mem deck and past midnight

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by r29, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Hi,
    i just received my copy of past midnight..i know it quite old. Thinking about seriously getting into card magic now.

    In dvd 3 he talks about memorized decks and si stebbin stacks. I have looked it up found it quite interesting.

    I just want to know as I am quite a beginner but know most of my card techniques except still have trouble with few like the pass. etc.

    What would good to learn stacks and ways of counting cards or look in to Mnemonica??
  2. What stack you learn really depends on what you want from your stack. You could simply shuffle the deck and memorize the order, however if youre going to memorize the deck, why not put it into an order that has stuff built into it?

    I personally learned the Aronson stack, and it seems to be a fairly popular stack amongst mem deck users. However there are some stacks with some nice features built into them out there, so I advise you to do your research before you decide on which one you want to learn.

    You should research stacked decks as much as possible. Simon Aronson has a nice little booklet you can download for free here: Are Made of This.pdf

    That booklet will give you a nice intro to mem deck magic.

  3. As far as Mem decks go, my personal preference is Tamariz's Mnemonica. Of particular use is his five methods of memorisation, which allowed me to memorise the entire stack in two and a half hours (the average, he says, is three, by the way). I also feel that Mnemonica has more built in features (though I don't actually use these) than the Aronson stack. Nonetheless, both are perfectly operating and useful stacks.

    As far as learning into it goes, for Mnemonica, there's a book of the same name, which contains a tome of memorised deck work.
  4. Ah...
    Past Midnight is quite the bad choice for beginners. The material is golden but he doesnt explain it too well and expects you know how.
    For stacks, I use Banacheks stack. Its not exactly a memorized stack but you can find cards nonethelss
  5. As you can probably tell from my name, I use Mnemonica extensively. Mnemonica has a lot of benefits, but I'm not sure it's the best stack for beginners. One of the big benefits of Mnemonica is the ability to bring a brand new deck into Mnemonica order in front of spectators without suspicion, but that requires 4 Perfect Faro shuffles to accomplish. Tamariz does offer several cool alternative methods, but those are sometimes complex. In addition, many of the effects with Mnemonica require pretty heavy handed control of the deck, moving cards around and then returning the deck to order face down. Juan is an absolute virtuoso with cards, and really good at misdirection, so he can do all of this with ease. The rest of us have trouble when he writes something like "To bring the stack back to order, simply pick up the piles in 3,1,2,4 order, deal 5 hands of 4 cards each, then return the AC to under the JD, then cut the 4C back to the top". Not the simplest process.

    All this being said, the positives are many and exciting. You can accomplish amazing gambling demos, awesome divinations, eerie coincidences and many other effects, and then (with a few Faros or other tricks) end up with the deck in New Deck Order for a finale!

    If you do choose Mnemonica, let me know how it goes. I can give you some additional pointers if you'd like. If not, I might suggest Aronson's stack, as plenty is published about it and even Tamariz acknowledges Simon Aronson's brilliance.

    Good luck!
  6. Good point. Some of the memory calculations are a stretch at times too, and I consider myself good at maths.

    But those perfect faro's are a b****.
  7. awesome
    what do you guys thick of si stebbins stack??

    might start off with aronson get used to mem decks then later on learn mnemonica
  8. I've heard positives and negatives about Si Stebbins. The positives mainly refer to how easy it is to "memorize", but in truth, I'm pretty sure the Si Stebbins stack doesn't count as a "memorized deck", but a systematic stack. I haven't studied it myself, but there are definite differences in absolutely KNOWING what card is next vs. being able to calculate it.

    The only negative other than the above differences (which probably just allow differences in effects you can do) is that it doesn't really look all that shuffled if you spread the cards. Mnemonica (and I assume Aronson's as well) looks completely random, so it adds a layer of deception.

    Once you start digging in, I'm sure you'll find pros and cons for all of these. I just chose Mnemonica out of my respect for Juan Tamariz.

    Good luck!
  9. Si Stebbins, technically, isn't a memorised deck, as Mnemonimage correctly pointed out, but rather a cyclical stack.

    It's definitely useful, but has two main drawbacks.

    Firstly, it is, again as pointed out above, more obviously stacked if studied. Which isn't really a problem. A bigger problem is...

    It's significantly less versatile. You never know what number a card is at in the deck at any point. You can work out the next cards and the previous cards relatively quickly.

    But if you say 42, I say 4 Diamonds. 27, I say 2 Clubs. King of Spades, I say 31.

    You can't do that with Si Stebbins, making it significantly less versatile.

    On the upside, Si Stebbins, once you read the stack, you won't be able to forget it. It's hard to not remember it as soon as you learn how the cards are stacked.
  10. That's what it's called, a cyclical stack. I couldn't remember that term for the life of me. Nice job!

    Careful, I don't want everyone trying to claim my screen name anytime soon...(heh)

    BTW, in response to the original poster, I do really like Ben Earl's approach to memdeck work. Although he seems to have shifted away from card magic quite a bit, his take on memdeck prediction and mentalism-style effects is pretty cool. In my experience, even the simplest card revelation blows people away when it's done very cleanly, and a memorized deck makes for ultra clean predictions.
  11. Regarding Henry Sugar, it's a partial stack I guess which forms one of the principles of Si Stebbins. You could kinda call it another cyclical stack in and of itself, I suppose - technically speaking. So if you want to check it out, do it for the routine, which is great - but the stack itself is simply half of the concept of Si Stebbins.
  12. thanks for all the responds
    but i'm reading on aronson stack and going to be getting mnemonica soon

    Ben Earl - Past Midnight is amazing love the mentalism stuff

    have not carefully go through the disc yet

    compared to DnD Trilogy which is good stuff too but i like ben earl a lot more.
    but then again two different style of magic

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