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New Building Lessons we Learned...good and bad

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  • New Building Lessons we Learned...good and bad

    1. You are the #1 person seeking your best interest. Yes the architect and acoustical consultant can be great advisors, but only you know what you need and where you need it. Don’t let them plan something you don’t need or leave out something you do. Example: At first a 20,000 electrical screen lifting motor system was spec'd. We opted for a 400 boat crank system that works perfect. We had a super expensive Ikegami camera spec'd but knew we really had to have three. We almost got three for the price of one by trading for some HD JVC's that work great and aren't the BMW of cameras...more Honda Accordish.

    2. Make sure you are very picky about your project manager on the acoustical consultant end. They should be a stellar communicator and check with you to see if you have questions. Don’t take “Oh, I’m sure we’ve got that covered” as an acceptable answer. You are not hounding them; you are a client paying good money for answers and assurity. You should receive prompt answers to your questions. They should also never talk down to you. Example: Our particular project director was great on the technical side, but we felt a lot was to be desired on the communication side. We heard, "Oh, I'm sure we've got that in there" (like don't you worry little fellow) on several things that come to find out weren't in there. We also have a lighting console that doesn't completely talk to our movers correctly. We should have been told about that though our consultant is a big enough player that he is demanding the Jands Co. write the protocols.

    3. Don’t ASSUME anything ever. Triple check every detail including:
    a. equipment sheets- we had some pricing concerns and some inventory amounts concerns with our installer which we worked through but would have been a mess had we not caught them. Go over every inventory list and keep a photocopy of every change order you make. Example: We caught the fact that their was no acoustical treatment for the soundbooth spec’d by the consultant. We also caught a couple of overcharges on gear and some missing mics, all remedied thank goodness. We missed that there were no lights for the M7CL so we’ll have to be ordering those ourselves.

    b. gear spec sheets- if you see it spec’d, go get the manual yourself from the company’s webpage (most have pdf’s) and read it thoroughly. You don’t want to be suprised later. Example: We have some moving fixtures that we assumed would be color mix but are scrollers instead. Can we work around it? Sure. Just would have been nice to know earlier.

    c. That your architect and acoustical/video/lighting consultant are communicating. Ask to be copied on all emails. If you see a problem or snag, let them both know and make sure they are working in tandem to solve the problem. Examples: We found a bad curtain situation (taupe drape around center screen) when we wanted a fade to black look. We got that fixed. We also saw a problem with the box lids and grills around the edge of the stage which we notified them both. Another fix. Don’t assume one party is working on it, as they might be assuming the other is working on it. Email all your concerns to both of them.

    4. Inspect, inspect, inspect. You know how the room will be used. Walk it at least 3 times daily and check the install. We found all sorts of things that needed to be tweaked. Don’t drive the installer crazy with a set of question every 2 minutes. Let them work, but DO have a regularly set meeting time with your installer to go over questions, concerns and insights. Example: We found a missing camera position and had to find a work around, a breakout box that was turned to a position where a person entering could trip and several other little things that would have been constant headaches had they not been caught.

    5. Make sure the job is finished well. You should have a super thorough punch list of gear that is not functioning well, not dressed well, and any technical questions you have. Most AVL contracts have some training time in the contract. Keep track of that and make sure you get all of your training time due you. Believe me you are paying for it. Don’t cut checks until it is completely right or other friends have told me you won’t see hide nor hair of almost any contractor as a paid gig is exactly that, a paid gig. Make sure you get every bit of your loose inventory (mic cables, patch cables, etc.) Also, have an established system with the installer as to who you are to call for your warranty work as something is bound to fail.

    6. Do at least one service before the mother of all services. We did a simple acoustic unplugged with only side screens and no fancy lights the week before the big monster inaugural. This allowed us to see how worshipers would enter and function in the room, what tech issues we still had to get fixed, and allowed us to sonically adjust to the room with an easy FOH and stage mix (3 acoustics, djembe and 3 vocalists). We were very, very daring for our true opener but would have been even more nervous without this previous week.

  • #2
    Good words bro!!

    We are building as we speak and the install is in the beginning stages. I will be tking this advice to heart as we move forward.
    Love the Lord your God with all your heart with your soul with all your mind and with all your strength!!


    • #3
      if you need any advice....feel free to call me at northwood. despite the fact that you appear to be a spurs fan...hahaha. no fears, the mavericks need to throw the last few games and get a lottery pick.


      • #4
        Nope not spurs as in San Antonio, Spurs as in the spur on the heel of a Gamecock, University of South Carolina style!
        Love the Lord your God with all your heart with your soul with all your mind and with all your strength!!