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Author Topic: Need to price house pa rentals  (Read 3069 times)

Kevin_Tisdall

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Need to price house pa rentals
« on: April 25, 2021, 10:42:38 pm »

I work with a local arts center (Milford ct) that is hoping to run a summer outdoor concert series.  The schedule isn’t firm but I’m guessing 6-10 shows. 

Audience anywhere from 200-500 expected. Most of the content will be folk/bluegrass/solo artist/r&b.  No metal or edm or loud rock.

I have essentially a monitor rig (X32 rack and rcf monitors) and need to bolt on a bigger front end than I own.  Looking to price having someone deliver (at least) and possibly set up the house speakers and drop me either a L/R/sub feed or a LR set into a  speaker processor.  Then take it away at the end of the gig.

I have no idea of budget or possible cost of this. Ground stack is fine.  There’s no fly points and I doubt we can afford to bring in speaker hoists.  There are 2-3 possible 20 amp circuits to use for pa (all of the pa).

Stage is about 30 ft wide.  Audience area about 50x150 in very round numbers.  Doesn’t
Have to be rock volume loud but would like to have a system that isn’t tapped out in an outdoors setting with an average volume r&b band at reasonable listening volume.

Any input is helpful.  Sorry i don’t have exact budget and db output at x feet kinds of requirements. 

—Kevin
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Jason Raboin

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Re: Need to price house pa rentals
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2021, 11:11:52 am »

For a hard ticket event with 150' throw we would not do a single speaker per side.  We try to limit the front to back SPL variation to 6-8 db across as much of the bandwidth as possible.  You can't do that with one speaker per side unless you are up very high.  I suppose if you got a Danley or Fulcrum box up 16' on a crank stand you might be ok.

If it's 150' but general admission and people can sit and move as they like, we let that SPL variation creep up a bit, but you're still not going to get even coverage to 150' without using an array. 

We're a bit far from you, so I'm not saying you should hire us, but I would be looking at 6 per side Kara II over 2 SB18 from VMB lifts.  Or  4 per side Fulcrum FL283T with CSP118 from Penn Elcom SAS-5M lifts, which is a little less expensive.

You can do this with point source and delays, but protecting cables outdoors in a field is a pita.  If you have volunteer crew and can bury them, it's not so bad.  That would save money. 
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Kevin_Tisdall

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Re: Need to price house pa rentals
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2021, 05:37:13 pm »

For a hard ticket event with 150' throw we would not do a single speaker per side.  We try to limit the front to back SPL variation to 6-8 db across as much of the bandwidth as possible.  You can't do that with one speaker per side unless you are up very high.  I suppose if you got a Danley or Fulcrum box up 16' on a crank stand you might be ok.

If it's 150' but general admission and people can sit and move as they like, we let that SPL variation creep up a bit, but you're still not going to get even coverage to 150' without using an array. 

We're a bit far from you, so I'm not saying you should hire us, but I would be looking at 6 per side Kara II over 2 SB18 from VMB lifts.  Or  4 per side Fulcrum FL283T with CSP118 from Penn Elcom SAS-5M lifts, which is a little less expensive.

You can do this with point source and delays, but protecting cables outdoors in a field is a pita.  If you have volunteer crew and can bury them, it's not so bad.  That would save money.

Thanks Jason -

Definitely don't want one speaker (?) per side.  What I have is a dsr112 over a rcf 905 as-ii on each side.  Not nearly enough. But I did a bluegrass show in the same place last fall with that and it was ok.  Just not really loud enough and felt like I was abusing the equipment.

The equipment you specify I cant seem to find details on, not that I have any experience with systems like that to know which would be best. 

In my brain what I need is 2-3 subs per side with top boxes (2x15/horn?) 2 per side.  What I don't want is a pile of comb filtering mismatched speakers.  So the tops are most problematic as I have access to subs (JBL/QSC) locally.    Hard to find top boxes stackable with patterns of 50-60 degrees horizontal.  I also don't want to get speakers from multiple rental vendors.

