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Author Topic: Looking at proposals - Need Advice  (Read 15411 times)

Tony Mah

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Re: Looking at proposals - Need Advice
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2006, 02:02:17 pm »

Brad,

My response is was specifically for Nathan and their 250 seat church, and not all conditions. Let me put in a time constraint and you tell me how you would do it.
9AM-10AM drive to church
10AM-11PM meeting with pastor etc to talk about vision what they want to do.
1PM-noon - measurement time
Noon-1PM -Lunch
1PM-4pm - do caluclations and quote
4pm-4:30pm - go over quote with client make sure you got everything
4:30-5:30 - drive back to office, check email, etc and go home.

So you got about 4 hours to solve the room and finish the quote. IMO you can't spend more time than this on a small church unless you are going to over sell on equipment. Hint: The usable surface area on the stage is strongly correlated to the maximum number of channels required regardless of what the client wants.

The more experience you have, the faster you can go. I would ask if anyone complains of echos in the room. Do a few RT 60 measurements with a bookshelf speaker, measure the current system response, and maybe tweak their eq for them. Check for echos and if there are some, spec some absorbtion on the rear wall. Most small churches with RT60 of 1s to 1.5 sec follow the Sabine formula.

Based on this information, I would pick some speakers with the appropriate directivity for the room and check the coverage plot at 500hz and 2khz with software. I use LARA becuase it is easy, CADP2 because it is the only program that allows you to enter the measured RT60, and bypass the modeled calculations, and CATT  when I can't measure the room.

Tony


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Tony Mah

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Re: Looking at proposals - Need Advice
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2006, 02:22:17 pm »

Nathan,

There are no college courses for sound system design that normal people can take. There are sound system design courses that are part of degree programs, but you can't take them unless you are part of that program like Masters of Acoustics, Masters Fine Arts Theatre, Architecture, Recording Sciences, and etc.

There are courses from independant schools on how to install alarms, ceiling speakers, and sound systems, but they don't cover design work.

SYN-AUD-CON in the only place that offers a design course, but the crash course assumes you are in the trade and Pat goes very fast, that is one of the reasons many people take it over and over again. So if someone claims to have taken the course, it doesn't mean alot becuase there is no exam. If Pat had an exam with a 70% mark required to pass, I would expect over half the class to fail.

Tony  
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Looking at proposals - Need Advice
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2006, 03:54:55 pm »

In the old days there used to be a synaudcon test, and it was not easy.

You are correct in many people attend the class and then saying that they "know it all".  I knew a guy once who took a synaudcon class 20yrs ago so he was an "expert".  In reality he barely had a clue.  You are probably correct that half the class would fail.

Every class is different, even covering the same material.  That is one reason I have been to so many and still attend more when I can.  Synaudcon is like so many other things, the more you know going into it, the more you will get out of it.  ALso the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.

There are also "bits and pieces" type courses available at trade shows like NSCA and Infocomm, but if people think Synaudcon is expensive (it is, but still a GREAT value for what you can (can is the important word there) get out of it), then the trade show courses are really expensive.  However, there is a lot of good useful information  available.  I have taken several, and walked away with skills and knowledge that I use all the time.

NEVER stop learning!
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Ivan Beaver
dB Audio & Video Inc.

Brad Weber

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Re: Looking at proposals - Need Advice
« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2006, 11:07:26 am »

Tony Mah wrote on Sat, 16 December 2006 14:02

Brad,
My response is was specifically for Nathan and their 250 seat church, and not all conditions. Let me put in a time constraint and you tell me how you would do it.
9AM-10AM drive to church
10AM-11PM meeting with pastor etc to talk about vision what they want to do.
1PM-noon - measurement time
Noon-1PM -Lunch
1PM-4pm - do caluclations and quote
4pm-4:30pm - go over quote with client make sure you got everything
4:30-5:30 - drive back to office, check email, etc and go home.

So you got about 4 hours to solve the room and finish the quote. IMO you can't spend more time than this on a small church unless you are going to over sell on equipment.
I guess I misunderstood what you were saying.  I did not get that your comments were limited to preparing a quote and interpreted them as being related to the actual design.

If a client puts you in a situation where they expect a bid within 24 hours, which is not a good idea to start with and certainly does not seem to be the case here, then I wouldn't expect any modeling.  I would also question any bids put together that hastily for a project like this, just from experience I know that unless there is a single person that is salesman, designer, installer and service person, getting an equipment list together and then getting all those people to get review it and make any necessary adjustments will take more time than that.
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Brad Weber
muse Audio Video
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Tony Mah

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Re: Looking at proposals - Need Advice
« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2006, 01:53:56 pm »

Brad,

It would only take me a day to do a small church and even if I spent a week, the quote would be the same. My job would be to design a great sounding system and save the church time and money.

The better question is how can we save Nathan's church money?
1 Mackie TT24 Mixer
- A 24 ch digital board for a church that if Nathan leaves will not have anyone that can take advantage of the features? A&H wizard might be just fine
1 Marantz PMD325 CD Player
1 Tascam CC-222MKIII Recorder
- A CD recorder yes, but why can't the church use the CD player and the tape recorder they already have?

