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Author Topic: Bad Habits  (Read 6876 times)

Mike W.

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Bad Habits
« on: May 20, 2004, 07:16:36 am »

Here’s the problem my church has had the same sound system for 23 years it seats about 900. For the past 2 years those of us on the media staff have been saying the system is going out. Well the warnings went un addressed and the sys fell into disrepair. the system began having feedback issues and muting everything on the board) aux mains,sub groups,...) or at the FOH(Ashly x-over, eqs...) nothing would not stop it. someone would have to go and turn off the sub and mon amps down on stage to turn it off. this went on week after week for over a year once it started it wouldn't stop. Well we finally called the time of death a month ago after all the old tops were blown. So now we are using a 3 JBL Eon sys and have been for a month. after two weeks they asked us to hook up the monitors back up and the subs. well now I'm down on the floor trying to mix with a mackie 1604 after the 32VLZ was cooked with e-problems. well last week i was mixing and i unmuted the chior mics and i got the same low rumbling feedback sound we had been having for over a year. well first i dropped down the subgroups and the mains out of habit of course that didn't stop it,then i hit the mute buttons on the lit chans on the board but since i was not there durning the rehearsals the director set allot of the aux sends to prefade and negated that, so then thinking it was the subs i muted them on the Drive rack260. after this my mind had become jello and all that was running though my mind was memories for past problems and so then not stopping and thinking( the whole time in the middle of the service there is a load low rumble) I ran up onstage to turn of the amps but a i was heading there i passed the sticks and heard nothing but i was so focused on turning off the subs i didn't stop and realize that couldn't be the problem, but i continued and so did the feedback until the director realized it was his mons and unhooked it.
        Looking back I see I could have just turned down the mon sends amd that should have stopped it but the is no master gain for the last two on that board and I was running around like and idiot because i had got in the habit of not following the correct procedure because i remembered that it didn't work in the past.
Have you had any bad habits caused by??????
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Stephen Askins

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Re: Bad Habits
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2004, 08:32:27 am »

Hi Mike,
       i've read your post a few times now and I'm still not sure what the question was !  I think the crux of the matter was that you were not there at rehearsal and as a result didnt have a full grasp of how the desk was configured.  If this is right the answer is simple; dont trust anyone if you are the person in the driving seat !  As you are the person mixing, you need to be there at soundcheck, rehearsal or whatever and be in full control; there are no excuses or exceptions to this rule !

If you are saying that you kinda panicked and didnt realise exactly what was happening when you got the low end rumble, well my friend welcome to the club !!  Sometimes that sort of feedback is very hard to trace and it has probably happened at some stage to everyone on this board.  All you can do is learn from the experience & move on.

I hope this helps (although I'm still not sure what the question was !!!)

Kind Regards
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Stephen Askins
Sydney, Australia

Mike Sveda

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Re: Bad Habits
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2004, 09:03:23 am »

Yur church really, really needs a system upgrade.  No excuse for not spending money when you have problems like that. We are getting ready to buy a $20k console to replace our 14 year old one.
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Mike McNany

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Re: Bad Habits
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2004, 12:13:53 pm »

Yes, it's a bad habit and easy to get so focused on previous problems that you fail to observe what's really the current problem. Everybody's guilty of that once & a while.

What you NEED to do is a complete shakedown of the entire system. Test everything the best you can. Find out what's working and what's not. Repair, replace, or simply just yank out of the system any problem gear.

Likely a lot of your probs are caused by old installed connections/wiring. Check that stuff THOROUGHLY! Make ample use of DeOxite and the like, CLEAN every connection.

I learned something early on from several teachers including my Father. "It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools". If you don't have the right tools, get them or make do with workarounds. A recent occurance of feedback problems where near none had been before? Appears to be operator error on somebody's part. New mics and/or monitors, different pickup patterns, repositioned monitors or mains, ect., something's been changed and not accounted for. Start from scratch on setting system gains and carefully assess the physical positions of the speakers and sound sources. Just cause the gear is old does not make it a POS. When was the last time the amps were pulled and blown out with compressed air and checked for fan operation. NEGLECT is a big prob with installs. WORSE, is the multitude of people who think because they can operate a CD player or have even been a musician for a long while, they KNOW how to control a multiple component PA system (reminds me of Airport Security trained mostly by movies & TV). After you sort the system out, some training will be needed and certain things placed OFF LIMITS to adjustments and changes of positioning.

THEN look at what NEEDS replaced and set priorities for the biggest improvements, likely newer speakers (paper cones DO age and heat takes it's toll on VC) and a new desk.

Boomerweps
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Mike W.

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Re: Bad Habits
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2004, 01:01:31 am »

Yeah I admit it was my fault on the feedback and not realizing the problem. The Situation just has finally worn me out. I work partime after college for a multimedia company and every waking hour it seems like I'm up there fixing or setting things up. I do this totally voluntary and the night before I was out at a show until 3 am. And since I'm not paid it seems to me i should have the right to sleep in a little. I am currently the only one there that runs sound on Sunday mornings. We use to have three teams of volunteers Who rotated weeks lightening the load. Now after all the hardships it's just me one guy who runs ppt/video and a light guy. Thats it and has been week after week for what seems like for ever and if I miss they drag someone on the maintenance staff out to run lights or  they just leave them all on.
Very Happy

But good news it looks like the just might have approved the budget to put in a new SS and replace the light sys(the source of the e-problems). The future is looking better but it just emotionally seems a little late. There is prob 3 months of work to install and thats a daunting task.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Bad Habits
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2004, 02:06:38 pm »

Mike-

I don't know if you're seriously codependant, but dude, you are spending waaaayyyy too much time and taking on too much responsibility.

