Virtual SoundMan
From Majiloon (Kelly Duro) USA
Reviewed by Jez Rose

This thing is great! The more you look at it and play with it, the better it gets. I love it!

Sound Investment
Basically it is a remote controlled unit, enabling you to control your own music and sound effects, by remote control. Just think - you turn up, plug the unit into either your own sound system, or simply ask for a live line in the venue's system, and do your act - that's it! No complicated cue sheets, no need to spend time with the Mum or the sound guy, no rehearsals, no need to pay a mate to go along with you and not even any need to plug it into the mains! Yes, it comes battery operated - great for rehearsing at home without having to plug everything in; great for checking your cues or tracks backstage or in the car and great for when you're late and you just need to get on with it. It even has an on-board speaker which is great for rehearsing at home without having to unpack all of your sound system... and even greater for children's parties or smaller indoor functions as it's a clear, quality speaker which gives "full" sounding sound and is pretty powerful, too. So, you don't necessarily need a sound system. Budget? This is your answer.

Technically Speaking
YOU are in control. The Virtual Soundman Remote Commander is a small radio frequency transmitter and receiver built to work with a mini-disc recorder or Sony CD player. During playback, you can control volume, pause, cue forward, cue backward, track forward, track backward and fade out features with all the advantages of instant random access. You can time the sounds, too. If you use sound effects in your show, as I now do, you can activate the effect with a delay of say 10 seconds, leaving your hands up in the air and away form anything when the noise happens. This is real magic, how magic should look.

What Do You Get?
Well, you get the unit itself, which is highly portable. This is what your mini disc or CD player plugs into. You also get the best bit, which is the remote control. This is tiny - small enough to be palmed, clipped onto your belt or onto your costume somewhere. Variations include an ankle trigger (designed to be strapped onto your ankle so that you can activate the various functions by bringing your feet together) and as a foot pedal. But the best bit? You get a DVD video explaining how, why, when and what if, plus full-colour instructions, a mains charger (you will need to go and buy a voltage converter though as it's a US plug) AND ALL of the necessary cables and leads so you can start using it straight away. It's simple, does all of the work itself and as you start using it you find more and more and more applications for it, and more things that it does.

Kelly Duro has thought of everything, and you get a very impressive and well thought-out package. Right down to the on/off button being recessed so that you don't accidentally knock your sound off half way through the show. It looks professional, works excellently and I have had NO problems with it at all. If you do have problems, he'll fix it for you, to the same high quality that he made it. It is obvious that this guy cares about his products and that they aren't just churned out for profit.

One of the issues I have about buying things from the US is that you can't see it and play with it before you buy it - which is why I decided to take time out and write this review; I always find it helpful to hear other people's opinions on their purchases. Informed decisions if you like.

If you contact Kelly or do buy one, tell him you saw it on MagicWeek reviewed by me (Jez Rose). I don't get anything for it, but I said I'd review it for him as I was so impressed.


Jez Rose, March 2004


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