When Things Go Wrong: Correcting For Flaws in Your PA

How do you respond, though, when the trusted advice of an expert causes more trouble than it solves? Or when some small changes have unexpected consequences?

When Things Go Wrong: Correcting For Flaws in Your PA
This photo is an example of a project that was completed as originally planned, which included a line array install at Sugar Creek Baptist Church earlier this year in Sugar Land, Texas. But as spelled out in this piece, sometimes original plans for installs can unfortunately end up requiring major changes, based on a single factor.
When Things Go Wrong: Correcting For Flaws in Your PA
This photo is an example of a project that was completed as originally planned, which included a line array install at Sugar Creek Baptist Church earlier this year in Sugar Land, Texas. But as spelled out in this piece, sometimes original plans for installs can unfortunately end up requiring major changes, based on a single factor.

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Technology Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, November-December 2017
The November-December 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a review of the 49 New Product Award entries this year, as well as those entries up for Solomon Awards in 2017.
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Designing a sound system for your room is an involved process. It takes planning, research, and finances. It takes a knowledge of technology, acoustics, and construction. It also helps to reach out to colleagues or hire an expert.

We did everything we could to do it right, but chaos interrupted anyways.

How do you respond, though, when the trusted advice of an expert causes more trouble than it solves? Or when some small changes have unexpected consequences? How does your mix change when things go wrong?

I thought we were doing it right.

We had a fantastic audio partner. We selected a nationally acclaimed integrator. We read the right books and made the right phone calls.

There was one stubborn detail, though, that just refused to go away.

Our building is a solid steel frame, and instead of sturdy joists spanning the massive beams, there are purlins, or wooden horizontal beams. On the first day of construction, my friend who was working as our project foreman asked me, “How are they rigging the sound system on the ceiling? They won’t be able to hang any weight on those purlins.” So I called our installation team and asked them myself. We sent over the structural drawings and had the lead designer come out. As she stood under the ceiling deck, the foreman and I asked about the rigging and we were reassured there was a plan.

Of course, soon after came the day when the riggers arrived with the equipment. They took their scissor lift up to the rafters, came right back down, and simply said, “We can’t rig this design. We won’t be able to hang this weight on these purlins.” The foreman and I both looked at each other and said nothing.

It was two weeks to our grand opening.

We had to open the new church building, so we got back to work.

What else could we do?

The plan drawn up over those next few days was not as elegant as the original plan. And the result, unfortunately, left us with certain deficiencies; dead spots, hot spots, and the wrong type of speakers for the actual hanging points available.


More About Adrian Gates
Adrian Gates is the Media Director for Crossroads Community Church in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. In his 16 years as a media professional, Adrian has served many different roles, including music producer, web master, videographer, consultant, social media “expert,” sound guy, lighting guy, stage hand, and roadie. His clients have included some of the largest tech companies in the world, New England churches looking to modernize, and dedicated weekend warriors. Adrian is a graduate of the New England Institute of Art and Communications.
Get in Touch: mediaservices@crossroadsconnects.com    More by Adrian Gates

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, November-December 2017
The November-December 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a review of the 49 New Product Award entries this year, as well as those entries up for Solomon Awards in 2017.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Team Management · Budgeting · Team Development · Acoustics · Construction · Coverage · Designer · Equipment · Installation · All Topics

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