really do need some amplification to go with your talent.
Last edited by Peter on 06 Apr 2011, 08:42, edited 1 time in total.
Did I ever tell you about piece work?
User avatar
Peter
Thick Link
Thick Link
 
Posts: 137
Joined: 16 Jan 2007, 10:22
Location: Suffolk

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby CvdC » 06 Apr 2011, 08:42

You might wish to check the those links Chris:
http://www.punchandjudy.com/periodmusic.htm
Two don't work and the third has moved. But given you no longer advocate recorded music perhaps they shouldn't be there at all?

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just sew flexible solar panels to the roof of a booth. But then it would need to be nice enough to be sunny every time we performed. (huh!)

The issue of amplification is indeed perennial. It has been noted that the visiting international performers to the May Fayre never seem to use it and are always heard.
Speaking loudly and sounding as though you are not shouting is a dying art it seems.

I guess you have a few choices in this regard; you can buy the smallest possible amp that runs on the smallest battery that will sustain it for three shows throughout a day and use a speaker such as those dreadful horn speakers, you can buy a portable integrated PA system of which there are various sizes - some producing less sound than if you just spoke loudly. And then there are microphones. Some people actually prefer a microphone so they can move in and out, but I have found that I was performing to the mic and neglecting the puppets so I recently bought myself a lapel mic. However I notice most performers (beyond punch) wear head mics these days. I'm still trying to work out the difference.(?)

It seems the advantage of amplification means you can use your voice to give each character a more nuanced personality and be less declarative in your performance. A bit like what has happened with music and theatre over the last century. When was that last time you heard an unamplified accustic guitar played in public? Every busker has his amp. I went to visit a huge old steam engine used for gold mining and was amazed at how quiet it was.We live in such a noisy world.When the petrol runs out perhaps we will return to a time when a swazzle and trumpet were considered noise pollution.

I recently bought an ipad. Now you can make up various sounds for different situations using a sound editing program which are free on the web. You can simply do nice fades and select shorter segments and so on. Then put them on your "device". So with an ipod touch,an ipad or even a mobile phone you can have the tracks on the screen in large print or icons and by simply touching the screen to play the piece you want without any fiddle to disrupt the show. You can easily run a cable from the device to the amplifier. Not as good as live performers and certainly you would want to only use music that was of a scale - in terms of instrumentation - suitable for a humble little puppet show. The era of tape decks and cd players is over.

In terms of portability I can wheel a booth in a golf carry bag with one hand, put the puppets in a nap sack on my back and just about manage a Mipro amp on wheels with the other hand. But I wouldn't want to have to negotiate one of the those gaps you need to mind on a London tube station.
It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, and am often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. I know that we are both right from our respective points of view. - Gandhi (Having a bob each way.)
User avatar
CvdC
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: 12 Aug 2006, 01:02
Location: Antipodes

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby Alessandro Toccaceli » 06 Apr 2011, 12:43

CvdC, you are right :wink:
User avatar
Alessandro Toccaceli
Porky
Porky
 
Posts: 40
Joined: 13 Mar 2011, 16:24
Location: Milan, Italy

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby lesclarke » 06 Apr 2011, 13:04

..but not necessarily about horn speakers!

As I have said before ...I'm a fan of 'those dreadful horn speakers', and have never found sound 'quality' a problem. They are great, ie they are clear for voice, especially a swazzled voice.

Music is by comparison to other speakers poorly presented, but the point is that your audience are not making, any comparisons, they are (hopefully) exitedly engaging with a simple show, with simple sound, and the typical music suited to pre and post show doesn't need quality speakers. I's always going to be a personal preference, but I reckon that 'tinny' sounding, jingly-jangling music suits Punch.

Having far too much 'kit' to cart in my booth and figures etc, I'm also a fan of small portable vehicle PA type amps and a real fan of sealed lead-acid batteries. A small 1.2Ah battery, about the size of a pack of butter can run a small vehicle PA amp for something like 7 hours!
As if I haven't got enough to do today, with all I've got to do today.
User avatar
lesclarke
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 758
Joined: 14 Sep 2006, 17:12
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby Alessandro Toccaceli » 06 Apr 2011, 14:47

ok, I see .
I was not considering the necessity of a certain nostalgy mood created by poor instruments, absolutely not traditional, but "romantic", mainly from the sixties or better the fifties, something that reminds of an ice cream van calling for children.
Today tecnology is smaller than ever and it needs less power than before, and if you don't like the high quality of digital sound, or if you really need to have a car horn effects from a car horn shaped speaker also if not necessary, you can do it.
Anyway I understand the point of view of that people fascinated by retro analogic thecnology ( absolutely not traditional but romantic).
User avatar
Alessandro Toccaceli
Porky
Porky
 
Posts: 40
Joined: 13 Mar 2011, 16:24
Location: Milan, Italy

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby lesclarke » 06 Apr 2011, 16:08

Horn speakers project the spoken voice in an appropriate way for voices in a puppet performance, especially in the open air, where they project very well and can also handle inclement weather. Surely a Punch performance is 99% about the voices rather than any musical accompaniment. They are also extremely robust, which is important in use and during transport.

WHEN ...did anyone in a Punch audience stand there and think to themselves, 'nice show, pity about the lack of depth in the music' ?

I had 3 different sizes of horn speaker, approx 4, 6, and 8 inches in size, last year when I got a new more powerful mini amp, (still only 30watts) I compared all 3 horns for music, looking for some improvement in sound quality. The first 2 sounded tinny, and the recently bought 8 inch was hardly better. So I risked buying a 10 inch horn and was pleased to see quite an improvement in the quality of the music.

I judged it was GOOD ENOUGH. I would suggest where possible people listen to shows and ask what equipment others are using.

For me it's not in any way about nostalgia, but being practical. I'm performing Punch, not giving a recital.
Inputting at the other end of my horn are a compact 9v battery powered radio mic, and a minidisc that has been 100% reliable for over 10 years.

This is also reliable tech, and with a vehicle PA amp costing less than £40, a complete spare set of kit is affordable.
As if I haven't got enough to do today, with all I've got to do today.
User avatar
lesclarke
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 758
Joined: 14 Sep 2006, 17:12
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby Alessandro Toccaceli » 06 Apr 2011, 17:21

I see.
that's why It will be hard to see a digital native guy in the next future, who practices this kind of entertainment.
User avatar
Alessandro Toccaceli
Porky
Porky
 
Posts: 40
Joined: 13 Mar 2011, 16:24
Location: Milan, Italy

Re: what do people use for Amplification

Postby Chris » 06 Apr 2011, 21:46

Since recorded music has very little, if any, place in a Punch and Judy show I think it a bit pointless arguing the merits of digital sound. The only purpose of the amplification in a Punch Show is that the show be clearly heard. Les is right, horn speakers are very very good at that - that is exactly what they are made for. Personally I don't use horn speakers - but it means that I have to turn the treble up full and reduce the bass to get clear speech.
Of course there are puppet shows that depend upon music and recorded sound, and ones that warrant a sound operative perhaps, and they can benefit from whatever technical sound rig you like.
But we aren't discussing those puppet shows here are we?
Personally I want a sound system that is compact and portable, usable whether there is power available or not, robust and tolerant of bad weather conditions, and loud and gritty enough to compete with adjacent brass bands, fairground rides, chain saw demonstrations and petrol generators. Also I prefer something that isn't too attractive to thieves since I do occasionally need to leave the booth unattended for the input or outlet of liquid.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Next

Return to Punch Workshop

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron