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Author Topic: New High School Gym - Mini Rant  (Read 540 times)

Adam Kane

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Re: New High School Gym - Mini Rant
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 04:37:59 pm »

Did you check to see if the very expensive DSP was actually programmed and not just straight-lined in to out?

And at least your speakers were pointing down -ours had several pointing directly at the walls 20' up -actually increasing the slap-echo in the place.

Or how about the piles of un-installed gear that music teachers and custodian had to ask me about because they didn't know what it was for and had been sitting there for years.

None of the gear was crap, just deployed wrong, incompleted or simply not installed at all!

Frustrating is that it's public money and the school district gets over 2/3 of my total property tax bills.

There's never any repercussions to the architects and contractors yet they get to charge higher and get paid more than they could in private contracts.

A/V consultant who's nameplate is on all the racks also has every relevant "industry certification" that I keep reading about in System Contractor News.  Makes me now doubt the value of such certification if it still means that the resultant install is garbage.

Sorry, don't mean to get ranting too, but I've seen this type of thing in more than one project.

Something is seriously wrong with the "system" and it really casts doubt on other aspects of public projects. 
(Such as:  Is structural, electrical, hvac and plumbing also installed with the same attention given to the A/V?)

It's like you're in my head.

This is exactly what happened around here to three local districts about 10 years ago. Cookie-cutter systems in all the buildings. DSP's doing nearly nothing and speakers aimed poorly. The A/V contractor that got the work happens to be BFF's with the architect and consultant that was involved with these projects. Huge company with tons of techs and an office staff capable of generating massive amounts of paperwork and lovely documentation. They have every certification and qualification under the sun. The racks are all beautifully constructed and neatly wired, although removing an XLR connector requires cutting 103 zip-ties. And (heaven forbid) if you have to replace a piece of gear and the connectors are not in EXACTLY the same spot, it turns into a 45-minute wiring job.

We are doing a lot of work in all three districts now because the original A/V contractor rudely refused to service any of the systems. Great for us.

My favorite system of theirs is a multi-purpose room where they have 2 speaker zones driven by a 2-channel amp (not sized correctly to directly drive 70-volt) connected to a total of 12 70-volt ceiling speakers. 8-output EXPENSIVE processor with two outputs going to the amp, and the other 6 running into a conduit. 1 mono input routed to all 8 outputs, all with identical processing (meaning no real processing). I was wondering where the other 6 outputs were running. I gave the bundle of wires a tug and they all came out of the conduit with the ends cut off and taped. The blinking meters on the front panel of the processor made it look like it was doing something. Principal was furious, as was the technology director. That was the initial find that got us the rest of the work in that particular district.

Don T. Williams

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Re: New High School Gym - Mini Rant
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 04:45:14 pm »

Telnet a "clear 0 devconfig" command to it.
-however be ready to go with a new configuration afterwards because it will be totally blank of everything.

Thanks, Craig.  I think the schools Drama Department has finally convinced the school that that processor is antiquated and  isn't needed because active loudspeakers and subs were added for stereo.  The old mono center cluster will get a newer processor.  And yes I know a mono center cluster is probably better for most things audio, but . . .

Mike Caldwell

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Re: New High School Gym - Mini Rant
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 01:02:49 am »

I have cleaned up a number of new school gym, cafeteria, auditeria sound systems and have seen everything mentioned here!

A few general things I've noticed on new school installations:
They don't know the difference between line level
and mic level.

They don't know the difference between stereo and balanced inputs, I've lost count of the number of stereo
source inputs wired to a balanced input with one stereo channel going to + and the other going to - I have found.

They think power amps must be the most important piece of equipment so they plug them into the first stages of a power sequencer system.

The trend now is to put 1/8 inch stereo "aux inputs" all over the place without proper transformers at the inputs and wire them to the mixer mono inputs like I mentioned.

At a recent job the 1/8 jacks were directly mounted in a steel plate tying the building ground and audio ground together resulting in a loud high pitch RF induced whine in the system since the day it was deemed finished.

In addition to other problems at a different school in checking the auditeria system after my first check 1  2 on the mic I told them half your speakers are not working.
These were Lowell open mount suspended speakers, after checking the dead speakers I found they were all tapped to OFF position, the tap selector is under the grill on those.
This was another school that was certified as meeting spec even after a return service call by the installer to address the problem of poor sound in the auditeria.

Two schools I've done work were certainly designed by the same guy, on the stage they had eight hanging mics, two rows of four, so far that seems fairly normal even though I have never found hanging mics to really pick what you want them to!!
In these cases the hanging mics were Earthworks omni measurement mics, I can't remember the model but when I looked them up they were in the $500 each price range.
As you can guess they never really worked well for that use, I told them they could sell those mics and buy something much more suited for choir pick up and have money left my knowledge those mics are still hanging at those schools.

Electrical contractors usually get the bid package that includes AV, security, technology. Some will (for better or worse) sub those jobs out, others just do it all in house, some have created an in house company with a different name and more or less sub it to themselves.
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