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Author Topic: $20k Budget on New A/V System... what do we do?  (Read 4914 times)

Brandon B.

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$20k Budget on New A/V System... what do we do?
« on: May 17, 2006, 04:57:43 AM »

Hello!

My church is about to build a new sanctuary and new youth center.  My friend and I have been told we'll have a $20k budget for audio and video and that we're in charge of getting it done when the time comes.  I'm thinking $5k to video, $15k to sound.  That may not work, but I think it should.

Anyways, I have a question or two.  I've roughly configured a system (which I would like to get your opinions on), but should we try to get an installer?  I'm worried our budget isn't big enough to justify having someone outside come in an install it.

Here's what I'm thinking:

Allen & Heath GL2400-32 channel
JBL Mpro 412 Mains (2 per side, 4 total)
JBL 18" MPro Subs (2 total)
Crown XTI 2000 power amps (x2, one for subs, one for mains)
JBL JRX112M Monitors (x6)
Crown XLS 402 monitor amps
Samson SCom4 compressor/gate (x2)
Peavey dual 15 eq's for monitor mixes (4 mixes, 2 dual 15 eq's)
Alesis MIDIVerb 4 for some 'verb Smile
Sennheiser E835's for vocals (x6), E609S for guitars (x2), and various Audix for drum mics.

What do you guys think?

I really want to do this right, whether doing it myself or not.  The stuff mentioned above comes to $13k, but I think we can strike a better deal spending that much.  The remaining planned $2k would go into cabling and installation hardware and whatnot (XLR plates, cables, etc.).  Almost all cabling will probably be done by me and my friend (I'm not completely sure how we're going to do that, but Elco's are looking nice Wink ).

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Brandon
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Brandon B.

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Re: $20k Budget on New A/V System... what do we do?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2006, 05:00:18 AM »

I forgot to mention, I'm not completely positive of the shape of this place.  I know it's supposed to be 5000 square feet, but that's all I know right now.  Also, we will probably be looking to address 300-500 people or so.  

I'm kind of thinking I may be able to get a better speaker setup, even if we go used.  This is for the youth facility, too, FWIW.  I'm afraid to ask what they're doing in the main sanctuary, but I hope they get something good!  Wink

I'll find out soon enough, I suppose.

Thanks!

Brandon
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Tom Young

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Re: $20k Budget on New A/V System... what do we do?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2006, 07:19:10 AM »

Everything about how this system design has been presented is not right.

First of all, creating a budget number "out of the air" with no considertaion for what is really needed is just plain silly.

You make no mention of the acoustics which impacts the design of the FOH loudspeaker system tremendously.

You make no mention of coverage from the FOH loudspeakers you listed, which indicates you have no idea how your loudspeakers will cover the congregation and not project sound onto the walls and ceiling.

There is no FOH system processing including equalization and also the crossover between fullrange ldspkrs and subwoofers.

How will the FOH loudfspeakers be installed, on stands or suspended ?

15-band graphic EQ's will not allow you to reduce feedback from the monitors without taking out huge amounts of useful energy.

How will the cables be run to reduce noise and meet code ?

How will you determine that you have enough dedictaed/isolated AC power for the system ?

With all due respect, you appear to be as in the dark as your church is. You desperately need a qualified system designer. And you need more money.

Whether it is a space for 100 people or for 3000, designing a loudspeaker system that will perform well is a non-trivial task that takes a great deal of training and experience.

Your present course of action will not work well.
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Re: $20k Budget on New A/V System... what do we do?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2006, 09:47:27 AM »

Tom is in the business of sound accoustics consulting - so, of course, he is biased to think that you need to have a pro design your system.

And he is exactly right.

You can't afford NOT to have one.

Everything he points out is dead on.   Forget what equipment you need. First get the space right.  Even small changes in the structure will have dramatic effect on what the sound equipment will need to be.  Yoou can spend tens of thousands on sound equipment to correct structural issues which could be eliminated through careful design of the building in the first place.

