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Title: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Alexander Alekseev on May 08, 2013, 02:23:42 pm
I have a contractor friend that wants me to setup an audio system for a restaurant that they are working on. I'm new at commercial installations and need some pointers in the right direction.

They are looking for a mid range setup, no paging required.
Main dining area is about 70'x50' not sure about wall or ceiling speakers yet - ceiling will be open but blacked out.
DJ area where owner can play their own house music, cd,s etc for private parties integrated with wall/ceiling speakers
Several 60" led tv's in bar area integrated with wall/ceiling speakers, for when the owner wants to play DVD's for his parties.


I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for # of speakers and appropriate rating. This is NOT going to be a raging night club type of restaurant. I'm also not familiar enough with what equipment is generally used in commercial setups that can integrate everything, any recommendations would be helpful.
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on May 08, 2013, 02:35:35 pm
I have a contractor friend that wants me to setup an audio system for a restaurant that they are working on. I'm new at commercial installations and need some pointers in the right direction.

They are looking for a mid range setup, no paging required.
Main dining area is about 70'x50' not sure about wall or ceiling speakers yet - ceiling will be open but blacked out.
DJ area where owner can play their own house music, cd,s etc for private parties integrated with wall/ceiling speakers
Several 60" led tv's in bar area integrated with wall/ceiling speakers, for when the owner wants to play DVD's for his parties.


I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for # of speakers and appropriate rating. This is NOT going to be a raging night club type of restaurant. I'm also not familiar enough with what equipment is generally used in commercial setups that can integrate everything, any recommendations would be helpful.

Alexander.....

Are you a professional designer/installer? If not..........

With all due respect, tackling a job like this with free internet advice is not advisable.
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Brad Weber on May 08, 2013, 03:23:50 pm
Before getting to the audio questions, perhaps some more general issues.  Are there any relevant low voltage or similar licensing requirements?  Some states license low voltage contractors and some municipalities require the use of such licensed contractors.  There may not be any such requirements but probably best to be sure that you do meet any such requirements that may apply.

Are you familiar with aspects such as cable ratings and other accepted or required installation practices?  I ran into one installation where the Owner was denied a Certificate of Occupancy due to the audio and video cable not being properly installed and supported, the audio installer had to reinstall all the cable properly and pay for that out of their pocket.

If you are not familiar with the equipment then how do you plan to procure it?  You can certainly purchase it from others and 'two step' it but unless you are an authorized dealer or have a way to work through a distributor that treats you as a dealer then you may not be able to transfer warranty or direct support.


On the system itself, you say no raging night club type parties but also mention the house system being used for a DJ for private parties.  You might have to be a little more specific in terms of the goals and expectations, as well as regarding the budget.

Does the system require any zoning, be that being able to have different audio in different areas or simply independent volume control for different areas?  Do you have any initial concepts for the overall signal routing and processing?
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Ivan Beaver on May 08, 2013, 06:25:36 pm
And of course-WHAT is the budget?

$2K  10K 50K or something else?

What are your labor markups?  That has to be included in the budget consideration.

Do you have proper insurance for hanging loudspeakers?  Do you have experience DOING IT PROPERLY?

Sorry to be rude-but on the basis on the question (and lack of any usable data)highly suggests a total lack of experience.

Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Alexander Alekseev on May 08, 2013, 09:27:04 pm
I have a contractor friend that wants me to setup an audio system for a restaurant that they are working on. I'm new at commercial installations and need some pointers in the right direction.

They are looking for a mid range setup, no paging required.
Main dining area is about 70'x50' not sure about wall or ceiling speakers yet - ceiling will be open but blacked out.
DJ area where owner can play their own house music, cd,s etc for private parties integrated with wall/ceiling speakers
Several 60" led tv's in bar area integrated with wall/ceiling speakers, for when the owner wants to play DVD's for his parties.


I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for # of speakers and appropriate rating. This is NOT going to be a raging night club type of restaurant. I'm also not familiar enough with what equipment is generally used in commercial setups that can integrate everything, any recommendations would be helpful.

Wow, this is exactly the type of information I am looking for, I'll try to address as many points as possible.

My area only requires an LV license for those who install sprinkler and alarm systems.

I've been working for years running a small IT business (this seems to annoy quite a few people around here) and installing networking runs, equipment and voip systems with and without other professionals. A few years ago, started installing home theaters, now looking at commercial.

I'm very close with the GC for this project and have help from his EC as well so that covers proper installation of hanging loudspeakers. (Who wants the liability for or cause problems for the owner/gc for a speaker dropping from 20' up? Not me, so I won't be hanging them).

Cable ratings and acceptable practices for installation are not a problem.

Regarding the system itself, I could have been clearer about the DJ part. There will be a DJ booth where a DJ can bring his own equipment and setup, but they will not be tying into the house system. House system is primarily for bg music in the seating area, bar and reception area. Owner wants to be able to play media from his little corner of the dj area to the screens at the bar.

As for budget - who of us hasn't experienced a customer asking for a "basic" system, but they only want the best, and have zero idea how much they want to spend.

I'm trying to expand my business one project at a time, and I won't cut corners just to make a buck or to get the job.

Sure, I can just go grab some online store's preconfigured Bose 16 channel Freespace system, but I would rather begin to understand everything I'm working with before I waste my time and my customer's money.

BTW, the actual areas are:
Reception 35x15
Seating area 65x50
Bar 35x8 (within seating area)

Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Hal Bissinger/COMSYSTEC on May 08, 2013, 09:59:58 pm
I've been working for years running a small IT business and installing networking runs, equipment and voip systems with and without other professionals.

It's amazing how IT people think they can do everything. Even more amazing is how everybody else thinks IT people are qualified to do everything and they hire them. What's not surprsing is whatever they do turns out to be the worst mess you have ever seen.
 
No offense of course.
 
-Hal
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Ivan Beaver on May 09, 2013, 07:09:15 am
The term DJ-means VERY different things to different people.

I you saw the number of threads about DJ's who tear up equipment-you would have a totally different view point.

Some are background music-and others are "Party on dude".

Unless you have a QUALIFIED person to watch over the system WHILE IT iS BEING USED!!! you better plan on a STRONG system-and that means expensive.

When you say they want "the best", I suggest throwing out a $50,000 number at them and see what they think.

And then there is proper design and install.

For example:

Today I am going to do a n alignment on a installed system that I designed 3 years ago and it was sent out for bid and installed without any consultation to me.  Everybody on this board would think that the design was way overdone and excessive for its intended usage-but that is what the customer wanted.

I just found out yesterday that they did not put the speakers where I wanted AND WORSE-they put huge decorative clouds inbetween the speakers and the people.  And have some complaints about the sound quality-YEAH-NO KIDDING!

So I get to go today and try to "make it sound better"  This should be interesting.

And yesterday I visited a club that had all kinds of speakers all over the place-5 different manufacturers-4 totally different types of subwoofer designs and all sorts of interactions all over the place.

They would do better to turn off most of the speakers-but they just seemed to keep adding and adding-thinking that was the solution-WRONG.

Good system design is NOT a matter of "what model and ratings should I use-but rather is a juggling act of many variables to get the most performance-within a visually acceptable package that the customer can afford.

If you want to narrow it down a little bit-then come up with some expected SPL numbers that you and the customer are looking for.  Just remember that the "DJ" who is operating the system does not care about those numbers and many will simply crank it until something tears up-or customers ears bleed. 

There is a big dollar difference between those two situations.
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Brad Weber on May 09, 2013, 07:42:45 am
I've been working for years running a small IT business (this seems to annoy quite a few people around here) and installing networking runs, equipment and voip systems with and without other professionals. A few years ago, started installing home theaters, now looking at commercial.
Stepping back and looking at this at face value, this seems to be saying that you don't really have a background in this type of work and are asking those who do to help you for free so that you can then compete with them and do work that might otherwise be theirs.  At the same time, you are also asking folks who have worked for years to get Clients to recognize the value of using properly qualified providers to support exactly the opposite.  Those factors may be what annoys people here.

You might want to consider hiring someone with experience in similar commercial AV installs and looking at it as 'on the job' training.
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on May 09, 2013, 11:06:52 am
It sounds like you are being asked to design the system too.

Does this restaurant use real chefs or friends who want to learn how to cook? 8)

It isn't rocket science, but there is some science (that you can probably handle once you know where to look it up) and an experience component that you only get from doing or working with someone who has.

