Item: Stafford on Stage, StagePrompter, Updated Version
Price: UK £598, US coming soon
At A Glance: The Stage Prompter from Stafford on Stage is essentially a stand-alone autocue device disguised as a wedge monitor. VoiceCouncil previously reviewed it in 2010 (http://voicecouncil.com/review-staffords-stageprompter), however since then a new version has been released that features various improvements. The new version comes in a slightly redeisgned cabinet that allows it to operate at two different angles depending on how far away you like to place your monitors. It also has an improved foot controller and remote control to allow access to further options on the device or chose a specific track on your playlist.
High Notes: The StagePrompter is extremely well built to survive heavy use – it even has vents to allow water to safely run though it if a drink is accidentally spilled. The quality of the wedge cabinet is on par with that of a top quality wedge monitor and it is light enough to be easily moved around. One large improvement the manufacturer has made since our previous review is to create software to help you import your lyrics and organize your playlists. This is in the form of a web application, which has the added bonus of letting you reorder your set list on any computer with an internet connection without having to install specialist software.
Off Pitch: Although the StagePrompter is not overpriced when you consider the bespoke design that is involved in making the unit; it may be too expensive for many amateur and semi-pro singers.
VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The StagePrompter is a well thought out device that has been used by several top professional singers. It is simple to operate and its 22 inch display is large enough for most people. If you perform a varied set – or want to use the same Stage Prompter with different acts – you can set up multiple lyric sheet playlists on different USB pen drives and then simply plug in the corresponding USB drive when the time comes and you’re ready to go. Stafford on Stage now produce a hardware only StagePrompter (£334) that can be connected to any monitor with a VGA connection. Ultimately the main competition for the Stage Prompter will come from tablets (or even paper lyric sheets on a a music stand), however if you are performing on a large stage and do not want the audience to see that you need help remembering the lyrics, the Stage Prompter is the perfect device.
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.stageprompter.co.uk/