ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4   Go Down

Author Topic: Need help for expansion plan from current PA  (Read 5985 times)

Paul G. OBrien

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1420
Re: Need help for expansion plan from current PA
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2023, 01:28:10 PM »


Now the question are the subs. One possibility would be getting 4 x RCF 8004-AS . This sounded great and would fit my budget, but there is one big problem: The weight of those subs.

Would it be drop-dead-stupid-idea to forget upgrading subs at the time being, and instead just get two more of SR18S, and replace those XT215 tops with 3 X HDL6 (on one side)?

Yes. Here is one thing you don't seem to be aware of, a single RCF sub will outperform a pair of those Mackie 18's. Yes that is in terms of SPL output and sound quality so you can have a significant subbage upgrade without increasing the number of boxes you have to store and move. Does that change the calculus for you at all... it should. And wrt the tops, you may not realize just how much better boxes like the RCF art932 or NX932a are compared to your Mackies, that isn't a dig at you it's just a case of you don't know what you don't know, it takes exposure and hands on experience to grasp the differences. I've been through this too so this is just another guy trying to pass along a message... same as all the others that have contributed. The latest crop of conventional powered PA speakers at the top end of the Prosumer market where these RCF's reside are really.. really freakin good.

I too run a one man sound and lighting operation, been at it over 10 years now and like you started with nothing but scraps and low paying jobs. I also had some Mackie speakers but they all failed at one point or another and compared to just about anything else in the prosumer powered speaker market they really don't perform that well. I now have a growing inventory of EV powered speakers which have a great ROI  for a business like mine, there have been zero failures with these boxes, they perform well and are easy for a single person to move... checks all the boxes or most of them anyway.

I have also researched getting some LA boxes, I do on occassion get requests for a small LA deployment and have setup 1 and 2 boxes on a pole over subs for events. This gear I cross rented from a large SR operation in my city. Here are my observations on that. 1 LA box on a sub is just dumb, it looks odd IMO and in this case I could have given them better performance with a traditional trapezoid box. So why bother? It's what the customer requested, I marked it up appropriately so I wasn't out of pocket, I got paid and customer was happy so it's all good.
2 boxes on a pole over subs. These were Yorkville Parasounce boxes that you probably won't have access to in europe, they are a constant curvature array not a true line array. The venue deployment in this case was somewhat favorable with the speaker stacks on a stage about 4ft above the dance floor, so the bottom array box was 9-10ft up and angled down and top box was pointed straight back which also helped because the room was deeper than it was wide. This rig worked very well and everybody was quite happy with it, even got some compliments on the "kick ass" sound system. But here is the thing, I have also done the same venue with my EV powered speakers and got the same results, lots of SPL and thump, everybody has a great time, no equipment failures and I got paid.

The point I'm trying to make here is related to return on investment(ROI). Line array boxes are sexy but they are considerably more expensive than a comparable trapezoid box.. sometimes twice the price, and in some cases they don't perform as well as a trap box compared 1 on 1. If would be nice to be able to advertise that one has line array boxes but if you can't charge any more for deploying them then you're throwing away profit... which is a terrible business decision.
So you have to ask yourself, how much can you grow your business in your region? Does it make financial sense? I had a really good year this past year and briefly toyed with buying some LA boxes that came up on the local used market, but decided to instead pay down some debt and buy myself a play toy.. a dirt bike.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2023, 01:57:18 PM by Paul G. OBrien »
Logged

Janne Lepola

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12
Re: Need help for expansion plan from current PA
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2023, 04:08:29 PM »

Yes. Here is one thing you don't seem to be aware of, a single RCF sub will outperform a pair of those Mackie 18's. Yes that is in terms of SPL output and sound quality so you can have a significant subbage upgrade without increasing the number of boxes you have to store and move.

This was one of the main points I was trying to ask as well. Even though this was kind of answered, from the point of sound quality (which wasn't unclear anyways), I already suspected that Mackies specs with max SPL didn't give real comparison point against sub from RCF/EV etc (from the point of "better" sub having much smaller max SPL on paper).

When I got SR18s I did acknowledge the fact that what you see in sales commercial probably isn't what you should be expecting from real performance, as Mackie never shared any RMS info or measurement graphs for Thump lineup speakers. As I haven't had chance to really compare different subs by ear, I was bit unsure how much louder quality sub would be from the point of continuous SPL against Mackie. I already suspected that there would be significant difference, but how significant... that has been the question. Anyways, you'r answer already confirm my suspicions to me.

... you may not realize just how much better boxes like the RCF art932 or NX932a are compared to your Mackies...

Well, actually this is something I can imagine much easier. I'v had much more comparison points on tops and even without those I could hear with ease that Mackie tops lack clarity. That's something I'm totally fine with background-music for events, but working with bands is of course much harder. I need to make drastic decisions in order to get instruments to pop up, as the stereo image becomes quite a mess easily and mid-highs are mess as well.

The latest crop of conventional powered PA speakers at the top end of the Prosumer market where these RCF's reside are really.. really freakin good.

