Coin Cup Sound Gimmick - link request

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/03/10 11:43 AM

Hi Folks,

A few weeks ago a product was released that offers the sound of a single coin dropping into a cup and the sound of several coins rattling around in the cup. It's electronic and at least one of the supplier's sites also had a video.

Would you happen to have a link to a US supplier/distributer? I'd like to buy.

Thanks in advance,

Jonathan
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Postby Tom Gilbert » 12/04/10 01:39 AM

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/04/10 08:24 PM

Thanks Tom

:)

If the little routine I have in mind for using it works out you're welcome to be on the short list for those who get a writeup.
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Postby Tom Gilbert » 12/05/10 01:08 AM

Thanks, Jonathan.
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Postby MagicManCT » 12/05/10 07:06 PM

I've read the volume is not as loud as on the demo.

Let us know how you like it Jonathan.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/06/10 08:47 AM

Awaiting the priority mail package - and will post a comment or two on what arrives.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/10/10 09:47 AM

Follow up - anyone want a bag of peanut M&Ms?

The box arrived, two sheets of paper, something in a small plastic bag and what appears to be a package of peanut M&Ms. Setting the blank sheets aside, I checked that shaking the package of M&Ms did not make a coinlike sound. That done I set the unopened package of M&Ms aside and proceeded to read the side of the instruction card which was easily visible through the plastic. Out of curiousity I tried activating the gimmick in place and - silence -. Opening the bag I set aside the gimmick and read the instructions. Okay - seems a pretty good idea but ... silence. Maybe that slip of clear plastic sticking out is supposed to be removed? Aha, - okay onwards to form, fit and fuction.

Form is concealably small - what are described as buttons 'A' and 'B' are not labeled but since the gimmick is not symetrical one is unlikely to mistake one for the other. The form is not so well designed for palming or manipulation. Then again neither is a watch winder gimmick - a common ancestor of this device IMHO.

Fit - here we get into some handling issues. Again some familiarity with the watch winder will get the item into operation with little to no additional fuss - and as one does not require use of the thumb to operate the device ... it has possibilities.

Function - This is where what I think is a pretty good idea and use of resources falls short of its objectives. What the gimmick produces is not so much too low in volume as it is lacking in resonance and depth of sound. The sounds while recognizable simply lack the characteristics which would render them convincing. I am left to wonder if bonding the device to a cup would alter the sound to be more realistic.

The instructions, titled Handy Sound (coin), while brief are also concise and address the basics of using the gimmick and getting it out of the way when done with it in sifficient detail to get the exploration started. Unfortunately the device does not fulfil its function sufficiently for me to feel motivated to explore adapting the device for more robust handling options or its buttons for more activation options.

In time I expect the technology applied in designing this device will offer the functionality required - just not today. As a model or proof of concept item this is impressive. For want of an upgrade path to a device which does produce the required sounds at the required fidelity and volume - I felt left with more curiosity about that bag of M&Ms. The bag of M&Ms remains a mystery. That's okay, I like mysteries.
Last edited by Jonathan Townsend on 12/10/10 09:59 AM, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: Nothing against M&Ms or watch winders here.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 12/10/10 11:17 AM

I've always thought someone should make a wristwatch that had a built-in rattle gimmick. Just two real coins inside and two buttons; one that releases them to rattle and one that locks them back in place.

If this is a new idea, which I kind of doubt, anybody is welcome to it.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/10/10 12:07 PM

Intersting Pete,

May I ask if you've used the Downs type gimmick while wearing a large watch and seen any changes in audience responses?

Jon
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Postby Pete McCabe » 12/10/10 02:49 PM

Jon,

I haven't used any kind of rattle gimmick. But I have spent some time thinking of gimmicks that could be hidden in a watch. I think a reel hidden in a watch would be severely cool. I'm pretty sure someone told me there used to be a commercial product like this. If there's one on the market now I would love to hear about it.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/10/10 02:59 PM

Pete,

Think back to the guy who invented the rattle gimmick (or at least first to publish) it and then to the guy who uses it in his poetic item also using a tuning fork. Downs came onstage and ripped (well unsnapped more likely) the sleeves from his jacket and shirt. The fellow who does the tuning fork routine turns up his sleeves but the idea they are making sure the audience understands is pretty clear - hands empty and bare arms - no place to hide stuff. Now imagine them using the rattle gimmick while wearing a large watch (or even a watch) - it's perfectly obvious that sound comes from somewhere and the watch is a too perfect target for suspicion.

