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Author Topic: How do you secure gear in a house sound installation?  (Read 7196 times)

John Jackson

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How do you secure gear in a house sound installation?
« on: March 17, 2014, 05:52:39 am »

Hi, I'm new to the forum. I've gained lots of knowledge just by reading the posts here, so I thought I would jump in to the discussions.

I have been offered a house sound gig at a new club in town. Well, it's not new, but the new onwers are renovatiing an old 15,000 sq. ft. club that has been vacant for a few years. I will be in charge of running sound for bands every Friday and Saturday and whenever they have special events.

Here's what I am faced with: The club owns six mains, four single 18" subs, six stage monitors, eight miscellaneous microphones, five power amps, and three cases of cables. They bought these items hoping to have a "house sound system". But it is lacking enough gear to do the job.

I am supposed to provide the mixer; any processors required; all of the drum, instrument, and vocal microphones; two more dual 18" subwoofers; the remaining amps required to power everything; and any additional cables required to connect everything.

I need to secure all of my gear so that it doesn't get stolen and it doesn't get mixed up with the gear that the club already owns.

I figured I would start by putting blue tape on everything that I own and red tape on everything that they own. But I also need to secure the gear.

The club has built a 48" high sound booth for me to put everything in. I am planning to bring a locking metal cabinet to put all the microphones in, but I can't think of an easy way to secure everything else (mixer, processors, etc.) short of tearing the system down every night and locking it all in a storage room.

I thought about making a lid to lock down over the sound booth and using padlocks to secure it and the door from intruders. However, I think that the club owners would like for the DJ and karaoke guys to use the sound booth during the week when I am not there. I am not giving them access to the house sound system for obvious reasons, which was agreed to by one of the club owners.

My main concern is to protect the gear from the time I leave on Sunday morning until I come back the following Friday to get ready for the weekend bands.

Thanks for any input you may have!
« Last Edit: March 17, 2014, 05:58:37 am by Audiophile »
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: How do you secure gear in a house sound installation?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2014, 08:32:27 am »

Also - if the club goes under how do you get your gear back?
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Brad Weber

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Re: How do you secure gear in a house sound installation?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2014, 09:09:24 am »

Here's what I am faced with: The club owns six mains, four single 18" subs, six stage monitors, eight miscellaneous microphones, five power amps, and three cases of cables. They bought these items hoping to have a "house sound system". But it is lacking enough gear to do the job.

I am supposed to provide the mixer; any processors required; all of the drum, instrument, and vocal microphones; two more dual 18" subwoofers; the remaining amps required to power everything; and any additional cables required to connect everything.
Not to your initial question but why six mains, why are you adding mixing subs and what are you doing for system processing (crossover, limiting, EQ, alignment delay, etc.)?  Is what you're adding to the existing house system really going to make enough difference to justify your providing it and you and the club having to deal with all the related issues?

On your question, might you be able to use the equipment you're providing to generate other income between Sunday morning and Friday night and are they paying for exclusive use of that gear?  Do you have access to your gear at any time?  Whose insurance is covering the gear while it's there?  What security does the venue have when closed?  Are you an employee of the club or are they looking at you as an Independent Contractor?  The answers to these types of questions may affect what you do including whether the equipment you are providing stays there or goes with you as you see fit.
 
I thought about making a lid to lock down over the sound booth and using padlocks to secure it and the door from intruders. However, I think that the club owners would like for the DJ and karaoke guys to use the sound booth during the week when I am not there. I am not giving them access to the house sound system for obvious reasons, which was agreed to by one of the club owners.
Is that a majority owner and did you get that agreement in writing?  I just see other owners or managers deciding it's greatly their system so others should be able to use it.  The club also having keys to the sound booth and their letting DJs and others access it seems to essentially make it an unsecured location.
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frank kayser

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Re: How do you secure gear in a house sound installation?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2014, 11:31:54 am »

Can you put your rack gear in a locking cabinet like this one from Mid Atlantic?
http://www.middleatlantic.com/products/racks-enclosures/wall-mount-racks-cabinets/sbx-series-economical-fixed-wall-rack.aspx


Leave all power controls and connections to your gear (inputs, speakers) inside the cabinet.  Put his amps and connections to his speakers on the outside of the your cabinet - maybe in a separate cabinet.