... and this is the point of mystery to me. I'v had chance to hear dozens of different tops which were for generic use for bands, but I haven't had chance to listen touring-quality tops. All those ~600-1200 / piece tops seemed to lack the punch and the clarity I'm looking for. When you are expecting to serve 300-500, maybe even bit more, the idea of using just "smallish" quality tops had become abstact and kind of unthinkable. Still, I had kind of a turning point this year as I was able to hear single pair of Mini DVA's being used for both an large outdoor event, as well as FOH mains for band. I was really blown away how much those tiny LA elements carried for the size (both in punch and clarity).

I'm still having hard time believing that TTW4 could serve event with ~500 guests, even though that certainly should be possible as pair of NX45's seemed to serve medium sized rock events on Youtube-videos (for an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyGN0Veu0Gc), and to best of my knowledge TTW4s should be one step up from those (can anyone confirm this, or am I making wrong assumption?).

I have also researched getting some LA boxes, I do on occassion get requests for a small LA deployment and have setup 1 and 2 boxes on a pole over subs for events. This gear I cross rented from a large SR operation in my city. Here are my observations on that. 1 LA box on a sub is just dumb, it looks odd IMO and in this case I could have given them better performance with a traditional trapezoid box. So why bother? It's what the customer requested, I marked it up appropriately so I wasn't out of pocket, I got paid and customer was happy so it's all good.
2 boxes on a pole over subs. These were Yorkville Parasounce boxes that you probably won't have access to in europe, they are a constant curvature array not a true line array. The venue deployment in this case was somewhat favorable with the speaker stacks on a stage about 4ft above the dance floor, so the bottom array box was 9-10ft up and angled down and top box was pointed straight back which also helped because the room was deeper than it was wide. This rig worked very well and everybody was quite happy with it, even got some compliments on the "kick ass" sound system. But here is the thing, I have also done the same venue with my EV powered speakers and got the same results, lots of SPL and thump, everybody has a great time, no equipment failures and I got paid.

This is the kind of feedback I'm looking for. Few reasons to consider LA boxes would be the possibility to take only one pair of those small boxes for small gigs and add more boxes for bigger events, even though I do understand that there are drawbacks. Additionally I'll have couple of customers with small auditorium-like rooms, with audience area rising from the stage, so I was thinking that having even few LA speakers to provide would be a selling point, even though I probably wouldn't be able to charge anymore than with point source speakers. Still, TTW4s attract me as a choice for point source speakers.

So you have to ask yourself, how much can you grow your business in your region? Does it make financial sense?

This is something I really can't be sure at the time being, but of course I'd love to have to room to expand. There are summer events which require large coverage outdoors and originally I was thinking that this would be something I could head towards. Additionally 6 pieces of HDL6 vs 2 pieces of TTW4 isn't that big of a difference moneywise. TTW4s sell for about ~3k a piece, while you can get six HDL6's for about 10k. Difference is "only" 4k, even though it's good amount of money as well, as I need to upgrade my infrastructure as well (logistic accessories, cable bridges etc).
« Last Edit: December 17, 2023, 04:21:32 PM by Janne Lepola »
Logged

Steve-White

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1638
  • Fort Worth
Re: Need help for expansion plan from current PA
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2023, 07:13:31 PM »

At the time being, I agree, this has been the best advice on this thread by far.

My feeling is that even though I knew I might be asking from wrong group of individuals (from professionals) I still hoped to get answers which also valued the perspective of the original situation. It's easy to state that "you can't get anything good running without putting $$$ to equipment and having stuff which profils every sound engineers daydreams. Have some respect to what you are doing, and also steer away from bad decisions!". I know that no-one has said anything like this, but I'm just trying to avoid this kind of feedback.

I simply feel that people may have missed my point, even though I tried to be clear on it ever since original message. If I'v been doing shows with Mackie setup, It's more likely that I'm not currently running fancy theaters and restaurants throwing weekly professional live bands. What I'm doing is scraping all those leftovers, which do not have that much money to put into game, as they are not earning much themselves. Bands are self-funding themselves to get to play, or individuals are trying to throw unforgettable birthdays with marginal budgets.

I'm not the only small regional provider here. There are others, some which have bit nicer setups than what I'm using, maybe some with HK lines and others with low end DB. Still, all the suppliers are amateurs with maximum of 8k on their equipment. The question I was representing was "how to scale with limited resources" and optionally "would it be possible to scale with saving lots of $$$ by multiplying current sub-line". Yes, I do agree that this probably ain't the way to go, as my ears are bleeding a bit as well as yours (and mine are bleeding from my own experience). Still, it's kind of like asking a question from guitar enthusiast: "how can you play that piece of ... which cost only $250, as it doesn't have good pickups and the neck is pure trash". His answer would likely be "well, I'v had dozen gigs a year and I guess I'm doing fine, but I'd like to somehow expand and buy $600 guitar, so that someday I can buy one that has the features of $2000 one, maybe even earn something from playing!".