You will surely gan experience, for better or worse from doing this. Everybody started somewhere. Is this guy a really good friend willing to tolerate beginner mistakes (that may cost extra money), or just an opportunity to break into a new business?

Good luck... You might try finding an experienced operator in your area to split the job with, so you can rely on his experience. or not..

JR
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Alexander Alekseev on May 09, 2013, 01:41:23 pm
It sounds like you are being asked to design the system too.

Does this restaurant use real chefs or friends who want to learn how to cook? 8)

It isn't rocket science, but there is some science (that you can probably handle once you know where to look it up) and an experience component that you only get from doing or working with someone who has.

You will surely gan experience, for better or worse from doing this. Everybody started somewhere. Is this guy a really good friend willing to tolerate beginner mistakes (that may cost extra money), or just an opportunity to break into a new business?

Good luck... You might try finding an experienced operator in your area to split the job with, so you can rely on his experience. or not..

JR

Exactly, I am good friends with the GC and I am trying to break into a new business. I've been installing home theaters and distributed home audio for about a year. Installing home audio is so much easier to plan and install than commercial applications as I'm learning, but everyone has to start somewhere, like you said.

We have plenty of time for this project, and I am still in the exploratory phase. We've had a quote for a bose equipment around $2K. I may have had better luck and not inflamed anyone by just simply stating "I've been quoted $X for system X for area X" and asked if it was overkill, etc, etc. My problem, I guess is that I like to understand in great detail the systems I'm dealing with, recommending or approving. How this installer calculated this configuration specifically.

Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Ivan Beaver on May 09, 2013, 03:34:22 pm
. We've had a quote for a bose equipment around $2K. I may have had better luck and not inflamed anyone by just simply stating "I've been quoted $X for system X for area X" and asked if it was overkill, etc, etc. My problem, I guess is that I like to understand in great detail the systems I'm dealing with, recommending or approving. How this installer calculated this configuration specifically.
I give that system 10 minutes or less with a typical DJ.
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on May 09, 2013, 03:48:20 pm
I give that system 10 minutes or less with a typical DJ.

That's OK.  Just plug in another one.  They're expendable.
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Alexander Alekseev on May 09, 2013, 04:02:50 pm
That's OK.  Just plug in another one.  They're expendable.

Errr, DJ is not going to be using the house system :o There is a DJ "Area" where hire dj's can setup their own equipment. And the owner will be pretending to be an mc with his private parties piping his home movies and what not into the bar tv's
Title: Re: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Jay Barracato on May 09, 2013, 05:20:10 pm
Errr, DJ is not going to be using the house system :o There is a DJ "Area" where hire dj's can setup their own equipment. And the owner will be pretending to be an mc with his private parties piping his home movies and what not into the bar tv's

I have seen more than one system torn to shreds by the staff blasting it after closing while cleaning.
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Ivan Beaver on May 09, 2013, 11:02:20 pm
Errr, DJ is not going to be using the house system :o There is a DJ "Area" where hire dj's can setup their own equipment. And the owner will be pretending to be an mc with his private parties piping his home movies and what not into the bar tv's
That is NOT what I took from your original post.

If the DJ is going to bring their own equipment-then why did you even mention it and talk about the "type" of DJ.

That is totally misleading to anybody even thinking about helping.

So now it is a TV sound system?
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Brad Weber on May 10, 2013, 08:30:53 am
Exactly, I am good friends with the GC and I am trying to break into a new business. I've been installing home theaters and distributed home audio for about a year. Installing home audio is so much easier to plan and install than commercial applications as I'm learning, but everyone has to start somewhere, like you said.
However the typical path would be to either team with or be an employee of a company who has the related skills, knowledge and experience in the relevant commercial install markets and to learn that way before going it on your own.  Or to yourself hire someone with the appropriate background and knowledge to work for you and learn from their experience and knowledge.  Or to at least get some relevant commercial system design and installation training through groups like InfoComm and SynAudCon.


