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Author Topic: how about some FOH console recommendations  (Read 6116 times)

Chris Harwood

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Re: how about some FOH console recommendations
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2010, 12:45:37 pm »

Dick Rees wrote on Sun, 04 July 2010 16:12

All other considerations aside, I would consider very carefully just how many outputs you need and for what purposes.  If it's one or two mixes going out to different locations you can get along well with running through a line distro to control your various zones.  But if you need more than one or two specific mixes you'll want to have enought auxes or matrixes to put out what you need.  Either analog or digital can do this for you.  Digital probably is a bit more flexible with being able to assign outputs for different purposes, but an analog desk with 10/12 auxes and four or more matrixes will do just fine.

So this is the feature set which I would consider before anything else.  At this level almost any product with the feature set is going to be a fully functional, professional level desk.


Yes, I'd think once we have more than $2500 in a board, anything will have what we need.
I was just interested in the next step up from a Mackie 32x8.  Working with some higher end equipment in studios, I believe that translates to live sound as well and you generally get what you pay for.  In other words, I think $7500 puts you in a different catagory, especially if considering used.  Shoot used M7CL are popping up all over the place at not much more.
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: how about some FOH console recommendations
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2010, 11:17:20 am »

Chris Harwood wrote on Sun, 04 July 2010 01:44

in the $5k - $7.5 range?
Used could be OK too.   And/or would used potentially be preferred in that price range?   or...move up to $10K?

Contemporary P & W...  thinking around 40 channels or so. Running avioms on the platform.  Medium sized church (500 seats)..

Probably stereo w/ center channel?  ... overall TOTAL system budget...$75K.. maybe?

Is my head on my shoulders with this thinking?



If you have to stretch your budget to go digital now, it will pay for itself quickly down the road.

Since you mentioned Aviom, there's your first example of how digital saves money - compare the costs of interfacing Aviom via the digital expansion card versus doing so via analog. INclude the costs of 16 jumper cables for analog.

Your second point of savings due to digital will be the benefits of saved scenes and built-in full equalization and its benefits for sound quality and controlling feedback.

Since its a new install, the economics of digital snakes becomes yet another point of short term price/performance savings.

If you ever hope to use EFX on inputs, that becomes yet another point of savings. We don't do much of that but we do run a chorus EFX on the strings when most of them are vacation.

The idea that volunteers can't run a digital console is a myth so long as you have someone on staff who can set the board up for their use. We find that digital facilitates putting novices in the seat quickly since the subset of the controls that they need to work with are the ones that are real controls on the first layer. The stuff you have to go through menus to change is stuff they don't need to be worrying about.

If the room is excpected to be used for much more than just a Sunday morning service, then saved scenes and configuations is yet another point of major time and effort savings.

We just finished up a week of VBS in the sancturary, and there was no similarity at all between the optimum setup for VBS versus our Sunday morning worship setup. That didn't matter because I was able to do a heavy reconfig the console for VBS and a button press or two and we ran the Sunday AM config for reheasal on Wednesday night. A few more button presses and we were back setup for VBS on Thursday mornhing. On Friday afternoon I pressed a few more buttons we were good to go for Sunday.
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: how about some FOH console recommendations
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2010, 11:18:34 am »

Chris Harwood wrote on Sun, 04 July 2010 12:41



To repeat:
 Installation and acoustical treatment will be AFTER the fact.  I can be almost positive about that unless I can find a consultant that will convince the Pastors that they are needed, IN THE NEXT couple weeks and incorporate this install into the build. The slab is poured and the framing basically done and we are moving forward fast.


Also, does $50 -75K qualify even qualify for some "pro" advice, seeing that this isn't a "high end, top of the line" install?


Design build building
install sound system
Occupy
Install acoustical treatment

In my opinion, you are heading for a train wreck.  The building may or may not be an acoustical nightmare. You may or may not be able to get good sound at any price.

Please search the forums.  Please go over to Churchsoundcheck.com and search the archives.

I would set up a meeting with the pastors for Wed this week and bring printouts of your search.

A very likely outcome is that you have a meeting, you hire a consultant, he models your room.  He tells you you have a big problem and if you will move this one wall and change this bump over here you will be OK.  That wall will move for free now.

We just bought a new console. I am very proud of it and would like to share but you have a much bigger problem

And yes, a $75K system qualifies for Pro advice.

BTW  The odds are that your architect has had 4 hrs of training in sound and acoustics.

I am not a consultant, and I have no horse in this race. I just want to see good church sound help reach the lost.

Frank

Brad Weber

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Re: how about some FOH console recommendations
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2010, 12:03:45 pm »

Chris Harwood wrote on Sun, 04 July 2010 12:41

Also, does $50 -75K qualify even qualify for some "pro" advice, seeing that this isn't a "high end, top of the line" install?