As I stated, I have managed with Mackie setup for a year, even though I'm not satisfied with quality, not by far. That's why I came to ask for help. Still, my customers have been happy with services at the price range to this day. And still, I have the hunger to get to the next level. What that level can be with the limited budget is the main question: Should I upgrade the just tops with ~$8000 and double the Mackies at the time being for-about-nothing, so that I can expand within couple of years with better subs? Or should I get two pieces of 8004 right away? Err... Wonder if those are enough? Maybe I should get four pieces of 15" drivers, such as TTS15? Well, anyway, Point-source TTW4A must be the answer, as those should provide better sound quality... But damn, are they loud enough for what I'm heading towards? How about if I want to scale within couple of years? I guess I should probably go with HDL6s after all, so that I don't have to switch tops all again. But the sound quality on off-axis.... Damn...

It's been suggested that I should rent equipment for larger events, when I don't have sufficient equipment to provide. Good thinking, except that my *current* customers are not willing to pay enough so that I'd be able to rent anything. That sector is one step up the ladder, and it's being held by local professional company. They get to charge minimum of $1-2k for single event, while I'd be charging just about 20-25% of that from the leftovers, which they wouldn't event want to supply.

My business has been, and will be (at the time being), self monetized, meaning that I'm putting earnings from day job towards growing my business. It's not about whether I'm getting paid enough from gigs for the next three years or so. It's about getting my business up, making contacts from jobs and learning & enjoying from what I'm doing, while being able to supply something that I can stand behind when challenged or questioned. This is where I need you help, to figure out what is the compromise that I should take with the limited resources in order to scale within the next five years.

I feel that Steve was the first to really comprehend my situation and my endgame. I do appreciate all different perspectives that have been provided, but Steve's message is the first one which gave better overall tips. Some of these already overlapped with my business plan. That's why I feel that Steve understood what I'm facing and that's why I feel that his suggestions are more meaningful to me.

Still, I would love to get different suggestions and visions, which I'd be able to evaluate. I'm really intrigued with TTW4A tops, as they might be something I'd been looking for, but at the same time I wouldn't want to give up on the option of getting my line array base initialized. Please, keep opinions coming, but please try to explain also the technical reasoning behind opinions. That kind of feedback is worth more than gold to me.

Getting input and feedback, advice has it's place.  Learning also has it's place.  I started out with essentially junk and made it work.  As well, used some "house" systems along the way that were in large part inadequate for the band.

Sometimes learning what to do involves learning what not to do.  Learning what works sometimes is helped along by learning what doesn't work.

It's a building block of knowledge.  Keep at it, build your awareness along the way.  Honestly, in the end there is no shortcut to experience.

There's good feedback throughout the thread, read through it all a few times then get busy.  :)
Logged

Scott Holtzman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7792
  • Ghost AV - Avon Lake, OH
    • Ghost Audio Visual Systems, LLC
Re: Need help for expansion plan from current PA
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2023, 09:48:31 PM »


Still, I would love to get different suggestions and visions, which I'd be able to evaluate. I'm really intrigued with TTW4A tops, as they might be something I'd been looking for, but at the same time I wouldn't want to give up on the option of getting my line array base initialized. Please, keep opinions coming, but please try to explain also the technical reasoning behind opinions. That kind of feedback is worth more than gold to me.


Most of the opinions have been to repurpose the same dollars not spend more.


The vast majority of opinions, including mine are business oriented, not technical.  We are first businessman.  When you gat to a certain tier arguing about equipment is a waste of energy.  It's all good simply that some does a particular thing well.


The big tech drivers you have heard:


1 - Money spent on non sex-tech makes your life easier because you can rely on it.  Power cables, mic cables and NL-4's (speakONS) are tech investments that will last decades.


2 - Better Subs with more excursion, stronger magnets vastly out perform the Mackie's


3 - Good trap boxes sound better than small line arrays


I tried to point that out with me trading and consolidating my gear.  Lots less subs, out with the mediocre and in with what will probably be my last rig considering my age and health.  I had a big line array, dual 10" elements, $8000 worth of lifts from our very own Mike Pyle and 8 Meyer subs with LabGruppen amps.  Had all the flyware and rented the motors.  It was too much for me and I sold it, didn't fit my business plan (and some health issues) so often there are different drivers than technical.


You might ask why I kept my JBL VRX932LA constant curvature system.  The reason is the same as why another person mentioned they cross rent line arrays.  Because some people want them.  This is very similar system to the Yorkville, it's not really a line array but it is modular.  The subs perform very well.  It supports a few standard configurations.  Most important it goes out 3 times a week in season and a decent amount in winter.  They don't take up much room in the warehouse so when I downsize that I can still manage them. 


I have more than sound gear, fast fold projector screens, large format projectors, stages, drapery, truss and lighting.  It takes time to downsize so be careful what you buy.