Buy a locking road case with doghouse - for the mixer - make a hole in the case to the doghouse large enough for the snake only - or take your mixer with you.  Bolt the case down.


Yellow tape and blue tape will not cut it for the cables.  Label your cables with your company name and cover the labels with clear shrink wrap.  I use yellow.  Half the folks I know use yellow or blue.
I've gone to yellow shrink, the label containing the company, length and a serial number placed so both ends of the shrink show beyond the label, and then clear shrink to cover it all.  I do it on both ends about 18" from the ends so I can trace the cable down.


You are still banking on the basic honesty of the employees and bands - but with labels there will be no question should you find some of yours in their box.


Speakers?  Don't know how to secure those - maybe a small locking box attached to the connector plate of the speaker covering the speakons from being removed or rewired.


Label everything as your property - and get a contract saying such.


Our club basically deeded all sound equipment and the piano to an outside entity (501-C-3) in case the place went under - our lawyers said that this way in case of bankruptcy, that equipment would be protected.  Don't know the actual legal position, but does give something to argue in court.


Also state in the contract that any tampering of any of the locks/equipment will breach their contract - negotiate the consequences - from a fine, removal of equipment, or complete payment for and transfer of ownership to the club. 


Will all this work?  Maybe.  Is it practical?  Again, maybe. It should keep honest people honest.  Making it difficult will usually ward off the curious.


frank

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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: How do you secure gear in a house sound installation?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2014, 11:42:00 am »

This has been discussed before so there are more answers to read if you do a search.

Short answer do not do this too casually or your could lose money.

JR
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John Jackson

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Re: How do you secure gear in a house sound installation?
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2014, 01:50:41 pm »

Thanks for all the replies! Lots to consider. I don't want to let the temptation of the convenience of a house gig push me to compromise my investment.
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: How do you secure gear in a house sound installation?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2014, 02:00:02 pm »

Thanks for all the replies! Lots to consider. I don't want to let the temptation of the convenience of a house gig push me to compromise my investment.

The ONLY way to issuer your gear doesn't get stolen out of the club is to take it with you.

Label everything
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: How do you secure gear in a house sound installation?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2014, 09:49:36 pm »

The ONLY way to issuer your gear doesn't get stolen out of the club is to take it with you.

Label everything

This.

When they go under, getting your stuff from the landlord or liquor tax authorities will be expensive & time consuming.

When you're not there, the staff and management will decide that the toys are for everyone to play with.  I had a system that mysteriously blew 15" speakers... I went to the venue unannounced, different nights, and never heard the DJ run at abusive levels.  We eventually figured out it was the cleaning crew, cranking up the rig so they could boogie while they mopped - at the other end of the building.  The club was in the process of building a new booth when the place was burglarized and most of the equipment (along with booze and merch) was stolen.  I eventually received about 50% of what the loss was worth.

We had another system in a club that had live music Thurs - Sat.  I went in on a Tuesday to change out a funky EQ and found the system running full tilt boogie, the assistant manager and a bartender figured out how to patch the stuff I unplugged.  Much discussion and several phone calls later, I was taking the amp rack out of the building (and bringing it back every Thursday night).  We eventually built a storage closet in the club and put our own lock on it.

As JR said, do a search of these forums as the topic comes up at least 2x/year.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 09:51:51 pm by Tim McCulloch »
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: How do you secure gear in a house sound installation?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 07:37:16 am »

I had a system that mysteriously blew 15" speakers... I went to the venue unannounced, different nights, and never heard the DJ run at abusive levels.  We eventually figured out it was the cleaning crew, cranking up the rig so they could boogie while they mopped - at the other end of the building. 
We had the exact same thing happen at a Church.

They kept blowing the mains-but they were not running anywhere near destructive levels.

This happened a couple of times until it was found out that the cleaning crew figured out how to turn the system on-and would crank it so they could hear it over the sound of multiple vacuum cleaners in the room.

Of course it was all distorted-but they did not care.

It wasn't until the guys came in on Sunday morning and found all the HF blown.

You just never know what happens when you are not around.
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Brad Weber

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Re: How do you secure gear in a house sound installation?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 08:47:41 am »

This happened a couple of times until it was found out that the cleaning crew figured out how to turn the system on-and would crank it so they could hear it over the sound of multiple vacuum cleaners in the room.
So it was Peter Mapp and his Hoovers!
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: How do you secure gear in a house sound installation?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 08:47:41 am »


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