I don't know if this may help the church understand but I look at it this way, the approach of addressing acoustics and AVL after the rest of the building design and even after most of the building construction has never been a good approach, but was typically less of a problem with more traditional services and churches.  But times, along with people's goals and expectations, and as a result, the approach to the integration of acoustics, audio, video and lighting also needs to change.  It is not a matter of the dollar amount being spent but rather of the results no matter what dollar amount is involved.

Technology is now an integral part of daily life and that is often reflected in modern worship services.  Music and video are increasingly integral elements of services and many church's overall vision.  As audio, video and performance lighting become integral parts of worship, the supporting systems also become increasingly integral elements in the overall building design and construction.  It is only logical that this also means that the related technical systems need to be approached as a more integral part of the facilities.

Most people would not think of designing a new church with fireplaces for heating or with candles or oil lamps instead of lights or even without air conditioning and incorporate these elements into their facility planning from day one.  Yet those are all examples of where new technologies became an integral part of the physical facilities.  People need to start realizing that in many churches this same transition of the related physical systems becoming an integrated element of the building from day one is now relevant to audio, video and performance lighting as well.  They are becoming integral elements of the facility function and thus should be integral elements of its design.

So regardless of the dollar value involved, I believe that church's need consider whether audio, video and lighting, as well as good acoustics, are an integral part or an 'ad on' to their worship and to adopt an perspective regarding the physical implementation of the related technical systems that reflects that vision.

As an example of not doing this, there is a current discussion on another forum regarding someone trying to find a cost effective approach to integrating the cabling required to do what the church wants to do in a new church facility for which such provisions were not properly planned during the building design and construction.  This one issue alone is probably going to cost thousands of dollars either in additional AV equipment or in tearing out new walls, installing the necessary conduit and cabling and repairing the walls.  Can a church that "can't afford" professional help afford such issues?  And how many such instances like this does it take before having involved a qualified party in the initial design ends up representing a net savings rather than a cost?


On more specific issues, you mentioned the perceived limitations of the local audio providers.  If you really believe that no one from Memphis, Nashville or St. Louis would be interested and that you would be limited by the products and skill set offered by the local firms then that should probably be considered in the overall planning.  For example, if you are worried about the budget and the technical capabilities of the available contractors then you might want to reconsider things like a stereo plus center or LCR speaker system and maybe even the Aviom system.  It's not that these may not be appropriate or good potential solutions for the application, but if they are not properly designed, installed and setup then the church will likely not get enough of the potential benefits to justify them.  Perhaps you should be talking to or even involving the potential system contractors early on to make sure the direction being developed is viable and practical for those who may be involved.

I would generally say that what mixer model is used is down the list as far as audio system design priorities.  The actual order in which you do things may vary, for example you may get fairly well into the speaker system design to determine what conduit and power is required, however aspects such as infrastructure and the speaker system tend to have more impact on other aspects of the building while many actual products decisions can wait right up until the last minute.  Defining the overall goals and expectations for the system has to be the number one priority with converting that into a general system concept being next.  This concept should define all the major components and the interconnectivity required to support the defined goals and expectations in a general nature.  As an example, the mixing console itself could be a generic 'box' but this would be where you would start defining the inputs and outputs required for the mixing console so that an appropriate console could later be selected, the functionally required defining the equipment rather than the other way around.  After you have a concept, next would usually be establishing the required infrastructure; conduit, power, raceways, boxes, structural and heat loads, equipment space and locations, etc.  After that, typically the speaker system with consideration for the use and providing appropriate coverage, intelligibility, etc.
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Brad Weber
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Kent Thompson

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Re: how about some FOH console recommendations
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2010, 12:37:31 pm »

FYI Took me 30 minutes the other day to explain our ilive T112/idr48 system to a volunteer this week. He is going to be running sound next week while I am traveling to Georgia. Mind you he is mostly going to be baby sitting and not changing stuff but, still it's easier than you think.

Note: I realize this desk is likely out of your price range. Just using it as an example.
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Chris Penny

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Re: how about some FOH console recommendations
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2010, 06:59:05 pm »

Frank DeWitt wrote on Tue, 06 July 2010 01:18


Design build building
install sound system
Occupy
Install acoustical treatment

In my opinion, you are heading for a train wreck.


I so agree. The acoustic environment is an integral part of the sound system - not something separate.

Get in a consultant, get some modeling done, get the acoustic space and speakers system design correct - now. Then you can pretty much forget about it for 10-20 years, instead of having to go back and fix it again in 3.

Once you have sorted this design work out work out how much you have left and then decide on a console.
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Chris Penny
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Caringbah Anglican Church
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David Sharp

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Re: how about some FOH console recommendations
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2010, 08:10:45 pm »

What console do they currently use? If it were me, I would pick a Mackie 32.4 & PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING/INSTALLATION over ANY digital console and a substandard install/design (provided you can get by with 32 inputs). You can upgrade the console down the road. You only get one shot at a NEW install. The last thing you want to do is spend $75k and receive complaints as to how miserable it sounds. That is the quickest way to close up the check book for future purchases.