Here is a shot of the JBL VRX system.  I have six top boxes, four dual 18 subs and two single 18's.  With that config I can build anything. 



picture services                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Logged
Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Tim McCulloch

  • SR Forums
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23955
  • Wichita, Kansas USA
Re: Need help for expansion plan from current PA
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2023, 08:20:01 AM »

At the time being, I agree, this has been the best advice on this thread by far.

My feeling is that even though I knew I might be asking from wrong group of individuals (from professionals) I still hoped to get answers which also valued the perspective of the original situation. It's easy to state that "you can't get anything good running without putting $$$ to equipment and having stuff which profils every sound engineers daydreams. Have some respect to what you are doing, and also steer away from bad decisions!". I know that no-one has said anything like this, but I'm just trying to avoid this kind of feedback.

I simply feel that people may have missed my point, even though I tried to be clear on it ever since original message. If I'v been doing shows with Mackie setup, It's more likely that I'm not currently running fancy theaters and restaurants throwing weekly professional live bands. What I'm doing is scraping all those leftovers, which do not have that much money to put into game, as they are not earning much themselves. Bands are self-funding themselves to get to play, or individuals are trying to throw unforgettable birthdays with marginal budgets.

I'm not the only small regional provider here. There are others, some which have bit nicer setups than what I'm using, maybe some with HK lines and others with low end DB. Still, all the suppliers are amateurs with maximum of 8k on their equipment. The question I was representing was "how to scale with limited resources" and optionally "would it be possible to scale with saving lots of $$$ by multiplying current sub-line". Yes, I do agree that this probably ain't the way to go, as my ears are bleeding a bit as well as yours (and mine are bleeding from my own experience). Still, it's kind of like asking a question from guitar enthusiast: "how can you play that piece of ... which cost only $250, as it doesn't have good pickups and the neck is pure trash". His answer would likely be "well, I'v had dozen gigs a year and I guess I'm doing fine, but I'd like to somehow expand and buy $600 guitar, so that someday I can buy one that has the features of $2000 one, maybe even earn something from playing!".

As I stated, I have managed with Mackie setup for a year, even though I'm not satisfied with quality, not by far. That's why I came to ask for help. Still, my customers have been happy with services at the price range to this day. And still, I have the hunger to get to the next level. What that level can be with the limited budget is the main question: Should I upgrade the just tops with ~$8000 and double the Mackies at the time being for-about-nothing, so that I can expand within couple of years with better subs? Or should I get two pieces of 8004 right away? Err... Wonder if those are enough? Maybe I should get four pieces of 15" drivers, such as TTS15? Well, anyway, Point-source TTW4A must be the answer, as those should provide better sound quality... But damn, are they loud enough for what I'm heading towards? How about if I want to scale within couple of years? I guess I should probably go with HDL6s after all, so that I don't have to switch tops all again. But the sound quality on off-axis.... Damn...

It's been suggested that I should rent equipment for larger events, when I don't have sufficient equipment to provide. Good thinking, except that my *current* customers are not willing to pay enough so that I'd be able to rent anything. That sector is one step up the ladder, and it's being held by local professional company. They get to charge minimum of $1-2k for single event, while I'd be charging just about 20-25% of that from the leftovers, which they wouldn't event want to supply.

My business has been, and will be (at the time being), self monetized, meaning that I'm putting earnings from day job towards growing my business. It's not about whether I'm getting paid enough from gigs for the next three years or so. It's about getting my business up, making contacts from jobs and learning & enjoying from what I'm doing, while being able to supply something that I can stand behind when challenged or questioned. This is where I need you help, to figure out what is the compromise that I should take with the limited resources in order to scale within the next five years.

I feel that Steve was the first to really comprehend my situation and my endgame. I do appreciate all different perspectives that have been provided, but Steve's message is the first one which gave better overall tips. Some of these already overlapped with my business plan. That's why I feel that Steve understood what I'm facing and that's why I feel that his suggestions are more meaningful to me.

Still, I would love to get different suggestions and visions, which I'd be able to evaluate. I'm really intrigued with TTW4A tops, as they might be something I'd been looking for, but at the same time I wouldn't want to give up on the option of getting my line array base initialized. Please, keep opinions coming, but please try to explain also the technical reasoning behind opinions. That kind of feedback is worth more than gold to me.

My response (especially things I put in bold) is this:  you are making the same mistakes I made 40 years ago.  I was a bit more upscale on the speaker system but ended up with clients that could not or would not pay what it really cost to provide the service, leave some margin for repairs and upgrades, and PAY ME for my work.

Part of it was that I'd set prices based on what clients could pay and kind of crossed my fingers and hoped it would sort itself out.  It didn't.

After about 5 or 6 frustrating years I sold off most of my gear, doubled down on the business stuff (and I'll say Cost Accounting opened my eyes wide),  started managing other people's companies, and I've done that until 11 months ago - close to 30 years.

I guess the question comes down to is "this is a labor of love" or do you expect a return on your investment in equipment, be able to pay yourself a reasonable wage for the work you do both in and out of a venue, have liability insurance, and cover all the other expenses of running a small business.

