Have you seen famous rock stars using a wedge teleprompter on stage and think to yourself, “what I great idea - I’d like to make one for myself”. Well, you can. Here's how.
At Stageprompter, we make the world’s most popular line of covert teleprompters used by musicians, houses of worship and corporations. Our most popular model, the Wedge03, is literally used by thousands of artists around the world to confidently display lyrics on stage, while blending in with existing audio gear. Our customers rave about its simplicity, well made construction and the fact that it’s not an iPad for lyrics clamped to their mic stand, blocking the audience’s view of the artist.
When people discover the Wedge03 for the first time, many would like to have one of their own. Perhaps they’re in a band and would like to differentiate themselves from their local competition. Any advantage that an artist can have to make themselves look more professional can go a long way toward getting more gigs and higher rates. However, there’s lots of kit that a musician needs. Guitars, amps and microphones are only a few of the bare necessities that bands need to perform. So, with limited resources and lots of ingenuity, many artists set out to make their own wedge teleprompter.
At Stageprompter, we love the idea of the DIY teleprompter. In fact, that’s how Stageprompter got its start, over a decade ago.
How hard can it be? At first glance, a wedge teleprompter is nothing more than a computer screen built into a wedge-shaped plywood box. Most people these days have an unused tv screen or monitor sitting around, and don’t mind experimenting with it. They also have at least some basic level of woodworking skills or even have an old speaker cabinet that’s one step away from the skip. Put the two together, spray paint it black, and you’ve got something cool to show off to your friends.
Now that you’ve got a project that you’re proud of, it’s time to use it. As quickly and inexpensively as the hardware came together, you find that you need a way to get your lyrics on the screen. Since the monitor was most likely used with a computer, your first thought may be to use said computer to drive the images. You can save your lyrics in a PowerPoint presentation, then move through the pitch slide by slide. In fact, other wedge teleprompter options on the market put a computer inside the cabinet.
While an old computer is a good way to get the images on the screen, it does present several problems that can make things difficult on stage. First, you need to find a way to advance to the next page. Most computers use a mouse, but that requires a surface, and may make you feel like you’re still at work. There are also Bluetooth enabled foot pedals or remote clickers available online, but wireless signals and high frequency amplification don’t mix very well. You may instantly find yourself on your hands and knees trying to push a spacebar while your audience decides to head back to their seats.
Computers are also prone to software updates, which can cause popups at inconvenient times. Nothing’s worse than having “Windows Installer” invite itself on stage with you to perform a duet. Actually, there is something worse. It’s the infamous “Blue Screen of Death”. We’ve all come face to face with the Cerulean Demon. It’s scary, unpredictable, and doesn’t care that you don't know the second verse to “Friends in Low Places”. “Please tip your server and is there an IT Service Desk Associate in the audience?” may be your next announcement before going to break.
So, what other options exist to drive the images on your awesome handmade teleprompter. You may try to interface a tablet onto the screen, but tablets and iPads can also have issues with popups. Plus, you built your own so you could get away from your iPad on stage.
Fortunately, Staffords On Stage developed the Controller05 which is a purpose designed and manufactured device that will drive your lyrics easily and reliably. It is a sturdy, metal case that has 3 heavy switches on it. Inside the case is the same controller that drives our popular Wedge03. Lyric images are stored on a Micro-USB flash drive and inserted into the back of the unit. The Controller05 outputs an HDMI signal that can go into any monitor, either directly through a HDMI jack, or a DVI or VGI converter. Lyric images are stored as .pdf or .jpg files and are advanced with your foot using the metal buttons.
It is a unique product with lots of possibilities. While we’ve highlighted the way that it can be used to power a DIY teleprompter, it can also be used in other ways. Many customers choose to use it to operate multiple screens at once. Using an inexpensive HDMI splitter, the Controller05 is used by houses of worship and corporations to drive several confidence monitors across the front of their stages. Given its compact size, it’s easily taken on the road and used with existing screens commonly available at many venues.
Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest. The Controller05 is a hidden gem. There’s literally nothing else like it on the market today. So, if you’re making your own wedge teleprompter, or you have the need to display images to yourself or your audience, consider using a Stageprompter Controller05. Your confidence will improve, and it will show through in your performance. Learn more today at www.stageprompter.com.
Since 2008, Staffords on Stage, a Cambridge, UK based technology company has been designing and manufacturing covert lyric-prompting solutions. They provide a complete range of solutions and accessories including flight cases and other complimentary products. With manufacturing, service and support in both the UK and the USA, Staffords On Stage and the Stageprompter brand of products have everything you need to outfit your stage, corporate event or house of worship.
If you would like more information about the Stageprompter or Staffords on Stage, please contact us at:
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