Introduction and some links Posted by Shawn on Dec 16, 2003
Everyone wants to know the best type of stage, how to make it and then what to do about lighting and sound.  I have pulled a few links from the old forum that may help in getting this forum started.

A Free Puppet Stage Diagram:  You can see the instructions for creating this PVC stage and get the information for having them send you a free diagram here
Buying a Lighting System: Geoff on the old forum had this to offer...

I was thinking of creating my own lighting system, but I found a very versatile lighting system at called the 'Spectre Lighting Kit'. Although I can build my own much cheeper, I could not get the same versatility as the 'Spectre Lighting Kit'. Because of this I have decided to wait until enough funds become available to purchase that system. Normally I reccomend building your own but at £700 for a complete system I think it is worth the wait. I have seen it in action at One Way UK's 'European Puppet Ministry Festival' and it can do some wonderful effects which would be difficult to achieve using a home built system. You will also find that all lighting systems are required to meet set standards so if you build your own you will need to get it tested by an approved engineer.
One Way UK also has sound systems and staging available. The lighting set up he mentions is located in the Shop under Sound and Lighting - Special Effects us currency on that when I checked was $1,181.62

No specific links for sound systems at the moment but would like to suggest that if you buy one that you invest in a headset microphone instead of a lapel mic.  This well keep the mic close to your mouth which is very important if you happen to be doing hand in mouth puppets from below and  looking up at them.  If you use a lapel mic it is located to far from the source "your voice" and simply picks up the noise of the prop you just knocked over.  
Audio and visual equipment Posted by Bazil on Dec 28, 2003
When it comes to equipment you might want to try this link where you can find all kinds of audio and video equipment.  Not only do they have new stuff they sell used equipment that has been reconditioned.

They have been around for a long time and are located in California.

You might also want to look in your local phone book for a Karaoke store.  Some areas have these and many times carry some great portable systems that have been designed for DJ's.

Along the same line are Karaoke machines that you can get at many stores now.  Try using one of those as a sound system.  Most have inputs and I even know one puppeteer that did modifications on one using parts from Radio Shack to better suite their needs.
headset mics Posted by Geoff on Jan 05, 2004
I have thought about using ones for PC's which you can pick up quite cheep but I am not sure if they would be good enough quality for performing with. Has anybody tried them?
PC Speaker Posted by Shawn on Jan 05, 2004
Yes PC Speakers can work very well.  The one thing to remember about them that they are not always strong enough for use in a large hall or open area with a large crowd.  They work great in smaller rooms for like birthday's or say school room presentations.

I had built a compact set that was basically 4x4x2 feet deep boxes.  There where two of them that where split at 1' so when you took each apart and stage the unit together you had a 8x8 back drop.  I built the base speaker of the PC speakers into the box unit then set the smaller speakers on top at each corner the wood of the set boxes helped to amplify they bass.

At some point I want to draw up plans for that setup and share them with all.  It was very versatile and could be used with both marionettes and hand in mouth puppets.  That set up was used for years and is still used by the company I work with from time to time for their touring show.  When we do the out door or bigger shows we simply bring our professional sound system and use it instead of the PC speaker set up.

You can plug just about any sound source in to them and with a few Radio Shack addons even hook mics into it.
Sound systems Posted by Geoff on Jan 05, 2004
I was actually thinking in terms of using jack plug adapters to plug a PC headset mic into a sound system rather than using the PC as a sound system.
Should work Posted by Shawn on Jan 05, 2004
It might work.  Not sure on the qaulity of a PC headset mic.  Always worth a try.     I am pretty adventourous and well try just about anything if the price is not to high.
Introduction and some links Posted by Cameron on Aug 25, 2005
I've just recently purchased an 8 channel sound board with 150w amplifier built in. I'm useing Apex 270 dynamic headset mics. Bought 5 of them for $37 (CDN) each. They work great. They come with a 15' cord so as long as the board is close its not a problem. I'm also using my laptop with a program called KICKWAVE to do sound effects and music. My laptop is fairly old so there is some lag with the songs (7-10 seconds) but for the sound effects its bang on. I'm currently shopping for 2 speakers to use with the system (borrow one right now) that I can stick mount and put on both sides of my theatre.

I've also recorded my own narratives and inserted instrumental music into the background useing my PC. Oh the joys of Technology. Remember you usually get what you pay for. If you get it cheap most often it will be cheap (sounding at least)

Re: Introduction and some links Posted by MsPuppet on Apr 18, 2009
We have used a mic type plug for a long time, plugging it directly into the sound system wherever we are. We had everything on a laptop.

Recently we went with an MP3 player and plug it directly into the sound system. All songs and scripts are there. It is awesome. Plus with the remote we can operate it from the stage.

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