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 11 
 on: Today at 08:26:34 pm 
Started by thinbilly - Last post by thinbilly
Hey everybody,
I have been using my RF explorer for some time with the Windows software running in a virtual machine on my Mac and exporting CSVs to WWB running on the MacOS.
This set up works well, but I feel the time is coming to invest in the paid software for Mac to eliminate a few annoying steps.

Touchstone from nuts about nets is available for $49 - http://nutsaboutnets.com/touchstone-macos/

Vantage from RF Venue is available for $99 - https://www.rfvenue.com/software/vantage

I realise both pieces of software offer trial versions, but hoped somebody here may have a perspective on the relative differences between the two. Vantage is twice the price, is it twice as good?

Thanks
Tom

 12 
 on: Today at 08:18:06 pm 
Started by Lee Wright - Last post by Jeff Lelko
As you alude to, maybe it's the type of business where when you split it 3 ways it's too tight to make anything.

I think you hit the nail on the head there. 

A lot of it comes down to how large a pot of money you're starting with, but at least in my area of the United States $400/job isn't very much, especially with the business model you're using.  I happen to own both my company and the inventory to play 85% of my gigs, renting in only for the very large or very unique.  In that case, the $400 small corporate gig would be 100% "profit" to me given that I'd play the job myself.  I quote profit because my inventory is still depreciating, consumables still cost money, etc., but I'm doing much better than pocketing only 25% of that money...more like 90-95% after factoring in depreciation and consumables.  Still not enough to get rich on but also not bad for a day's work. 

Have you considered purchasing a rig that'll cover 80-85% of your work?  Even with the figures you quote you'd pay for that system in less than a year and everything after that is a substantial improvement to your money in pocket.  The rig will also last much longer than a year if done right.  In fact the majority of my loudspeakers are pushing 10 years old right now - made their money back in year one and have been profiting ever since!  Hope this helps!

 13 
 on: Today at 08:04:19 pm 
Started by Stephen Swaffer - Last post by Mike Caldwell
How many and what channels are you assigning to a group that is then routed to a mix, in that same mix how many and what channels are directly assigned to the mix.

When you assign channels to a group and those channels are also assigned to the main L R outputs you loose the ability to create a completely separate mix without changing the main L R mix other than those channels overall group level into the zone mix output.

Make sure you do not assign any channel to a group and have those assigned channels also assigned to the mix that the group is also assigned to, if you do you get a nice phase shifty effect from the ever slight latency difference between the group routing to a mix and the channel direct routing to that same mix.

 14 
 on: Today at 07:47:00 pm 
Started by Lee Wright - Last post by Lee Wright
Lee,

     I've been doing this for about 25 years now and I can tell you that "slashing prices" is NOT ever going to work. You are not selling clothing. There isn't enough volume to make up for that very poor business model.  Also, I only know of a couple of people that became "wealthy" by providing sound and production services and that was because the groups they were providing sound for became famous.
    I'm not sure exactly what it is you want; if your goal is to get rich and not really work, try politics or community organizing. If you want to do even less work, try gambling.  I'm not trying to be a smart ass, but you have to put in the hours, days, weeks, months and years to build up a loyal client base and even then they might sometimes look for the lowest bidder. You have to concentrate on service first, good help second, good gear third and then maybe a few other things and then, and only then, will profits follow.
   As far as automation, I think there are several decent programs for rental inventory and contact information, but you still have to work the contacts.  Maybe other folks will chime in here and give both of us more ideas. Good Luck.

Scott

Thanks Scott.   No the goal is not to get rich but to have a business where it could pay a manager to run it then still make $30K profit on top.   Then it becomes a saleable business. Until then it's just a job - not a bad job but nobody wants to buy just a job.    I agree about software automation.   I couldn't find anything on the market I like so I wrote a system in MS Access which works pretty well for managing bookings.   Maybe there's better software on the market now.   I tried Current RMS but it seemed very clumsy at the time.     

 15 
 on: Today at 07:45:46 pm 
Started by Douglas R. Allen - Last post by Mike Pyle
Yes (again) as in the video I posed twice now.  + 8 is on in the S16. Good lock shown on board and both show up in the routing page and both stage boxes show solid lock. The problem is not the stage boxes. The problem is no way that I can figure to send any bus,matrix,to the S16's xlr outs.

Routing " out 1-16 " tab shows 1-8 that I can assign main/mix bus/matrix/direct out/monitor as needed.  9-16 have a * sign that reads.  ( These outputs are currently not connected to any physical output connector on this device. Please check the xlr out routing tab). Going to the xlr out tab I only have 1-4 and 5-8 to chose from as of course its only a 8 xlr out desk.  Of course I can change these to what I want but there is only 2 blocks of 4 to assign to.   

Now I have these 2 blocks of 4 full with what I need. 1-4 monitors, 5 matrix side fill from l/r , 6 mono for subs and 7/8 L/R mains .  I go to the aes50A output tab and assign outputs 1-8 to out 1-8.  My patched xlr local outs now show up in my DL 16. But from there I'm done. In my XLR Out tab I don't have xlr outs "local" 9 - 16 to assign any more bus/matrix/direct etc to. With that not done I can't go into the aes50 out tab and assign aes50 outputs 9-16 to out 9-16 as they are simply not there.

Thanks for helping!

Douglas R. Allen

Does your aes50-a tab not look like the one in this image? Are your stage boxes cascaded?