As mentioned, the arts center can't afford an array and the cost of suspending.  I know that's best for coverage.  I know it will be loud in front/softer in back and that's ok.  We would not run delays.  Just too much of a pain.  That *might* come into play if they hold a theatrical production in this space.

As a budget outfit they are willing to deal with some limitations.  I have a volkswagon house pa.  We cant afford a cadillac house pa.  Need a chevy pa in great shape with more horsepower than I have now.

--Kevin.

 
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Luke Geis

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Re: Need to price house pa rentals
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2021, 07:24:18 pm »

I would consider a 6-8db variation over 150' to be a pretty tall task on all but class A budgets.

I would plan on a company providing speakers in your budget range to be priced around $75 each give or take. labor and delivery is likely going to be between $350 to $650. Getting speakers up will help a bit, and perhaps 8-10' is really all you would need. I would do a low-high setup. The upper speakers being used to cover the far-field while another set of speakers sitting on the subs covers the near field. I would time-align things to reduce major problems and improve your long throw coverage. The near-field speakers would be considerably lower in level only to fill out what the higher speakers miss. I don't know how wide you need to cover, but with the speaker higher in the sky, it buys you a little bit of coverage. You may only need 5 speakers to do the task. 2 high, 2 low and a center fill?

I generally don't like having 2 of the same speaker splayed together to get wider coverage. I favor using one pointed at the beef of where I want coverage and another smaller one pointed out to increase the HF coverage. I will generally high-pass and time align the " extra coverage " speaker so that its role is solely to increase the needed bandwidth out to the additional area. This does two things. It reduces the acoustic issues and reduces costs to the client for equipment cost. I have to Smaart it anyway, and the labor is already being paid for.  I avoid splaying speakers unless it makes total sense. For instance, I did a show this weekend with a single sub and two L'Acoustic 5XT's. I placed the 5Xt's on top of the SB15m and splayed them out. I basically did a center fill setup where I had roughly 180* of coverage.

I would plan on an expense of at least $1k and probably closer to $1,500. If I did the gig I would probably price it at about $1,200. This would include 4 single 18" subs, 5 mains, stands, labor, and delivery/strike. If you need a mixer, more power distro, and other peripherals, the price would go up. I would be bringing JBL SRX or RCF NX grade equipment. I am not sure what your local pricing is like, but where I am at, it is universally about $75 per speaker. Labor for a basic tech is going to start at $350 and be as high as $650 for a seasoned vet. Delivery is usually around $150 for local stuff. Hope this helps.
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Kevin_Tisdall

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Re: Need to price house pa rentals
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2021, 09:59:47 pm »

I would consider a 6-8db variation over 150' to be a pretty tall task on all but class A budgets.

I would plan on a company providing speakers in your budget range to be priced around $75 each give or take. labor and delivery is likely going to be between $350 to $650. Getting speakers up will help a bit, and perhaps 8-10' is really all you would need. I would do a low-high setup. The upper speakers being used to cover the far-field while another set of speakers sitting on the subs covers the near field. I would time-align things to reduce major problems and improve your long throw coverage. The near-field speakers would be considerably lower in level only to fill out what the higher speakers miss. I don't know how wide you need to cover, but with the speaker higher in the sky, it buys you a little bit of coverage. You may only need 5 speakers to do the task. 2 high, 2 low and a center fill?

I generally don't like having 2 of the same speaker splayed together to get wider coverage. I favor using one pointed at the beef of where I want coverage and another smaller one pointed out to increase the HF coverage. I will generally high-pass and time align the " extra coverage " speaker so that its role is solely to increase the needed bandwidth out to the additional area. This does two things. It reduces the acoustic issues and reduces costs to the client for equipment cost. I have to Smaart it anyway, and the labor is already being paid for.  I avoid splaying speakers unless it makes total sense. For instance, I did a show this weekend with a single sub and two L'Acoustic 5XT's. I placed the 5Xt's on top of the SB15m and splayed them out. I basically did a center fill setup where I had roughly 180* of coverage.