Understand that your deliberate choice of clients will kill your attempt at business.  There is no profit there, hell, you won't be able to pay yourself $25/hour for every hour you work for your company, let alone have an ROI and some repair money.

Perhaps I misunderstand your model and there is a revenue stream that is not apparent.  But... been there, done that, didn't get a shirt.

If your goal is to subsidize bands I will say that going broke for someone else's "art" is still going broke.
Logged
"If you're passing on your way, from Palm Springs to L.A., Give a wave to good ol' Dave, Say hello to progress and goodbye to the Moonlight Motor Inn." - Steve Spurgin, Moonlight Motor Inn

Janne Lepola

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12
Re: Need help for expansion plan from current PA
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2023, 11:09:56 AM »

My response (especially things I put in bold) is this:  you are making the same mistakes I made 40 years ago.  I was a bit more upscale on the speaker system but ended up with clients that could not or would not pay what it really cost to provide the service, leave some margin for repairs and upgrades, and PAY ME for my work.

Part of it was that I'd set prices based on what clients could pay and kind of crossed my fingers and hoped it would sort itself out.  It didn't.

After about 5 or 6 frustrating years I sold off most of my gear, doubled down on the business stuff (and I'll say Cost Accounting opened my eyes wide),  started managing other people's companies, and I've done that until 11 months ago - close to 30 years.

I guess the question comes down to is "this is a labor of love" or do you expect a return on your investment in equipment, be able to pay yourself a reasonable wage for the work you do both in and out of a venue, have liability insurance, and cover all the other expenses of running a small business.

Understand that your deliberate choice of clients will kill your attempt at business.  There is no profit there, hell, you won't be able to pay yourself $25/hour for every hour you work for your company, let alone have an ROI and some repair money.

Perhaps I misunderstand your model and there is a revenue stream that is not apparent.  But... been there, done that, didn't get a shirt.

If your goal is to subsidize bands I will say that going broke for someone else's "art" is still going broke.

I get what you are saying and your points are valid. My business plan does not rely on supplying amateur bands forever, as it's something that others already do. My plan leads towards other customer sector, which still relies on bands and other live events, but I wont be dealing with bands directly. Still, I need to be able to supply equipment which fulfills what's been promised to actual customer (or what they expect to get). That's why I'm at the crosspoint on trying to make the right decisions regarding the equipment, which should either scale up or work up to a certain point (when it comes to what kind / size of events I'll be able to provide).

Edit: actually I already have liability insurance and this work has already been more or less self-sustaining. Every month I'v been investing to new accessories with whats been paid, and additionally I'v been boosting this with my own money. When it comes to question of real wage, the answer at the time being is: no, it hasn't paid up. That is a fact, but not something I'm worried at the time being. It's all part of the plan. I'v been building things slowly as a side job and hobby, creating my customer base and meeting individuals and companies which need services. On the other hand, I won't be able to take that next step without putting an effort and pushing my goals higher. Financially I'm covered with my fulltime job, but of course I'm expecting to see the end game later on this course. Think of it as any long-term investment, not something which gives quick financial solution. Thats why ROI is not my priority at the time being, but having right equipment should raise the ROI rate later on (unless I need to upscale by selling equipment again in order to buy even bigger equipment)
« Last Edit: December 18, 2023, 11:49:27 AM by Janne Lepola »
Logged

brian maddox

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3303
  • HeyYahWon! ttsss! ttsss!
Re: Need help for expansion plan from current PA
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2023, 07:31:59 PM »

I get what you are saying and your points are valid. My business plan does not rely on supplying amateur bands forever, as it's something that others already do. My plan leads towards other customer sector, which still relies on bands and other live events, but I wont be dealing with bands directly. Still, I need to be able to supply equipment which fulfills what's been promised to actual customer (or what they expect to get). That's why I'm at the crosspoint on trying to make the right decisions regarding the equipment, which should either scale up or work up to a certain point (when it comes to what kind / size of events I'll be able to provide).

Edit: actually I already have liability insurance and this work has already been more or less self-sustaining. Every month I'v been investing to new accessories with whats been paid, and additionally I'v been boosting this with my own money. When it comes to question of real wage, the answer at the time being is: no, it hasn't paid up. That is a fact, but not something I'm worried at the time being. It's all part of the plan. I'v been building things slowly as a side job and hobby, creating my customer base and meeting individuals and companies which need services. On the other hand, I won't be able to take that next step without putting an effort and pushing my goals higher. Financially I'm covered with my fulltime job, but of course I'm expecting to see the end game later on this course. Think of it as any long-term investment, not something which gives quick financial solution. Thats why ROI is not my priority at the time being, but having right equipment should raise the ROI rate later on (unless I need to upscale by selling equipment again in order to buy even bigger equipment)

There are two guiding principles to actually making money in this, or really any, business.

1 - Do something most people would rather not do.

There is an endless supply of people that want to play around with bands and music and concerts and everything else involved with that. There is SUCH an endless supply that there is ALWAYS someone willing to not just do it for free but to actually PAY THEIR OWN MONEY just to get to do it. That's what you are doing Right Now. You're not breaking even and you're not anywhere CLOSE to breaking even.