My priorities would be:

1. A professional consultant
2. Speakers/Amps/System Controller & professional rigging
3. Quality cables/connectors
4. Hopefully a digital mixer (budget allowing). You can always use your current board as a submixer to a 24 channel digital mixer If you dont have the money left in the budget for a larger console.

Since you dont have a trench planned from the stage to FOH, I would expect CAT5 (digital) to be the way to go.

And before you jump on the Aviom train check out the Roland RSS M-48 system some say its better. I work for neither just like to compare apples to apples when its the church's dime.

The question I would be asking is do you know of any qualified consultants in a 400 mile radius of Paducah, KY.

Dave

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Chris Harwood

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Re: how about some FOH console recommendations
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2010, 12:07:00 am »

FANTASTIC!!

This is precisely the kind of advice I'm looking for (and that I basically agree with), but you've given me good ways to explain WHY.
This is perfect.  I will do some more searching as suggested and put some of these excellent points into some notes.  I believe I am actually having a special meeting with the Pastors this week.

Please pray for me that I will gain wisdom and that this will be ONLY for the advancement of the Kingdom.

God bless you guys!!
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: how about some FOH console recommendations
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2010, 07:21:12 am »

David Sharp wrote on Tue, 06 July 2010 01:10


If it were me, I would pick a Mackie 32.4 & PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING/INSTALLATION over ANY digital console and a substandard install/design (provided you can get by with 32 inputs). You can upgrade the console down the road. You only get one shot at a NEW install. The last thing you want to do is spend $75k and receive complaints as to how miserable it sounds. That is the quickest way to close up the check book for future purchases.

My priorities would be:

1. A professional consultant
2. Speakers/Amps/System Controller & professional rigging
3. Quality cables/connectors
4. Hopefully a digital mixer (budget allowing). You can always use your current board as a submixer to a 24 channel digital mixer If you dont have the money left in the budget for a larger console.



I totally agree that a good professionally designed install is the most important thing. I'd rather mix with a Behringer 10-input mixer in a well-designed room than sacrifice the venue's ability to deliver quality media just to get a better console.

A few yeas back, a large, usually well-run church near here built a new 2,000 seat sanctuary. With some office space and a few classrooms, the total bill was about $9 million. They will be paying off the mortage for years.

AFAIK not one cent was spent on prefessional design for acoustics or AV. It was actually built with the media control including mixing board in a walled-off room tucked way under a balcony. Even though the church used video routinely, no provisions for installing screens or projectors were in the design or original build. They basically invited the sound contractor to bid on a building that was already mostly built.

God was merciful and the room is not a total disaster. The control room location was corrected before the first service but I'm sure that cost a pretty penny. There happened to be space for screens and speakers. But, everything was tacked on after the design was already steel and concrete and looks and works accordingly.  The room does have some pretty obvious acoustical flaws including at least one that is a generic problem with rooms of its general description that could have been addressed in the original design. It was a rookie mistake.

That's not what I would like to see my church do with God's money.
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Darin Brunet

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Re: how about some FOH console recommendations
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2010, 12:37:14 pm »

David Sharp wrote on Mon, 05 July 2010 20:10

What console do they currently use? If it were me, I would pick a Mackie 32.4 & PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING/INSTALLATION over ANY digital console and a substandard install/design (provided you can get by with 32 inputs)...

My priorities would be:

1. A professional consultant
2. Speakers/Amps/System Controller & professional rigging
3. Quality cables/connectors
4. Hopefully a digital mixer (budget allowing). You can always use your current board as a submixer to a 24 channel digital mixer If you dont have the money left in the budget for a larger console.



David, I agree with you in principle, however, nothing says you can't have BOTH a digital console along with a quality engineered system. While $75,000 may not get you VDOSC or NEXO, there are many suitable loudspeaker systems available that will more-than-likely provide the necessary coverage and sound quality and still allow for a decent digital console. Keep in mind that almost all digital consoles have a plethora of EQ & dynamics processing built-in, substantially negating any outboard electronics, save a DSP or loudspeaker controller suited to the system. Not every HOW needs a system to play concert level music or the highest-end gear. I think sometimes "audio guys" just want new toys to play with. Every piece of equipment must be scrutinized and determined if it is really needed, of course keeping in mind future possibilities. I think the available funds should provide for a total system capable to meet their needs.


Chris,

RE: buying used gear for H.O.W.

Please think this through thoroughly before buying ANY used gear for your congregational needs. A proper warranty might be needed at any given time. There are warranty companies out there, SquareTrade for example, that serve the used gear market. You may well be the only person at your church who understands audio and getting units serviced if needed. But you never know how long you will be at any given location (the Lord may call you to service elsewhere). Who, then, will this responsibility fall to? Being a good steward of God's money doesn't mean simply buying the cheapest you can get or not considering future needs, including warranty service or replacement. I ALWAYS buy new gear with full manufacturers warranty and register the products to the church. Food for thought.
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Re: how about some FOH console recommendations
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2010, 12:37:14 pm »


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