I'm trying to expand my business one project at a time, and I won't cut corners just to make a buck or to get the job.
I have no doubt that you try to do good work and have the best intents but if you really want to help the G.C. and build a reputation in this new area then you probably want to do it right.  So bring in a qualified subcontractor, hire a qualified employee or pass the work on to a qualified provider if necessary.  I've found that if I don't have the requisite background that it is much better in the long run to find someone who does that will work with me or to point the Client to someone who does, in the long run the Client often remembers that your focus was on helping them rather than helping yourself.


BTW, the actual areas are:
Reception 35x15
Seating area 65x50
Bar 35x8 (within seating area)
So does each of those areas need to potentially have different audio or independent volume control?  Are the all the same ceiling height and construction, finishes, etc. (a place where pictures may be worth a thousand words)?  What are the actual inputs and/or sources to the audio system?  Who is doing the TV system and how does the audio tie in with that system?  These are the kinds of functional issues you may need to consider before getting into hardware solutions for them.

You mentioned that the G.C. and/or E.C. would mount the speakers, etc.  What is their related experience?  How are you coordinating with them?  Is there a clear delineation of work for both the initial installation and any potential issues later on?  While there is often work that may be more effectively handled by others there is also something to be said for minimizing the potential points of responsibility especially in terms of a system warranty and any long term system support.


Errr, DJ is not going to be using the house system :o There is a DJ "Area" where hire dj's can setup their own equipment. And the owner will be pretending to be an mc with his private parties piping his home movies and what not into the bar tv's
They are looking for a mid range setup, no paging required.
Main dining area is about 70'x50' not sure about wall or ceiling speakers yet - ceiling will be open but blacked out.
DJ area where owner can play their own house music, cd,s etc for private parties integrated with wall/ceiling speakers.
Okay, so no paging but there apparently will be microphones involved at least in some areas, a critical factor just noted.  And this is not the Owner's house so any audio and video is probably considered a public performance, thus there are associated rights and licensing issues that they have to address and that as a professional, and to somewhat also protect yourself, you might want to formally identify to them and either verify are being addressed or guide them on it if necessary.


As for budget - who of us hasn't experienced a customer asking for a "basic" system, but they only want the best, and have zero idea how much they want to spend.
You need to tie a budget down something before getting too far or for asking for help.  People don't want to risk investing their time and effort to give input that turns out to be either too expensive or of insufficient quality, you first need to develop some better definition of the expectations and goals.
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Alexander Alekseev on May 10, 2013, 05:44:53 pm
I am seriously considering subbing out the commercial audio part of this project and this is all due to receiving a lot of good information from everyone involved in this discussion. I'm going to address some more questions that arose from previous posters later today when I have some time. Someone said my first post was misleading - if they had read my subsequent posts, I was attempting to expand and clarify my original question, what's wrong with that? Is there some requirement that someone's first post ever on a new forum be perfect and error free?
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on May 10, 2013, 05:54:04 pm
I am seriously considering subbing out the commercial audio part of this project and this is all due to receiving a lot of good information from everyone involved in this discussion.

I really believe that you're making the correct decision on this.  While it may appear to be a simple matter on the surface, there is so much more to it.  Sort of like the old "tip of the iceberg" conundrum.

Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Alexander Alekseev on May 10, 2013, 09:27:40 pm
I really believe that you're making the correct decision on this.  While it may appear to be a simple matter on the surface, there is so much more to it.  Sort of like the old "tip of the iceberg" conundrum.

The phones and cameras I'm doing are easy compared to commercial sound.

I have an idea of how much is involved when you have to take into account heights, how speaker spacing and size affects dispersion, etc  but I am still wondering how one calculates how much speaker is needed for a given volume of space. (Just the basics, not taking into account finishes, decorative obstructions, etc, etc).
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Ivan Beaver on May 11, 2013, 08:34:37 am
The phones and cameras I'm doing are easy compared to commercial sound.

I have an idea of how much is involved when you have to take into account heights, how speaker spacing and size affects dispersion, etc  but I am still wondering how one calculates how much speaker is needed for a given volume of space. (Just the basics, not taking into account finishes, decorative obstructions, etc, etc).
Here are the steps-that I use anyway.

1: Determine what coverage the loudspeaker has to have.  There are various models out there-or it is done by experience.  This is based on the exact location of the loudspeaker and the mounting height.  Depending on where the owner will actually let you place loudspeakers is a huge factor in determining what type to consider.