So what you've got is a hobby, which is fine. Seriously, it's fine. You said yourself you're doing gigs that none of the "real companies" want to touch. But know that the second that you try to transition that hobby to an actual business you're going to be in direct competition with the NEXT person who is doing it as a hobby. Heck, you're probably already in competition with someone else that is doing this as a hobby, and that's just a game of "who can lose the most money the fastest".

So I know you didn't really want to hear any of that, but you're really not going to want to hear this next part. There is NO MONEY in live events that have anything to do with bands or entertainment. None. At every level. The profit margins are ludicrously thin and the costs are ludicrously high. If there's a company out there doing concerts and staying in the black, they are doing it by subsidizing the business with either corporate work, or install work, or testing rockets that are going to space [which is a real thing]. And/Or they are leveraged to the HILT and using fancy accounting to keep their balance sheet looking good. Fact is, there is not a "level" you're going to take your business to that will actually turn a profit if you "want to do sound for bands".

If, however, you are willing to do sound for "not music" then there is a very very remote chance that you may be able to make some money doing it. But your chances are still lousy and you're almost certainly going to make more money sticking with your day job.

I swear I'm not saying all this to yuck on your yum. Just trying to give you some perspective from a few decades in the business.

As to that second guideline? We can save that for another time.
Logged
"It feels wrong to be in the audience.  And it's too peopley!" - Steve Smith

brian maddox
[email protected]
Savannah, GA

'...do not trifle with the affairs of dragons...

       ....for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup...'

Scott Holtzman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7792
  • Ghost AV - Avon Lake, OH
    • Ghost Audio Visual Systems, LLC
Re: Need help for expansion plan from current PA
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2023, 02:01:07 AM »

There are two guiding principles to actually making money in this, or really any, business.

1 - Do something most people would rather not do.

There is an endless supply of people that want to play around with bands and music and concerts and everything else involved with that. There is SUCH an endless supply that there is ALWAYS someone willing to not just do it for free but to actually PAY THEIR OWN MONEY just to get to do it. That's what you are doing Right Now. You're not breaking even and you're not anywhere CLOSE to breaking even.

So what you've got is a hobby, which is fine. Seriously, it's fine. You said yourself you're doing gigs that none of the "real companies" want to touch. But know that the second that you try to transition that hobby to an actual business you're going to be in direct competition with the NEXT person who is doing it as a hobby. Heck, you're probably already in competition with someone else that is doing this as a hobby, and that's just a game of "who can lose the most money the fastest".

So I know you didn't really want to hear any of that, but you're really not going to want to hear this next part. There is NO MONEY in live events that have anything to do with bands or entertainment. None. At every level. The profit margins are ludicrously thin and the costs are ludicrously high. If there's a company out there doing concerts and staying in the black, they are doing it by subsidizing the business with either corporate work, or install work, or testing rockets that are going to space [which is a real thing]. And/Or they are leveraged to the HILT and using fancy accounting to keep their balance sheet looking good. Fact is, there is not a "level" you're going to take your business to that will actually turn a profit if you "want to do sound for bands".

If, however, you are willing to do sound for "not music" then there is a very very remote chance that you may be able to make some money doing it. But your chances are still lousy and you're almost certainly going to make more money sticking with your day job.

I swear I'm not saying all this to yuck on your yum. Just trying to give you some perspective from a few decades in the business.

As to that second guideline? We can save that for another time.


He is right, if have gainful employment replacing your salary is close to impossible. 


Renting gear though is not that bad as a second business and if you concentrate on being a rental house you will end up with your competitors coming to you for the bits and pieced they don't have.


It's not sexy and it's real work but it will get you close to quite a bit of cool events.  I have worked three Republican conventions, second to last on was a short gig as a sub to an RB provider working on the digital 2 way radios.  That's what I mean about being away from the formal production.


Gear that has made me good money:


Nice current large format 7k-14k projectors.  Anything larger is specialty
Fast fold screens and dress kits
Drape
Pipe and bases for drape
Wired intercom
Coming soon wireless intercom
Stages
High quality wireless (this is a big investment but if you are the only guy in town with it that's a great position to be in.
Professional spectrum analyzer (I have an HP) with ability to do coordination, site survey and interference mitigation
To a certain extent lights.  Not DJ lights uplights for weddings, pin lights for floral array illumination, follow spots
Video gear - Switchers, recorders, camera, camera stands, casters, PTZ camera

Does that give you an idea?  I am sure I forgot something.

[size=78%]                                                [/size]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Logged
Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Janne Lepola

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12
Re: Need help for expansion plan from current PA
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2023, 02:32:30 AM »

There are two guiding principles to actually making money in this, or really any, business.

1 - Do something most people would rather not do.

There is an endless supply of people that want to play around with bands and music and concerts and everything else involved with that. There is SUCH an endless supply that there is ALWAYS someone willing to not just do it for free but to actually PAY THEIR OWN MONEY just to get to do it. That's what you are doing Right Now. You're not breaking even and you're not anywhere CLOSE to breaking even.