2 Shure SLX SM58 Wirless Mics
- From the pictures it looks like the room is more reverberant than normal. Audix OM5 wireless seems more reasonable.
1 Shure ULXS w/ WH30 Headset Mic
- Sub Audix guitar body pack kit
- Add Countryman or DPA Headset

1 Shure EZG12 Gooseneck for the altar
2 Shure MX202 with P/C for Choir
- Why mismatch the choir and podium mics?
- Sub 3 Earthworks choir/goose neck mics

1 Shure KSM109 Mic for congregation
- Why mismatch the vocal mics?
- Audix OM5

1 DBX Zone Pro 640
- They need a dsp zoning system for 8 speakers?!
2 DBX Volume Control
- Substitute passive pot volume control
1 JBL E-System 15 (Multi-purpose room)
8 JBL Control 25T (Multi-Purpose room)
- Why do they have an E-System and the Control 25T?
1 Crown CTS 2000 (Multi-Purpose room)
- QSC RMX 2450 6year warrenty and cheaper too

2 JBL AM 4215/95 Mains
- Okay, setup in passive mode assuming it is correct for the room
2 JBL SRX712M Monitors
- JBL EON 15 G2 to match the E-System mains if incase they want to add 2 more floor monitors, or if they want to have monitors in the multi-purpose room

1 DBX Drive Rack 260
1 DBX IE231 Equalizer
1 DBX AF224 Feedback Suppressor
- The Drive rack 260 already has feedback suppression and eq why all the extra gear?
2 Crown CTS2000
- only one more QSC RMX 2450 is needed since I substituted the Eons
2 Middle Atlantic 21 Space rack
- No name computer racks will be fine
2 Power Conditioners
- Substitute 1 power sequencer

The reason why the company that made the quote the way they did was becuase they wanted to make more money on the gear.

Tony
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Looking at proposals - Need Advice
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2006, 02:54:02 pm »

Before you jump on the contractor for "trying to make more money on the church", let's look at what they are/might be offering that you are not.  Let's just look at the last section for starters.

Regarding the processing let's assume the 260 is for the mains.  That is probably so.  Maybe they plan on inserting the feeback suppressor and not use it on the whole mix-which I despise (the whole mix part).
I assumed the EQ was for the monitor mixes and not the mains.

Have you ever wired up a standard computer rack (assuming you are talking about the base and rail types) that looks decent?  There is no way to dress out the cables.  We have tried and I refuse to do it anymore-I don't care how much the church want us to use one that was given to them.  

Yes maybe 2 21 space racks may be a bit much, but you can use some wooden knock down economy racks to same some money and improve the look.  An 8 space (playback)on top of the counter, a 8-12 space under the counter for wireless (16 will not fit in most cases), and a 12 space for the amp rack, allowing for some extra room for growth.

Why do you think that a power sequencier (with the associated remote outlet boxes) will be less expensive than 2 power conditioners-assuming they are simply talking about rack mount units with spike protection and outlets on the back and not something like the SurgeX products, which are great, but not cheap. You also have to add in the extra labor to wire up the sequencier.

I would tend to agree with you about the Zone pro, but we do not know what specs were given to the contractor about that system.  Assuming it is a small room, I would do it very different and for a lot less money, but there may something that we don't know about going on, there may be several rooms, I don't know.

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Ivan Beaver
dB Audio & Video Inc.

Brad Weber

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Re: Looking at proposals - Need Advice
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2006, 06:38:46 pm »

Tony Mah wrote on Sun, 17 December 2006 13:53

It would only take me a day to do a small church and even if I spent a week, the quote would be the same. My job would be to design a great sounding system and save the church time and money.
Try to help contractors and they still want to argue with you! Cool

It seems that you actually put together the equipment list, assign design effort and fees, determine the installation costs, estimate the cable and hardware costs, etc., as well as apparently doing the modeling, all by yourself with no input from others.  However, many firms do not work that way and have multiple people involved in preparing a proposal.  A salesperson may put together a preliminary equipment list but may have design/engineering and installation review what is proposed or perhaps even assign their own directly related costs.  People also often have other work and I certainly don't want them later dropping my project to try to get out another proposal out, so I also won't assume they will not have other work when my proposal is due.  In addition, I'd rather give someone time to focus on the proposal and really review what they put together than to potentially hurry it.  Put those issues together along with a number of others (such as verifying availability) and the Owner will almost inevitably benefit from giving the Bidders as much time as possible.

I will also say that I would request a lot more from a proposal.  I like to see a proposed schedule, a breakout of "soft" costs such as design, installation, programming, testing, a reiteration of the general concepts or at least a reference to all the specific Program documents just so I you can verify that they didn't miss anything, a list of the proposed project team, etc.  An equipment list is just that, a bunch of equipment.  Proposals should address what is being provided as a system rather than a pile of equipment and should show how the system proposed will meet the project requirements defined.  This admittedly takes more effort than just developing an equipment list, but it is typically much more responsive to what the Owner really cares about.

