What are some important tips to keep in mind when designing a permanently installed sound system? (eg. a church, an arena etc.)
All the stake holders have to participate so you can measure up the exact expectation of those stake holders, that’s most vital. It’s not technical, well it could be technical nature, but let’s take the example of the church. Certainly the pastor may have different expectations then that music leader versus the financial or the business committee, or the building committee or the property manager, they all have different titles or names for their committees, so you have to make certainly that all of them are working on the same page. So they all have a clear vision of what the final product will turn out to be, that’s the biggest thing.
How do you select/test products to find the best system? Eg. speakers, amplifiers, signal processing equipment etc.
To a certain degree we rely on trade magazines. Most degrees is trial and error experience and open discussion with other people in the industry. Be it from a consultant’s point of view or another contractor, through trade magazines or at meetings be it the AES or the NSCA whatever it may be from those perspectives we do discuss products and evaluate them. Certainly some of the trade magazines have been instrumental in reviewing or at least allowing some open forum discussions of products from different perspectives. But trial and error is probably the most.
What are the most important questions to ask a client when beginning a system design? What must you know to do your job properly?
Well somewhat related to the first question to some degree, certainly we have to look at budget, timing, what is going to influence their buying decision, has the client set up a plan, a methodological plan, a strategy of what they are doing and make sure they communicate that to us. In other words, that they have written down their expectations, both technically, financially, what their long term objectives are, the rational why their decisions are being done, so we can participate in the evolution of what they are trying to accomplish. So we have the total picture, that’s critical.
Devy Breda is the principle and founder of Audiospec Inc.