I would plan on an expense of at least $1k and probably closer to $1,500. If I did the gig I would probably price it at about $1,200. This would include 4 single 18" subs, 5 mains, stands, labor, and delivery/strike. If you need a mixer, more power distro, and other peripherals, the price would go up. I would be bringing JBL SRX or RCF NX grade equipment. I am not sure what your local pricing is like, but where I am at, it is universally about $75 per speaker. Labor for a basic tech is going to start at $350 and be as high as $650 for a seasoned vet. Delivery is usually around $150 for local stuff. Hope this helps.

Luke thanks - very helpful.  And I think shows what you can do with a good strategy, which is what I hope to learn from this.  The cost is not surprising but very close to 6x what I get for everything but the house speakers.  You’ve helped me assign some numbers for them. 

Would that front end run on one 20amp circuit?  Or what sort of power is needed?

—Kevin
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(Brian) Frost

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Re: Need to price house pa rentals
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2021, 02:05:57 am »

If youre doing a event with equipment, delivery, setup, planning, etc for $200 you wont be able to stay in business very long.  Most guys day rates are double that without any gear.

Luke thanks - very helpful.  And I think shows what you can do with a good strategy, which is what I hope to learn from this.  The cost is not surprising but very close to 6x what I get for everything but the house speakers.  You’ve helped me assign some numbers for them. 

Would that front end run on one 20amp circuit?  Or what sort of power is needed?

—Kevin
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Kevin_Tisdall

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Re: Need to price house pa rentals
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2021, 10:42:50 pm »

If youre doing a event with equipment, delivery, setup, planning, etc for $200 you wont be able to stay in business very long.  Most guys day rates are double that without any gear.

I do this as a hobby mostly.  I’m unfortunately one of those bottom feeders no one in here likes.  I do local shows with a few bands I like and work for the arts center mostly as a donation.  I have a “professional” past in the business from 40 years ago.  I mainly do it because I like the bands, like the work and I make a little money to buy gear and beer.  So far below the scope of any legitimate business that hopefully I’m not imposing on anyone. 

I’ve let the arts center know they may have huge sticker shock when they see what real companies charge for decent gear.

—Kevin
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Need to price house pa rentals
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2021, 11:36:05 pm »

I do this as a hobby mostly.  I’m unfortunately one of those bottom feeders no one in here likes.  I do local shows with a few bands I like and work for the arts center mostly as a donation.  I have a “professional” past in the business from 40 years ago.  I mainly do it because I like the bands, like the work and I make a little money to buy gear and beer.  So far below the scope of any legitimate business that hopefully I’m not imposing on anyone. 

I’ve let the arts center know they may have huge sticker shock when they see what real companies charge for decent gear.  You might want to let the arts center know if they are not requiring insurance certificates some noise may be generated!

—Kevin


You are more than imposing on real business, this "reset" caused by the pandemic has facilitated meaning price resetting discussion with customers.  There is enough business coming up that some price sensitivity has softened.  Now you come along willing to stack who knows what to been and chip money.  How is your insurance?  Have you pissed away your life savings to keep a real warehouse going, connections with qualified stagehands, maintained almost a 7 figure inventory (nothing compared to competition)?  What about vehicles?  Are you box trucks, lift gater and material handling equipment serviced and ready to go?   
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Need to price house pa rentals
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2021, 12:21:45 am »

I do this as a hobby mostly.  I’m unfortunately one of those bottom feeders no one in here likes.  I do local shows with a few bands I like and work for the arts center mostly as a donation.  I have a “professional” past in the business from 40 years ago.  I mainly do it because I like the bands, like the work and I make a little money to buy gear and beer.  So far below the scope of any legitimate business that hopefully I’m not imposing on anyone. 

I’ve let the arts center know they may have huge sticker shock when they see what real companies charge for decent gear.

