Sound Advice, Part 2


If you must be on a strict, economical budget, try this. Go to Radio Shack and get a $25 wireless on off remote to switch that plugs into a standard electrical outlet. It uses radio frequencies, not infrared signals, so you can hide the key-chain sized transmitter. It sits in your pants pocket, or you can sew it into your costume where the buttons will be in the same position every time. Two buttons control on and off. After you plug the radio receiver into an outlet, you connect it to an AC adapter that goes from there into to a Sony Walkman. (I used Sony because they are cheap, sound great and work amazingly well, and I kept a backup in the car.) Note: not all portable tape players have an AC input, so choose your player carefully. You can buy a custom AC adapter for your music player at Radio Shack. The Walkman itself needs to be mechanically simple because the play button must stay down while the power is repeatedly turned on and off. This creates a bit of white noise when the sound starts and stops, but, hey, what do you want for $75? Besides, people in the audience quickly get used to it, and are usually clapping when the sound goes off. With this setup, my one hour show had several tracks: seating music, brief entrance music, a few routines precisely timed to the length of the music, and exiting music. Unfortunately, I have never found a CD player that could resume playing where it left off when the power was


  • It is not expensive.
  • It is very simple and therefore more reliable
  • It adds music to your show.
  • You can start and stop the music at any time.


  • You cannot control the volume.
  • You cannot jump the next track or repeat the previous one.
  • The sound quality is that of audio tape.
  • Audio tape wears out over time.

© David Reed-Brown, 2001

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