In the meantime read here. Check out the study hall. Read up on speakers, mics and digital. It has helped me immensly
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Brandon B.

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Re: $20k Budget on New A/V System... what do we do?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2006, 08:46:45 PM »

Hey guys... thanks for the replies.

As far as the building goes, as mentioned earlier, I don't know what it's going to be like as it has not yet been "added-on" to and I'm unfortunately not involved enough at present to even remotely know the plans they have in general.

I really don't expect to get any more money for this system, so $20,000 will have to be it (for now... it's possible, but I very seriously doubt it).  As silly as it is, as you pointed out, to do a budget before it is known what will be needed, it is the way of the uninformed (myself included until now Wink ) and I really don't know that I could personally convince my church to do otherwise than what has already been done.  We have some people at the church who "know sound" and would be slightly harder to convince (these are the same people who thought it would be great to build a room with 1/2 of one wall knocked out, in the balcony to mix from Wink ).  

I will definitely present the idea of getting a system designer.

Oh, and FOH EQ and Crossover work would have been done in the Xti, as foolish as that may or may not have been.  Wink

I am definitely open (and want) to learn the codes and noise isolation.  I know the basics, and I'm positive that I can't learn enough in 6 months to be a pro, but if they won't spend the money on a professionally designed system, then I'm all the PA's got, and I at least care.  

I understand your position, Tom, and you are absolutely right.  But, unfortunately, I don't know that the rest of my church would agree.  However, I will definitely try my best.

If it were up to me, I'd be trying to fit D&B Q-series into it, if an array would be best.  Wink  Those things are AMAZING.

Anyways, thanks for your criticism (honestly) and insights.  I will do my best to convince them to hire someone to do it, but if they don't, I'll be back with more questions to do the best that I can do with it.  Wink

Thanks again!

Brandon
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: $20k Budget on New A/V System... what do we do?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2006, 08:57:21 PM »

To add to your good list:

Who is going to do system alignment? Properly.

How about extra equipment such as racks-a tool for the elco (not cheap) and what does Elco have to do with it-there might go his 2K for misc-of course depending---, guarantees, warranties, scaffolding/lift rental-hoists (if flying speakers), tools for PROPER flying (of course the cabinets do not have flying hardware) so they would have to fly a cage for the speakers, liability for the design-is there a true design?  The horns are pretty small for a gym.  But it will probably be fairly loud-just not clear.

Are the cables going to be run in conduit?  If so, who is going to do proper drawings for the electrician?

I wonder what kind of video he is going to get for 5K.  Nor big or bright-or flexable.  But hey-it will be cheap-in more ways than one.

It's just for the kids-so it doesn't have to be good does it?

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dB Audio & Video Inc.

Brandon B.

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Re: $20k Budget on New A/V System... what do we do?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2006, 09:19:55 PM »

Ivan,

The points have already been made and an answer supplied.  I find your reply to be harshly critical and condescending.  On top of that, did you have to refer to me in third person, just as though I'm not here?  No.  I find it extremely unhelpful and offensive.

You must also understand that to have $20,000 to spend on sound and video for a youth center is really good for rural East TN and I am grateful to have it, even if it won't get us a perfect system or system design. Most churches in the area don't even spend but $2,000 or $3,000 at the most on their PAs.

I greatly appreciate any help, but further criticism on a point already made and addressed is unnecessary.  I should not have to, and will not, open myself up to attack just to get some help and guidance.

If I have misunderstood your post, then I apologize.

Brandon
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: $20k Budget on New A/V System... what do we do?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2006, 10:18:14 PM »

I didn't intend to seem so harsh.  I was responding to Tom's post-so in reality it would be the 3rd person-I think?  English was/is my worst subject.  It is just that so often I see systems that while there is good intent, fall short because of lack of proper design.  Then they often spend money, again, to try to get it right-or just deal with the bad sound.

This is no reflection on you or your abilities-I have no idea what they are.

I think that Toms' concerns reflect your posts.  You said you do not have an idea of what size the room is, but yet you already know what loudspeakers are required for it? That just puts a shadow on other things.