—Kevin

Hi Kevin -

I've told this story several times over the last 20+ years... but when I started I was the guy with a van-load of PA.  MTV was about to kill the radio star and local or regional acts that wanted a more 'concert' presentation was a real market if you had a very low cost structure.  FFWD to "I learned why real companies charge the prices they do" because my business model became unsustainable, with a loyal market that was unable or unwilling to pay more for the services rendered.  I sold off most of my gear, doubled down on business education and learned about making all kinds of new mistakes I'd never have encountered in my own small business.  Ultimately I've been managing businesses for owners, in some capacity, for close to 30 years. /end flashback story

While I'd love to scold you for being 'one of those bottom feeders', there's no sport in it.  It is what it is - you've got a market that's paying all they think they can for production and you're willing to accept that amount.  Eventually your direct expenses will exceed your gross revenues and you'll have to decide if you're willing to subsidize your clients as a good will gesture (you already are, actually).

My suggestion is to find a book/youtube/Teddy talk on Cost Accounting.  Once you get into looking at your current situation through the eyes of an accountant, you'll understand why there is gnashing of teeth, rending of garments and clutching of pearls from some of the onlookers.  You may have positive cash flow but you're likely loosing money.  Already.

If your client base is such that they'll never be able to pay more, frankly that client base is not the target of profit-seeking businesses.  The only ones burdened by your fee structure are those in situations similar to your own.

And you're correct to let the arts center folks know about real-world costs.  There will be 'sticker shock'.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Need to price house pa rentals
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2021, 02:48:52 am »

Hi Kevin -

I've told this story several times over the last 20+ years... but when I started I was the guy with a van-load of PA.  MTV was about to kill the radio star and local or regional acts that wanted a more 'concert' presentation was a real market if you had a very low cost structure.  FFWD to "I learned why real companies charge the prices they do" because my business model became unsustainable, with a loyal market that was unable or unwilling to pay more for the services rendered.  I sold off most of my gear, doubled down on business education and learned about making all kinds of new mistakes I'd never have encountered in my own small business.  Ultimately I've been managing businesses for owners, in some capacity, for close to 30 years. /end flashback story

While I'd love to scold you for being 'one of those bottom feeders', there's no sport in it.  It is what it is - you've got a market that's paying all they think they can for production and you're willing to accept that amount.  Eventually your direct expenses will exceed your gross revenues and you'll have to decide if you're willing to subsidize your clients as a good will gesture (you already are, actually).

My suggestion is to find a book/youtube/Teddy talk on Cost Accounting.  Once you get into looking at your current situation through the eyes of an accountant, you'll understand why there is gnashing of teeth, rending of garments and clutching of pearls from some of the onlookers.  You may have positive cash flow but you're likely loosing money.  Already.

If your client base is such that they'll never be able to pay more, frankly that client base is not the target of profit-seeking businesses.  The only ones burdened by your fee structure are those in situations similar to your own.

And you're correct to let the arts center folks know about real-world costs.  There will be 'sticker shock'.


Tim is right, there is no sport, the bottom feeders are going to crawl back out form underneath the rocks and life may return to some degree of normal.  I doubt I can bring that segment of the market upward.


We have all sorts of weird stuff here including a guy that has 100k Vue rig, is a dealer (on some level) but basically does shows for gas money.  He is a bit older than me and had hooked up with some bands he really likes and that is his little world.  He is a nice guy, what are you going to do? 


I started off with a couple of Chevy stretch Venture vans and with air shocks and better springs it was amazing what we got away with.  While everyone else was just understanding Presonus we showed up with a pile of QSC and the first x32's in town and had a ourselves a little little novelty.  It didn't take my business sense and the folks here polking at me to realize that I may be netting cash but I was burning through consumables, fixing the vehicles in my spare time and still working my day job.  I have been here 8 years and now have a real business plan.  We even still rent "club kits" to local techs, they have found it's easier that taking care of their own rigs, back up to the doc, load up, and off they go. 


On the other hand we do a lot of gigs we never thought we would want to, corporate, weddings, political, marathons, over the next two weeks we are doing a 5 city comedy tour at AAA ball parks.  It all pays the bills and then every so often we get a music gig with an artist that is simply beyond a pleasure to work with and way beyond what we would have ever run into doing the club scene.  I only mention this because you can crawl out and the rewards are multifold, just like the paper towels.



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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Need to price house pa rentals
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2021, 02:48:52 am »


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