How to Use DM
  Requirements
    Requirements
    Hook-Ups to Record
    Hook-Ups to Playback
  Manuals
    Player On-line Manual
    Player Downloadable Manual
    Librarian On-line Manual
    Librarian Printable Manual
  Tutorials
    Audacity
    Player
  Recording Music & Cues
 

 

Methods of Recording
    Using Separate Files
    Synchronizing
    Windows Mixer
  Setting Up At a Dance
  Remote Control
    About
    Setting it Up
    Using it
    Training the Player
  Karaoke Cue Cards
    About
    Synchronize Music & Voice
    Time a Dance
Requirements to Use The Player

DanceMaster Player is most useful on a laptop computer. It should work fine on virtually any Windows laptop currently being made, with the exception of some of the new, tiny "Netbook" computers with less than XGA screen resolution.

Operating system: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8 or 10.  Just watch out for Windows 8 RT - that version is intended mainly for small notebook computers, and can't run "legacy applications", of which DanceMaster is one.

Screen: Bigger and brighter is better. The minimum resolution required is XGA (1024 x768 pixels). A 14 inch or larger Active Matrix screen is recommended. "Netbooks" with 10 or 12 inch screens aren't recommended. Even if you can find one with XGA or better resolution, the print is going to be pretty darn small.  And they often come with Windows 8 RT (See above).

DanceMaster Player was developed on a computer with a 200MHz Pentium processor and 64 Mb of RAM. (It would be hard to buy a computer that wimpy these days!) More RAM and a faster processor is, of course, better.

The amount of disk space required will depend on the amount of compression you use on your sound files, and on the size of your record library. If you record with CD quality sound, the program, database, cue cards and sound files for about 250 dances takes up less than 1 gigabyte. Each additional dance should occupy about 4Mb, depending again on the amount of compression you use. In practice, any reasonably new laptop will come with more than enough disk space for DanceMaster, your whole dance library, and lots of other stuff.

You will need a word processor for entering your cue cards. Anything that can produce RTF (Rich Text Format) or .DOC (Word) files, including Microsoft Word and Word Pad, should do. DanceMaster Player can even display cue cards that have been scanned and stored as .BMP (Bitmap) files, but RTF files are strongly recommended, and are required if you want to use Karaoke Cue Cards.

You will need a source of music in MP3 format. That usually means using your computer's sound card and software to record your music. You can also buy round dance music in MP3 format over the Internet from sources such as WalMart , Amazon, and round dance music stores. (See "Preparation: Recording the music" in the manual. I recommend using the Audacity sound editor program for recording your music and cues.

To use remote control, you'll need DanceMaster Player Advanced Edition, plus the remote control transmitter (model HR12A Palm Pad) and the receiver (model CM19A RF Receiver) from X10.com (about $70). Or you can get them from me for about the same price. The transmitter goes with you out onto the dance floor, and the receiver plugs into a USB port on your computer. There it receives the commands you send from the remote and passes them to DanceMaster, which does whatever you're asking for.

At a dance, in addition to the computer, you will need your microphone, speaker(s) and an amplifier / mixer of some sort. The usual Hilton turntables work fine, and there are smaller (more portable) amplifier / mixers available from Hilton, Radio Shack, and the sort of audio stores that musicians frequent.

Even better, there are now "multimedia speaker systems" available from several leading manufacturers including Altec Lansing and Cambridge Soundworks. These speaker systems contain their own amplifiers, are quite compact, sound MUCH better than the usual dance speakers, are made to plug into your PC, and can produce a LOT of sound (some of them are rated at over 300 watts). One of these, plus your laptop and your microphone and a small mixer, makes a very portable rig for cueing.

 

 

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