Not that I think the idea is simply wrong - say if it could be used somehow while the other hand apparently held the coins...

IMHO it's like doing an ambitious card routine using a svengali deck - one has to be careful lest the audience jumps to the correct conclusion.

:)

Jon
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/10/10 03:00 PM

The watch reel is ancient history. Since the wristwatch industry is in a death spiral (because everyone now uses their cell phones to check the time, and no longer wear a watch), you'll need to hide your reel inside a cell phone in the future.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/10/10 03:03 PM

Richard, there have been advertised pager reels for a while now. Agreed a cell phone on a holster would be a welcome update. Probably even room for a Tornton Windlass type reel/pull in a cell phone these days. :D

Getting back to the sounds of coin(s) - I agree if the device got the sound(s) out right for this application it would be very tempting - yes even if a watch for the little routine I have in the works. The clink into a cup and the sound of coins in the cup when shaken gently. :)
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Postby John M. Dale » 12/10/10 11:17 PM

Jonathan,

I haven't seen them for a while but I've see greeting cards that have very small digital recording devices built into them (so you can record a short greeting) that might be adaptable for your purpose if you got two. The fidelity may not good enough tho.

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Postby Pete McCabe » 12/11/10 02:37 AM

Jonathan,

I thought the whole point of the rattle gimmick is to make it perfectly obvious that the sound is coming from the coins in your hand.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/11/10 09:48 AM

@Pete, that's one application - just not the one the penguin product is designed to offer. There is another kind of "clinker" which is designed to sound like a coin being dropped on a plate or into a bucket - also illustrated in the Downs book though that one uses a gaff under the table and an assistant to activate it on cue.

@John, I'm tempted to give that a chance - the unit might be large/resonant enough.
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Postby Tom Stone » 12/11/10 10:16 AM

IMHO it's like doing an ambitious card routine using a svengali deck - one has to be careful lest the audience jumps to the correct conclusion.

A side note, but is also worth pondering the opposite:
It's like doing an ambitious card routine using an ordinary deck - one has to be careful lest the audience jumps to the wrong conclusion.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/11/10 10:37 AM

Which wrong conclusion? That you're using real magic? :) One can do several phases of an ACR before having the card signed and then a few more before finishing with something visual or a significantly more impressive transportation by way of conditions (rope - Daryl) or location (wallet, box ...).

So what were we talking about again? - yes the concern that a sound coming from an empty hand which happens to be right next to a large watch might draw suspicion onto the watch, which in this discussion was the proposed location for the sound gimmick. Now as a Ramsay style feint it seems a perfect setup when using a Downs type gimmick to use that a few times then have the watch drop off ones wrist and repeat once more. But as I don't wear a watch to begin and it would be a magicians only type joke - not sure it's worth it for me. Anyone else want to play that one - enjoy.
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Postby Tom Stone » 12/11/10 10:49 AM

Which wrong conclusion? That you're using real magic?
I meant that, independent on whether you are using a Svengali deck or not, it is not good if the audience make the conclusion that a Svengali deck is used. Or in other words; whether their conclusions are right or wrong doesn't matter - both cases require the same cancelling. :)
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/11/10 01:31 PM

Yes Tom - you are right - the beginners in magic really do need to learn that until one understands the idea of a feint it's not such a good idea to get them suspecting the props - even if they are innocent. What that has to do with attempting to simulate the sound of coins dropping into a cup or being shaken in a cup ... eludes me.

The routine in the works is a tribute to Sawa and Harbin. A Little by Little transportation. A one coin across where you pull off (or squeeze and drip out) quarters from a silver dollar into your other hand, which later opens to show the silver dollar and no quarters in sight. :)

Using a cup and a sound gimmick seemed a good idea - where the moment after they hear coins swirling in the cup, a silver dollar pours out. Oh well. As usual the only easy answer is that there is no easy answer.
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Postby Tom Stone » 12/11/10 02:16 PM

What that has to do with attempting to simulate the sound of coins dropping into a cup or being shaken in a cup ... eludes me.
It has nothing to do with it. That's why I said "side note". :)