What happened to the 3 teams?  Die, move away, change religion?  Or did they burn out....?  My friend, you are headed to the "burned out" ward soon.    Sad

Stand back and be a member of the congregation for a couple of services and participate in whatever they do in your church.  However, resist the urge to leave your seat and head to the booth.

Perhaps a more interesting question you should answer for yourself:  is this amount of volunteerism a spiritual requirement?

HTH

Tim Mc
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Chris Cowley

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Re: Bad Habits
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2004, 05:40:57 pm »

Too right man - I did the same thing with an IT suite at my church. I built the thing in my spare time (I can't sleep during the day, so I have plenty of it seeing as this is mostly an evening industry).

I ended up living there pretty much, but in the end got so sick of it and nearly fell out with my church in a big way - within weeks of our pastor doing our wedding!

You have to remember that God calls Christians serve HIM, not the church - and if he really wants you to be spending all your time working on your church's PA, he will supply the funding for them to pay you!
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GO YOU BIG RED FIRE ENGINE!!!!!!!!!

Mike W.

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Re: Bad Habits
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2004, 11:12:17 pm »

I agree. yes i spend to much time there most of the team members burned out and had to leave. I guess I'm the strongest or the one with the least amount of sense. I'm trying to put the responsibility of recruiting on the staff, but have had no luck. I tell them and they say what about the video guy. since theres only 3 of us who work all that dose is switch us around and put us in a position that is more awkward. I mean I can run lights, sound, or video better than all of them. But I can't do all three. What more do I say.

I tell them to find someone new because I'm working some Sunday and they just wine and get the flute player to push a fader or two up and down. Confused
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David A. Parker

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Re: Bad Habits
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2004, 09:02:33 am »

churches tend (unintentionally) to abuse those with talents. Musicians need an audience, therefore in churches they will play for free. Sound people in churches tend to drift toward the sound system, because we hear the problems and have a desire to fix it. We also will be abused because we can't sit still when there's a problem we can easily fix. In years past, when churches only had organs and pianos, even the medium sized churchs paid those musicians. Now with contemporary praise and all kinds of instruments musicians aren't paid anymore. Complex sound systems replaced the old Shure vocalmasters, and where a church had no need for more than an 8 channel mixer, now they need 56 channels x 3, FOH, monitors, and broadcast. Still, paid people in key positions would solve so many problems. In a church several years ago I played bass and took care of the sound system, another guy mixed but got there just as church was starting, since I was on stage. It got to where I dreaded going to church because of a couple of choir members who could never be pleased with the monitor mix. While everyone else was rehearsing before the service, I was at the sound board trying to pacify a manic depressive woman who could never be pleased, and intended everyone else to feel HER pain.
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David Parker
Lost and Found Sound
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breese

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Re: Bad Habits
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2004, 06:25:34 pm »

Finding more volunteers can be tough, if the leadership won't help, then maybe it's time to move on.

Seriously, since I have graduated college, I rarely look back at the ministry I was involved in b/c the leadership didn't help much.  I would tell them we needed more people for load in, they would agree and do nothing. I resorted to collecting whoever was there and having them help, and those people weren't too thrilled to be asked to help. The band for various reasons was not at the facility early enough to help with setup, towards the end of the semester, since I knew I was leaving, I convinced some of the band members that they would need to start coming earlier to help with setup and that we needed them to help with tear down.

I was also promised that the leadership, which was in charge of fundraising, would raise the funds for the needed PA. I didn't think I was asking for a whole lot, but they never raised the funds. They opted to rent a PA, promise the guy they'd find people to help, well apparently I was more than one person or something, b/c I was usually the only one to help or want to help. They finally got tired of paying him and probably listening to him remind them of their promise to provide helpers, so they stopped using him. His last night just happened to be the last week of meetings before I graduated hmmm...

Well, I went back to pick some of my stuff up one night b/c I'd like to network some and maybe pick up some regular pa work and figured I might want my personal headphones and spl meter. Well, it turns out someone in the band knew a guy going to Full Sail, he seems like a cool guy, but he's primarily a recording guy (not saying recording guys are not good, he just hasn't really developed his live audio technique). He was in a band, and brought his PA in, plus managed to get the ministry staff to buy a bunch of unneeded processing when he really needed a crossover for the "subs". The sound is pretty bad compared to what it was when they paid someone. They have all sorts of problems with the pa. In all I'm glad I'm not there or I'd be more burnt out and more unhappy with the experience with that ministry.

Now I'm happy to be working on the video side of things (for a change) at my church. Our worship leader is really good, and if I suggest something he doesn't just tell me what I want to hear, if he says he'll do something he does it. He knows when to go to the senior pastor and when to just leave well enough alone (if our request seems to have fallen on deaf ears) and he lets me know what's happening.

Although I'd rather be doing the audio, the current sound guy is doing a great job, and has been for several years. I figure if God wants me behind the console again in the future, He'll provide the opportunity. In the mean time I'm happy to serve were I am.

Ok, so bad habits was actually the topic Smile Yes, I've had bad habits, they seem to be the hardest to break too. I usually try to add to much low end on the strip eq or always giving the band what they want in the monitors instead of asking them if anything was too loud and needed to be turned down. Oh, and I learned the hard way to make sure the Audix drum mic cables where fully clipped in. It's not fun trying to reconnect the cable in the middle of a set Smile

Brian
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Re: Bad Habits
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2004, 06:25:34 pm »


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