It is sometimes hard to step outside how one does things themselves or what works for them, but the fact is that not everyone approaches projects or proposals the same and there is often more than one "right" way that needs to be considered.  Maybe you can do everything required in one day and never make mistakes, but that would definitely be an exception and in general I would be suspicious of any proposal prepared with little or no time available for a second look or review.  

Quote:

The better question is how can we save Nathan's church money?
1 Mackie TT24 Mixer
- A 24 ch digital board for a church that if Nathan leaves will not have anyone that can take advantage of the features? A&H wizard might be just fine
Maybe the more critical question is whether the equipment complies with what had been requested and identified as requirements for the project.  Perhaps you missed the Clarifications provided to the Bidders where Nathan defined 31 specific mic/line inputs as well as 5 stereo sources, but I believe that a TT24 by itself would not fulfill that requirement and a MixWiz would be even further off.  Also, I noted no comments regarding that there seems to be no mention of the audio for the Parlor, Kitchen and Nursery that were also specifically requested.  Perhaps too much focus on the equipment and models rather than if it fulfills the functionality requested.  Maybe even an example of exactly why you want to give time to bidders to double check everything, it is very easy to miss things the first time around.
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Brad Weber
muse Audio Video
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Tony Mah

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Re: Looking at proposals - Need Advice
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2006, 07:42:31 pm »

Ivan,

Your are giving the contractor the benefit of the doubt, nothing wrong with that, but I am going with the information Nathan has given and drawn a profile conclusion that may or may not be accurate:

Old church built of hymn music and voice with limited budget that don't have people that know about A/V. They are trying to move to modern music. Very few good contractors in the area.

This is like a parent that has never driven a car and knows nothing about cars going to buy a first car for their teenager. The sales persons trys to sell them a Mercedes becuase of all the safety features and the quality and service. This is not wrong but it is a bit much.    

The contractor was not trying to save the church money. There are not that many mic speced and even with so few mics they were mis matched and not know for feedback resistance. The mains could be run in mono passive. The other 260 channel could be used for monitors. Perhaps a bigger driverrack should be speced if they want to do more. They really should not have feedback issues with so few mics.

We don't know what model Middle Alantic was speced, I would agree they make the best racks, I have a friend that used to work for them, but MA makes the most expensive racks. A good computer rack is 40% to 50% cheaper. It would take an extra hour labour to make it neater with a cheaper rack.

The contractor could spec passive volume controls and the client would likely be okay. I don't think a church with 250 seats needs a matrix routing system.  

Powers sequencing would add to the cost but I have reduced alot of gear.

Tony
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Tony Mah

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Re: Looking at proposals - Need Advice
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2006, 07:57:10 pm »

Brad,

Nathan and their church really don't know what they want and the contractor is giving them want they think they want. Nathan is the customer, but he is not qualified to spec the system. Why are they quoting a system so expensive and no subs are in the quote?

Why is Nathan specing stereo requirements?

Why can't each room have a single speaker and a passive volume control. I have speced a FM transmitter for a small church and told them to buy a few radios if someone wants to hear the sermon.

For a small church, how long does it take to build the equipment list, make all the diagrams in StarDraw by dragging and dropping and produce a quote?

The client can look at the 500hz and 2khz plots and the Stardraw diagram and figure it out pretty easy.

Tony
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Looking at proposals - Need Advice
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2006, 08:10:52 pm »

There are so many issues that we simply don't know about in this scenario.  That is what is causing so much of the speculation on everybodys part.

Little things like: Where is the amp room? or is there one?   Are the amps at FOH?  This will change various different things such as rack size, turn on sequencing, return lines, speaker cable length and size etc.

What is the shape of the room?  That could change things quite a bit.

Regarding the monitors through the DSP.  The only time I do this is for the overhead choir monitor.  It is not going to change or move.  You cannot say that for the floor wedges.  You never know what the church is going to bring in.  If you have flattened out the response for a particular type of floor monitor, it is likely to be wrong for other types.

I am torn between whether or not to provide a user adjustable eq (typically 1/3rd octave).  Sometimes I do and sometimes I do not.  It just depends.  They can be quite helpful in the hands of someone who knows how to use them, and can cause a lot of problems in the hands of people who do not know how to use them.

There are lots of areas in the origionla request and the proposed list that things can be changed or added at a latter date as more funds become available.  The basic infrastructure should be put in place at a minimum so that the church can add the other pieces later without having to redo/repurchase anything that was origionally proposed.

When budget gets concerned, it can get to be a challenge, and teh church often needs guidence as to what is best for them.  Of course the contractor has to truly have the churches best interest at heart, or all sorts of problems can arrise.  "Let's just sell them this old crap we have laying around-nobody wants that anyway" is often a very real problem.  Sometimes it may be part of the solution, and othertimes not.  It just depends.

I guess you could always just go to a particularly large company and buy their System A (for churches less than 500 seats), System B (for up to 1000 seats) and so forth. Or whatever it is-I don't care to remember the details. They have already done all the design work for you  Laughing

The problem is, is that many people actually believe this.  Your particular needs don't matter. Just trust us Twisted Evil
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Can I have some more talent in the monitors--PLEASE?

Ivan Beaver
dB Audio & Video Inc.

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Looking at proposals - Need Advice
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2006, 08:10:52 pm »


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