2:Determine how loud it needs to be-REALISTICALLY.  This is based on observations-conversations and intuition and experience.  Just remember that the specs on the data sheet will show how loud it CAN get-but not that it sounds good at those levels or how flat the response is at those levels

3: Find out what the budget is-and start to find a loudspeaker that meets the coverage-SPL and budget restraints.  Models come into play here.

5: Determine what size amplifiers are needed to get the desired SPL.

6:  Determine how many channels of processing is needed and what sort of control is needed over the sound.  Some require extgensive processing and other very little.  As  Brad said-how many zones etc.  Do they need to be easily controlled-how is this accomplished (wall panel-computer-switch etc)

Then again-if all you want to do is "make some noise" then just put up anything that fits the budget-but don't be surprised when it does not work as desired.
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Jason Lavoie on May 17, 2013, 12:26:04 pm
Exactly, I am good friends with the GC and I am trying to break into a new business.

But does the CUSTOMER know that?

Jason
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: David Sturzenbecher on May 17, 2013, 01:00:05 pm
But does the CUSTOMER know that?

Jason

"Hey...I got this guy...he's never done this before, but he is my buddy.  Don't worry, we got this."
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Ivan Beaver on May 17, 2013, 01:13:07 pm
"Hey...I got this guy...he's never done this before, but he is my buddy.  Don't worry, we got this."
We stayed at a Holiday Inn last night--------------
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Ivan Beaver on May 17, 2013, 01:17:44 pm
Exactly, I am good friends with the GC and I am trying to break into a new business. I've been installing home theaters and distributed home audio for about a year. Installing home audio is so much easier to plan and install than commercial applications
And that is not exactly the kind doctor I want.  Somebody who has been doing simple things for a short period of time-with no formal education-and now they want to into the operating room-and they are trying to learn tips from an internet forum.

No- I'll pass-I want somebody with  real world experience.
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Doug Fowler on May 17, 2013, 01:51:51 pm
"Hey...I got this guy...he's never done this before, but he is my buddy.  Don't worry, we got this."

Yeah, the "I got a guy...." model.  Works like a champ  :o
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Ivan Beaver on May 17, 2013, 08:35:09 pm
Yeah, the "I got a guy...." model.  Works like a champ  :o
Let's see: somebody else is going to hang the cabinets.  Somebody else is going to wire the system.  Looking for help on a Forum to design the system.  So all that leaves is collecting the money.

Sounds good to me-------------------------------------
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Craig Hauber on May 18, 2013, 07:53:09 pm
That's OK.  Just plug in another one.  They're expendable.
Actually you are not that far from the truth,  I see mini-speaker plastic "Home theater in a box" systems installed far too often by amateurs or DIY owners. 
They evenly space the 5 speakers around the area and wonder why all they get out of 3 of them are weird echoes and background noises when the big game is on!
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Craig Hauber on May 18, 2013, 07:58:17 pm
That is NOT what I took from your original post.

If the DJ is going to bring their own equipment-then why did you even mention it and talk about the "type" of DJ.

That is totally misleading to anybody even thinking about helping.

So now it is a TV sound system?

And don't forget there's not an owner/manager out there who at some point will want to connect the background music system to the visiting band or DJ's self-contained system.
-If it hasn't already been blown up by the after-hours staff then it will most definitely be at this point!

(I think it takes more $$$ to make a rig "bulletproof" then it does just for the speakers and stuff that people can actually see)
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: Alexander Alekseev on May 18, 2013, 08:43:33 pm
Thanks for the sarcastic comments >after< I said I'm looking to sub this out.
Title: Re: Commercial/Restaraunt Setup
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on May 18, 2013, 09:08:02 pm
Thanks for the sarcastic comments >after< I said I'm looking to sub this out.

Alexander....

Don't think that all this is directed squarely at you.  Yours is just another in a looooong line of similar posts by well-meaning folks with an interest in sound who are asked by friends/acquaintances for free help and advice.  So folks in your position in up trapped in the middle between restauranteurs/club owners trying to implement some dream scheme and educated, working professionals being asked to give informed, professional opinions for free over the Nintershnet.

A lot of the grief attendant is just sort of "last-straw-ism".

You're not the first, and you won't be the last.........