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Any Live Stage Theatre sound design buffs?? (1 Viewer)

Mark Leiter

Second Unit
Aug 9, 1999
Hey all. As a hobby I belong to a group of actors that perform for charity functions. Lately I was thinking that it would be cool to add some equipment that could simulate prerecorded sounds while we are performing. For example door kocks, wind, thunder, maybe intro and exit music and so on. I was looking for some type of machine that along with speakers and an amp to power the signale would be able to do this.

From the DJ world I came across the Roland SP-404
linked here: http://www.roland.com/products/en/SP-404/index.html

This device would fit the bill. I could download whatever sounds i need to my computer edit them to the way I like and then load them onto this machine assigning each sound to a specific pad on the 404. The only problem is that the roland seems a little over kill for what I want to do. It also has a lot of sounds effects and things intended for DJing that I will never use.

I was wondering if anyone out there works in the live theatre world would be familar with what type of machine I need. Something that is cost effective as well. The Roland is priced at about $400 at Sam Ash. So something a little more modestly price is what i'm looking for. Again since this is just a hobby of mine i plan on buying some inexpensive speakers and 2 channel amp and hope to keep the entire project under the $500 dollar range.

Anyway any help would be appreciated

Randy Tennison

Jan 5, 1999
Real Name
I perform with a sketch comedy group and an improv company in Kansas City. We use a software based program written especially for improv comedy clubs called Mr. Voice. It's a searchable database program, which allows you to keyword mp3 files, and search for and play them instantly. For example, in our improv show, we might get a suggestion of Hawaii. I type Hawaii in the computer, and it brings up several songs on the screen (Tiny Bubbles, Hawaii 5-0, Blue Hawaii). I then click on the song I want, and bam, it starts playing. With practice, this can take place in less than 2 seconds.

Additionally, you can assign specific files to the F-keys, and have frequently used sounds immediately available.

In our sketch show, it's not uncommon to have 35-50 sound cues in a one hour performance. Using Mr. Voice allows me to preset all the sounds, either on the F-Keys or in a Holding Tank. Then, I have the choice of clicking on them, highlighting and hitting Ctrl-P, or highlighting and hitting Play. It really works great.

Get yourself a computer with a decent sound card, and download this free software package. Let Wade (the author) know what you think. It's a really good piece of software.


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