... So what you've got is a hobby, which is fine. Seriously, it's fine.

I must agree that I was bit irritated first by this point, even though you are absolutely right. You are making exactly the point which I already know. That's my current customer sector. Still, that's the reason why I want to switch the scope towards new market. It's not just potential, but unfilled area of service. It's something that minor supplier cannot do and something large companies wont do, because it's just tad under their scope. Fortunately for me local competition isn't too tight and distances to competitors are long enough... and as always, it's important to know right people willing to order from you. That's what these five years have supplied me, in addition to providing self-funding part-time job.

... But your chances are still lousy and you're almost certainly going to make more money sticking with your day job.

Somehow this thread has steered from technical side towards business and ROI, even though I agree that choosing right equipment has lot to do with business as well, and that's what I indirectly did ask. I seem to get more points being made on business-side and considerations whether the actual business plan is sustainable and/or profitable. I probably never really pointed out that I'm not trying to transition from my day job to this business. I'm working on this as a micro business, which someone can call a hobby, if that's what sounds better for you.

There are over 300 000 micro companies in Finland and it's the most popular way to provide business. Quite a few of these companies have the same model, in which the owner of the company is running business next to his other income sources (ie. day job). Having a side business has many benefits, both tax- as well as social-wise, in addition to providing steady side-income. That is exactly what I want to do, not replacing my day job. If getting under 30k revenue a year is non-profitable from the point of profitable business, it's still considerable for providing side income (after the expenses of course). Still, I would prefer having option to scale up the equipment if it becomes necessary. When you are investing ~20k to equipment I'd rather have option of extending instead of replacing (again), as that would seriously hit ROI (and lead to further self monetization). On the other hand, if I'm able to discover that certain equipment would live up to my needs (ie. point source speaker instead of line array setup), then that would be the way to go of course!

Additionally, every company has to start from something, be it small or big. You need to put money to investments, either your own or someone elses. From my point of view, the question comes to how many are actually willing to invest more money in order to become able to supply something that others either can't or won't, and have a plan to at least break even after predefined point of time. It's also much easier to make that decisions when you find that there is a market niche available, and that ain't just the local bands (but have something to do with bands as well, as well as with something else).

Of course I could also take that 20k loan and just switch my car to a new model. That's an investment as well, but it sure as hell ain't getting you any income ;). Investing to a business of providing audio services serves both myself and my customers.


... but if I may ask, I'd still like to hear opinions and points on those tops. Currently TTW4 is the model I'm most attracted to, but I'd also like to hear opinions on that original HDL-setup as well, especially as some still seem to provide these small-scale line-array setups because they are asked to.


Renting gear though is not that bad as a second business and if you concentrate on being a rental house you will end up with your competitors coming to you for the bits and pieced they don't have.

It's not sexy and it's real work but it will get you close to quite a bit of cool events.  I have worked three Republican conventions, second to last on was a short gig as a sub to an RB provider working on the digital 2 way radios.  That's what I mean about being away from the formal production.

Gear that has made me good money:

Nice current large format 7k-14k projectors.  Anything larger is specialty
Fast fold screens and dress kits
Drape
Pipe and bases for drape
Wired intercom
Coming soon wireless intercom
Stages
High quality wireless (this is a big investment but if you are the only guy in town with it that's a great position to be in.
Professional spectrum analyzer (I have an HP) with ability to do coordination, site survey and interference mitigation
To a certain extent lights.  Not DJ lights uplights for weddings, pin lights for floral array illumination, follow spots
Video gear - Switchers, recorders, camera, camera stands, casters, PTZ camera

Does that give you an idea?  I am sure I forgot something.

[size=78%]                                                [/size]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

This is also something that I'm also getting the equipment for, even though it's not something I would have mentioned before. Still personally I'd suspect that I'd have better chance at providing audio services, as I happen to know that certain local company does renting for this kind of equipment for festival-size events. I need to be careful at what I'd be investing to, as some of given suggestions also require considerable amount of storage. If I had enough room I would already have bought stage elements, but those are something I'd rather rent if someone asked, just the same as with tent for stage. Still, I appreciate these suggestions!

It hasn't been that apparanted that public announcement services are part of the plan. It's just that I'm trying to match the speaker investement to what would be the maximum of what I can provide. Events having rock bands playing are the hardest customers to serve, when it comes to the area of coverage, and that's why I'v been referring to these on my previous questions.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2023, 02:39:12 AM by Janne Lepola »
Logged

Scott Holtzman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7792
  • Ghost AV - Avon Lake, OH
    • Ghost Audio Visual Systems, LLC
Re: Need help for expansion plan from current PA
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2023, 06:08:33 AM »

I must agree that I was bit irritated first by this point, even though you are absolutely right. You are making exactly the point which I already know. That's my current customer sector. Still, that's the reason why I want to switch the scope towards new market. It's not just potential, but unfilled area of service. It's something that minor supplier cannot do and something large companies wont do, because it's just tad under their scope. Fortunately for me local competition isn't too tight and distances to competitors are long enough... and as always, it's important to know right people willing to order from you. That's what these five years have supplied me, in addition to providing self-funding part-time job.

