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Author Topic: 32 Channel Mixer in the $1200 range?  (Read 4707 times)

g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: 32 Channel Mixer in the $1200 range?
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2011, 11:28:30 am »

Have you considered getting a higher (more realistic) budget ?

Churches, more than other areas of the live sound industry, tend to have committees or other folks who hold the purse strings and these folk seem to pull a number out of the air for sound system purchases. They almost always have no experience with the technologies involved nor the user needs and therefore they have no appreciation for what things "need" to cost in order to meet minimal requirements. Church sound folks then tend to say "OK, I'll go buy what I can find for that amount".

This is not the way churches get built nor is it how the parking lot gets repaved, the air conditioning system gets fixed, the roof leaks get repaired, etc. Because committee members own their own homes and/or may work in the building trades, people are more likely to intuitively know when the budget (or quote) is too little or they can more easily find out. In those cases where short cuts are taken for these things, the flawed results are quickly found and are financially painful.

I strongly suggest that you politely and diplomatically discuss what your needs are, what you have found as far as prices for the right console and explain why you need more money. Yes, you may have to wait (maybe not) but rather than possibly waste church money you are in a position where you can inform the powers-to-be and possibly see that the money is more wisely spent.   

I am aware that this may not be easy. But in the long term and for the good of all at your church it is worth trying.

Tom is right on here.

Purchasing something which fits the "budget" but does not properly address your needs is a complete waste of the money you do spend.  You can hardly get more foolish than that.

Harsh, but true.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: 32 Channel Mixer in the $1200 range?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2011, 06:16:25 pm »

Have you considered getting a higher (more realistic) budget ?

Churches, more than other areas of the live sound industry, tend to have committees or other folks who hold the purse strings and these folk seem to pull a number out of the air for sound system purchases. They almost always have no experience with the technologies involved nor the user needs and therefore they have no appreciation for what things "need" to cost in order to meet minimal requirements. Church sound folks then tend to say "OK, I'll go buy what I can find for that amount".

This is not the way churches get built nor is it how the parking lot gets repaved, the air conditioning system gets fixed, the roof leaks get repaired, etc. Because committee members own their own homes and/or may work in the building trades, people are more likely to intuitively know when the budget (or quote) is too little or they can more easily find out. In those cases where short cuts are taken for these things, the flawed results are quickly found and are financially painful.

I strongly suggest that you politely and diplomatically discuss what your needs are, what you have found as far as prices for the right console and explain why you need more money. Yes, you may have to wait (maybe not) but rather than possibly waste church money you are in a position where you can inform the powers-to-be and possibly see that the money is more wisely spent.   

I am aware that this may not be easy. But in the long term and for the good of all at your church it is worth trying.

Tom is right on here.

Purchasing something which fits the "budget" but does not properly address your needs is a complete waste of the money you do spend.  You can hardly get more foolish than that.

Harsh, but true.

Sometimes, the need is immediate but the budget cannot meet the need. In these cases you are best to have a long-term plan, and make do with what you have to work with. Plan accordingly so that what you purchase to meet the immediate need will not be wasted down the road when you do expand. If you can reuse those components when you upgrade the system, great -- but it needs to be part of a plan. It's a bit foolhardy to spend $1200 on a board that will be discarded after a year.

However, you may have to bite that bullet. Take good care of it and plan to sell it when you need to upgrade. Plan for the upgrade; have the church budget committee set up an on-paper account, setting aside a reasonable amount regularly until you can get the system that will meet your needs for the next ten years.

I think the detached-committee-mindset that pulls numbers out of the air probably is thinking of home stereos. I mean, a church sound system is just a really big home stereo, right?  ::)  That's why you need a plan, researched with prices. Come up with three plans: the bare minimum, the optimum, and the gold-plated Rolls-Royce premium plan. Explain the costs of each plan, and the benefits and drawbacks of each. Each plan can be further broken down into phases, phase 1 addressing immediate need (repairs); phase 2 addressing less-urgent needs (improving functionality and audio quality); and phase 3 addressing long-term goals (expansion).

I know that in my church, we can decide to "do something about the problem" (whether it is the sound system, the carpet, or the doorknobs) but nothing will actually get done until someone presents a researched proposal with expected costs. Once that's out there, the membership usually doesn't have a problem spending the money. If there's no plan, the purse strings are tight.

P.S. -- System specs are not entirely necessary in your budget proposal. What the committee and the membership need to understand is how the money spent will build a system that meets their needs; telling them you want to buy a McPeavus 3402 Multichannel Signal Bender means nothing to them.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 06:21:06 pm by Jonathan Johnson »
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