The  1st thing that I start with in a design is the size/shape/height/acoustic signature etc. of the room and the coverage needed for it.  That rules everything.  Next comes the particular needs of the customer (music style-budget etc).  Then I start to go over the possible loudspeaker choices that meet those demands.

Given unlimited budgets, it doesn't matter how good or "amazing" a loudspeaker is/appears to be, if it is the wrong speaker for the job, it just doesn't matter, it is still the wrong loudspeaker.  There is a lot more to a particular loudspeakers proper application for a particular project than it's sound.

Something that I would possible consider-without knowing anything else, is that with a limited budget, you might want to lower the number of monitor mixes (amps-EQ-cabinets etc) in order to spend it someplace else it might be needed.  Also possibly loose the reverb.  Those are not large money items, but they do add up.  BTW did you figure tax into your price?  Go ahead and put in the cable for the extra monitor sends-so you just need to add the equipment when you can.

Nothing against the Crown amps w/DSP.  You should be able to do everything you need in it.  However, it might be less expensive to use a seperate DSP and less expensive amplifiers.  You only need 2 channels of DSP for your proposed system (assuming it is in mono-which would be the less expensive way to go).  If you really want stereo, just put the wiring in place and upgrade with another DSP/amps? later.

Those things are easily added as needed.  You need to get your infrastructure right from the start.  That is a lot more costly to fix later.

I understand limited budgets, but with a limited budget, you often have to have more realistic needs/expectations.

There was a local church here that a couple of years ago had a meeting and was going to expand their sanc. so they voted a budgetary amount.  $100.  Yes, 100 NOT 100K.  They thought that that was a lot of money.  They did not have any idea of what it would take to do anything.

Again, I'm sorry for any bad feeling this may have caused.  But you did ask what we thought.

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Steve Harris

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Re: $20k Budget on New A/V System... what do we do?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2006, 11:39:20 PM »

Hey Brandon!

New sanctuary eh? This tells me that they will have to consider acoustics in the architecture. If they are planning both the sanctuary and the youth center simultaneously some thought (and design $) could be spent on the youth center as well.

You need to be in on the planning and make your voice heard for the youth. Good sound for the youth is really important. What you can do is ask for acoustical consideration in the design of the youth center. If there is extra cost for this, it should be an architectural cost and not come out of your $20k budget.

Resist with your life any multi-purpose type facility that has no acoustical consideration. I watched a church build one of these that would house the youth activities, dining, basketball, etc. It was a cinder-block gym and soundman's nightmare. The youth endured maybe 4 weeks in it before retreating back to their crowded former tiny room so they could hear the music and the message. More $ was spent to treat it than would have been spent to design it well in the first place. The youth have still not returned.

Push for a simple architecture that will accomodate a system on a lower budget. Keep the speakers in a single plane and limit the depth of the room to avoid the necessity of purchasing a speaker alignment processor. Flying the speakers will require an experienced installer. You can mount them on stands yourself. If the design is not acoustically acceptable, ask that the walls be treated, if necessary, outside of your budget. Also ask for an isolated electrical circuit. As long as there will electrical contractors around, they do that kind of stuff. Don't try to fabricate the cabling yourself unless you have a lot of experience. You can get shielded snakes that will resist noise and meet code (leave some slack in both ends of the snake for flexible positioning - those installed jacks are never where you need them!).

So get involved with the planning now to make your job easier down the road.
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Brandon B.

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Re: $20k Budget on New A/V System... what do we do?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2006, 02:39:40 AM »

Hello Ivan.

I apologize for misinterpreting your post.  Smile

Thanks for the insights.

At this point, I'm just hoping I can get them to get a system designer, especially before construction begins, but we'll see.  If not, I'll go from there!  Smile

I'm thinking we can probably have one designer do both the main sanctuary and the student center at once.

Thanks again!  I'll post back when I find out more.

Brandon
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Re: $20k Budget on New A/V System... what do we do?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2006, 02:39:40 AM »


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