Somehow this thread has steered from technical side towards business and ROI, even though I agree that choosing right equipment has lot to do with business as well, and that's what I indirectly did ask. I seem to get more points being made on business-side and considerations whether the actual business plan is sustainable and/or profitable. I probably never really pointed out that I'm not trying to transition from my day job to this business. I'm working on this as a micro business, which someone can call a hobby, if that's what sounds better for you.

There are over 300 000 micro companies in Finland and it's the most popular way to provide business. Quite a few of these companies have the same model, in which the owner of the company is running business next to his other income sources (ie. day job). Having a side business has many benefits, both tax- as well as social-wise, in addition to providing steady side-income. That is exactly what I want to do, not replacing my day job. If getting under 30k revenue a year is non-profitable from the point of profitable business, it's still considerable for providing side income (after the expenses of course). Still, I would prefer having option to scale up the equipment if it becomes necessary. When you are investing ~20k to equipment I'd rather have option of extending instead of replacing (again), as that would seriously hit ROI (and lead to further self monetization). On the other hand, if I'm able to discover that certain equipment would live up to my needs (ie. point source speaker instead of line array setup), then that would be the way to go of course!

Additionally, every company has to start from something, be it small or big. You need to put money to investments, either your own or someone elses. From my point of view, the question comes to how many are actually willing to invest more money in order to become able to supply something that others either can't or won't, and have a plan to at least break even after predefined point of time. It's also much easier to make that decisions when you find that there is a market niche available, and that ain't just the local bands (but have something to do with bands as well, as well as with something else).

Of course I could also take that 20k loan and just switch my car to a new model. That's an investment as well, but it sure as hell ain't getting you any income ;) . Investing to a business of providing audio services serves both myself and my customers.


... but if I may ask, I'd still like to hear opinions and points on those tops. Currently TTW4 is the model I'm most attracted to, but I'd also like to hear opinions on that original HDL-setup as well, especially as some still seem to provide these small-scale line-array setups because they are asked to.


This is also something that I'm also getting the equipment for, even though it's not something I would have mentioned before. Still personally I'd suspect that I'd have better chance at providing audio services, as I happen to know that certain local company does renting for this kind of equipment for festival-size events. I need to be careful at what I'd be investing to, as some of given suggestions also require considerable amount of storage. If I had enough room I would already have bought stage elements, but those are something I'd rather rent if someone asked, just the same as with tent for stage. Still, I appreciate these suggestions!

It hasn't been that apparated that public announcement services are part of the plan. It's just that I'm trying to match the speaker investement to what would be the maximum of what I can provide. Events having rock bands playing are the hardest customers to serve, when it comes to the area of coverage, and that's why I'v been referring to these on my previous questions.


We understand your point and many of us transitioned the same way, me included.  I spent my day job money buying what I thought I needed.  I wasted  lot of money we are trying to save you that same pain.  I had been piddling around between bands and theater for the better part of 3 decades before I got serious.  Then it was after getting beat up by my peers having spent more than 100k on the wrong gear.  Things that interested me.  I don't know where you got that 20k number, I see Finland uses euros which are very close in value to US dollars so 20k doesn't even get you a TT4 rig with subs and monitors.  100k gets you a few good rigs, monitors, mixers, microphones a touch of wireless, mic stands and enough lights to fill small club orders.  I have gone from 2 rigs to 12 rigs, 5 trucks and a 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse.  With all that I can't take any decent money out except in the summer.  We have a long winter where I live that complicates it.  Everything I own is paid for. 


Bryan on the other hand is one of the most in demand live event engineers.  He can work, anytime, anywhere and on his terms. He is that good.  He is also a hell of a nice guy and I am proud to count him as a friend.  When he speaks take the cotton out of your ears and shove it in your mouth because you will learn something.  His pedagogical skills are awesome too so paying attention to him will pay off.  I think you should chill out.  There are many other people here of his caliber and they are ready and willing to help anyone.  That is what makes this place work.  Then there are schmucks like me, we have been around long enough to help but in no way have the breadth of knowledge our senior members possess.    I learn every day from these fine folks.


As far as a technical discussion it's a fucking speaker.  It is made by a good vendor.  If that speaker fits your business model then but it.  It it doesn't then look at Danley, EV, FBT blah blah blah.  There are so many good brands as long as you don't buy shit you are doing fine.  Business should be your focus.  Sorry if it bores you.


I tried to discuss the different subs I thought, maybe it wasn't you.  If you look at the current threads there are 4 or 5 people with the same questions.


Regards...Scott


 
Logged
Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Need help for expansion plan from current PA
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2023, 06:08:33 AM »


Pages: 1 2 [3] 4   Go Up
 



Site Hosted By Ashdown Technologies, Inc.

Page created in 0.047 seconds with 20 queries.