I played with some similar ideas in 2004, after getting Tenyo's "Mystery Poodle" ( http://www.tenyo.co.jp/magic_en/catalog ... oodle.html ) - among the ideas was to accomplish a "real" glass clink from a Nielsen bottle before vanishing it. The gimmick was perfect for a carefree handling, although less perfect when it came to sound quality. Seemed a good idea, until reality messed things up. :)
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Postby Curtis Kam » 12/11/10 05:59 PM

Jon,

If the gaff isn't producing enough sound, but it does produce a faint version of the desired sound, perhaps that can be used as the effect? I'm thinking of an extended version of the Tuning Fork routine you mentioned, where the glass captures the "faint echo" of the sound of the coins. Possible? Too cute?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/11/10 07:52 PM

I hear you, and yes that would work for the tuning fork type trick (well more like the sound of the money vs the smell of the soup) but I was so hoping it would make the Harbin/Sawa item doable. I'd hate to go with an assistant dropping coins into a cup - cute but not exactly the most portable/extensible methodology.

It really sounds faint/low res. If one loaded mini coins in the cup in process one might have a cute effect - but would it play?
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Postby Curtis Kam » 12/11/10 08:46 PM

Maybe--and I may have suggested this before--this could be used in a standup/stage setting, where you're holding the glass up to the microphone?

Alternatively, would it be possible to sample the sound, and make it my ringtone? I suppose it would be easier just to actually drop a coin and sample that.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/11/10 09:19 PM

Most cell phones have the ability to record and playback sound. It's the depth/resonance that sells a sound as present or distant.
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Postby Jim Riser » 12/11/10 09:38 PM

As Richard indicated above, the wrist reel is ancient. P&L made them as did Cardini. As a matter of fact, I am currently working on four between other jobs. New technology has made printing a realistic "dial face" quite simple. Here's what the current crop of watch reels look like (in progress photos):

http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/CustomR ... ch1922.jpg
http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/CustomR ... ch2324.jpg

I do not agree with Richard about wrist watches going out of fashion - especially bling type or very high end custom watches. Watches are a status symbol that probably will not go away soon. More likely might be a wrist watch cell phone like Dick Tracy used.

Pete, a coin sound in a watch is doable.

The cell phone reel has been another item that I have played with. My favorite cell phone for destruction is the old Blackjack. They had an optional back plate for a larger battery. As seen in the pics below, there is room for a reel and sound proofing:

http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/CustomR ... ck2326.jpg
http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/CustomR ... ck2327.jpg
http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/CustomR ... ck2328.jpg

Jon, a coin could be sandwiched between two layers of metal to create the sound of a coin sliding around the bottom of an empty cup. This could lock for silence.

I do not trust electronic devices.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/11/10 10:09 PM

Thanks Jim,

In principle I agree with you. As someone who works in a place where aircraft safety equipment using electronic components are designed, tested and manufactured - I am not so quick to dismiss the idea.

As this is all about sound - that which makes the sound needs only to make the sound - whether or not the device uses coins or some other configuration of metal and whatever is IMHO all about the end result.

Been so unhappy about this that I'm tempted to see about hanging a servante off my hat - or maybe think paper cup and clear plastic to hold the thing on over the lid. :( As I perform mostly informally - but would need a more solid one for a porcelain cup. Maybe a servante in the cup that can be silenced and stolen out? Arrgh. This harebrain is a funny thing to frustrate.

BTW, the latest fad is a tablet which just fits in ones jacket pocket and using bluetooth to do the voice part - calling out via Skype or such (Samsung Galaxy is the most visible example in USA right now)

I do not trust green eggs and ham,

Jon
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Postby Jim Riser » 12/11/10 10:47 PM

Jon;

High end electronics would be fine. Cheap consumer grade would be questionable. Making a quality digital sound is easy. Reproducing it with a small device may go against physics. Perhaps you should contact Bose for a small speaker that sounds large.

I also do not trust yellow snow!
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Postby Jim Riser » 12/14/10 12:07 PM

Here you go, Jon. You could install one of these in a close-up pad or in your necktie:

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/s ... in_speaker

http://spectrum.ieee.org/consumer-elect ... -nanotubes

This would solve your sound quality problem.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/14/10 12:14 PM

Thanks, Jim. Not sure either of those technologies will be available for industrial component use this xmas - maybe for next year though? :)
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