 16 
 on: Today at 07:38:57 pm 
Started by Lee Wright - Last post by Lee Wright
That depends on what you want out of it.  If you're just looking for a monthly cut of the profit, I'd wager to say you're in the wrong business if you want to make something substantial.  Or...hire a full-time or part-time (depending on the amount of business you do) office/shop manager to handle your day-to-day happenings, which would of course eat into your profit but also reduce your effort.  I don't depend on my business as my primary source of income, so thus I enjoy getting out and actually doing the work - that's why I'm in the business.  I also have a number of assistants I can hire as needed should the job or my schedule require it. 

I agree with David though - if you seriously need to play 250 jobs each year just to break even then something is wrong.  I only play a fraction of that each year but still make decent profit.  Every job is profit for me.  If it won't make me money I don't take it!  Naturally shop work and equipment purchases need to be factored in, but that's what your business plan is for.  You should know how much you can spend each year on inventory and then phase your purchases accordingly.  Hope this helps!

Thanks Jeff.   I should clarify.   The 250 jobs to breakeven would only be if I contracted out everything but since I do probably 1/3 of the jobs I get the full fee & it's usually my gear too.  A true scalable "business" as opposed to a contractor would be one that you'd contract it all out.    I must admit when I do a job myself it's not bad money because you're getting all 3 income streams i.e the sale, the doing of the work & the equipment hire.   $400 for a half days work isn't bad.   As you alude to, maybe it's the type of business where when you split it 3 ways it's too tight to make anything.

 17 
 on: Today at 07:26:04 pm 
Started by Lee Wright - Last post by Lee Wright
Based on the information you provided, it appears that you have more of a cost problem when delivering the service, or an overhead problem. 250 events to break even sounds like something in the business plan is out of balance. I do not think automation is where you are going to find your cost savings. It is still a business about people and relationships. If you rely only on the info a client provides, you will likely not be adequately prepared. You will still need to do the calls and leg work to make it all come together.

~Dave

Hi David,

Thanks for your insight.   You're right about not relying on what the client says.  You do have to really probe to find out what's really required.   As for cost structure.    It's basically 25% commission to me for getting the job & project managing, 50% to the contractor that does the work & 25% to the provider of the equipment.   For example a typical job might be to deliver & setup a pair of speakers, wireless mic & mixer for a corporate event.   I'd charge $440 inc 10% sales tax so $400 net.  I get $100, the contractor gets $200 & the equipment provider gets $100.    It's probably about $4K worth of gear so I'm paying 2.5% of cost - that seems pretty good.  I'm not sure I could do much better owning the gear myself.   As for the contractor, by the time they pick up, transport, setup & return it's probably about 4-5hrs work so $200 seems OK.   The contractor fee is not exactly a fixed percentage so it improves as the job gets bigger.  For example for a $1,000 full-day job I'd probably pay them $300 for the day.   As for fixed costs.  I operate from home & charge a percentage of rent as home office/storage.   It's probably closer to $20K per year rather than $25K.     So I'm not sure if I can do much better with my cost or overhead.   Oh I should mention I'm in Australia where labour costs are pretty high.


 18 
 on: Today at 07:23:50 pm 
Started by Douglas R. Allen - Last post by Douglas R. Allen
1.  How are the stage boxes patched?
2. If the S16 is patched after the other one, is the led indicating "out +8"?

The outputs are bus sends. They can either be patched to local physical outs,  i.e. XLR,  1/4", or phono, or sent down a cat 5 snake.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yes (again) as in the video I posed twice now.  + 8 is on in the S16. Good lock shown on board and both show up in the routing page and both stage boxes show solid lock. The problem is not the stage boxes. The problem is no way that I can figure to send any bus,matrix,to the S16's xlr outs.

Routing " out 1-16 " tab shows 1-8 that I can assign main/mix bus/matrix/direct out/monitor as needed.  9-16 have a * sign that reads.  ( These outputs are currently not connected to any physical output connector on this device. Please check the xlr out routing tab). Going to the xlr out tab I only have 1-4 and 5-8 to chose from as of course its only a 8 xlr out desk.  Of course I can change these to what I want but there is only 2 blocks of 4 to assign to.   

Now I have these 2 blocks of 4 full with what I need. 1-4 monitors, 5 matrix side fill from l/r , 6 mono for subs and 7/8 L/R mains .  I go to the aes50A output tab and assign outputs 1-8 to out 1-8.  My patched xlr local outs now show up in my DL 16. But from there I'm done. In my XLR Out tab I don't have xlr outs "local" 9 - 16 to assign any more bus/matrix/direct etc to. With that not done I can't go into the aes50 out tab and assign aes50 outputs 9-16 to out 9-16 as they are simply not there.

Thanks for helping!

Douglas R. Allen

 19 
 on: Today at 07:21:08 pm 
Started by Stephen Swaffer - Last post by Stephen Swaffer
With the need to be able to customize the mix per each zone using the main L R for the main room and a mix/aux for the overflow and fill room zones may be the best bet. Most likely you would want the mixes feeding the other two zones to be set post fade post all. The masters for the mains and the two zone mixes controlled with a DCA.

That all maybe what your kind of doing now.


That is what I am doing and it works well-except that when you assign mics to a group and then that group to multiple mixes, there is no way that I can find to slave the group sends to the various mixes.

I could assign the mics to a DCA instead of a group-but I have one mix  that I don't want the DCA to affect.  I probably need to change the choir mics to pre fade in that mix.  If it was just me running things that would work-just trying to keep things simple (but I am failing and making it more complex :( ).

 20 
 on: Today at 07:14:18 pm 
Started by Jonathan Johnson - Last post by Stephen Swaffer
You posted about a ....... CHURCH.  How much more HOW-related can it get?!

I have as much use for a bar as some people have for a church-I don't find discussions about bar bands or shenanigans offensive and it really doesn't bother me if you enjoy those establishments, I still think we could find common ground to have a descent conversation.

Your attitude is really surprising given your signature line.

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