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  • Preparing for Failure

    So a few months ago our church leadership decided to hold a concert in which a rather popular Christian artist would be brought in. Tickets were to be sold for, what I consider, a high amount in the hopes of turning a profit to be used for an upgrade to our sanctuary equipment. So an artist was contacted, terms were agreed to, and contracts were signed. I was not involved in this process.

     

    After the contract was signed a list of "requirements" was sent to our worship leader by the artist's agent/manager and this list was promptly handed over to me to figure out how to meet these terms. This did not look like previous riders I have seen, it was much less formal, but did state these terms were already agreed to by both parties in the signed contract. Understand, I am a volunteer who tries to help as much as possible in the worship department, but I have no authority at the church, and the worship leader makes it very clear he knows more than I do about everything. I am fortunate to be allowed in his presence.

     

    Anyways, in addition to the assortment of Vox AC-30s, Ampegs, and percussion stuff the band "required", was the request for a "High Quality Audio System capable of equally filling the venue while producing at least 110 db at the back of the venue". The usual assortment of line array options were "highly suggested". In addition they needed a sound board with at least 32 channels (however they will only be using 16), and four individual in-ear monitor systems. Our sanctuary holds 1300, leadership expects to sell 1200 tickets, and our installed sound system is barely able to hit 95 decibels in the first 15 rows on a normal Sunday. It was initially spec'd and installed to handle a sanctuary with 400 attendees, as the church has grown, the sanctuary has been extended, and the sound system has been ignored and remains in its original setup for 400 attendees.

     

    No problem, in the past we have hired in sound companies to handle large concerts, the cost has always been reasonable and the reduced stress was always welcome. So when I approached the worship leader to get permission to contact the usual companies we get quotes from, he agreed the current system will not cut it. But then he shocked me by informing me he has already taken care of the sound provider. Another church attendee will be "providing sound" for the concert. He will be bringing two Mackie 18 inch powered subs, two JBL Eon subs, and four Mackie SRM450's, and a new Behringer digital soundboard for FOH duties. And the best part! He won't charge us at all! It is Free!!!!!!!

     

    Any concerns I brought up about the amount of equipment needed to provide 110 decibels to 1200 individuals was met with a very surly attitude. Apparently I just do not understand how great these Mackies are.

     

    The conversation got better too, I had sourced the required amps and percussion items on the list, I just needed a PO to send over to the rental company. I guess I misunderstood something when I was handed the list because the Worship Leader asked why we were being charged. I guess he thought AC-30s and refrigerator sized Ampeg cabinets were just handed out on street corners. I was informed the there will be no PO and I need to find "free" amps somewhere (like from my guitar playing buddies), after all, why would we pay for backline equipment when the PA was free.

     

    Already long story made shorter: I couldn't find the needed amps for "free", anyone I know that owns one laughed when I asked if we could borrow them without compensation, so the worship leader located "better" amps, a Hartke kickback 112 bass amp and a Fender Deluxe Reverb. I didn't ask if he mentioned these substitutions to the band.

     

    This has been going on for the past month, I fully expect the band to show up Saturday and refuse to play. Should they go on, I fully expect complaints from anyone sitting in the back half of the sanctuary. Sorry to bore you guys, I needed to vent and I hope this serves to prevent future atrocities for others.

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  • #2
    I would also expect complaints from the front rows if you actually hit 110db in the back!

    Comment


    • vaughn4380
      vaughn4380 commented
      Editing a comment

      Tomm Williams wrote:
      I would also expect complaints from the front rows if you actually hit 110db in the back!


      In fairness, they just want the ability to hit 110 in the back, the contract never says they actually will. .png" alt=":smileywink:" title="Smiley Wink" />


  • #3

    vaughn4380 wrote:

    So a few months ago our church leadership decided to hold a concert in which a rather popular Christian artist would be brought in. Tickets were to be sold for, what I consider, a high amount in the hopes of turning a profit to be used for an upgrade to our sanctuary equipment. So an artist was contacted, terms were agreed to, and contracts were signed. I was not involved in this process.

     

    After the contract was signed a list of "requirements" was sent to our worship leader by the artist's agent/manager and this list was promptly handed over to me to figure out how to meet these terms. This did not look like previous riders I have seen, it was much less formal, but did state these terms were already agreed to by both parties in the signed contract. Understand, I am a volunteer who tries to help as much as possible in the worship department, but I have no authority at the church, and the worship leader makes it very clear he knows more than I do about everything. I am fortunate to be allowed in his presence.

     

    Anyways, in addition to the assortment of Vox AC-30s, Ampegs, and percussion stuff the band "required", was the request for a "High Quality Audio System capable of equally filling the venue while producing at least 110 db at the back of the venue". The usual assortment of line array options were "highly suggested". In addition they needed a sound board with at least 32 channels (however they will only be using 16), and four individual in-ear monitor systems. Our sanctuary holds 1300, leadership expects to sell 1200 tickets, and our installed sound system is barely able to hit 95 decibels in the first 15 rows on a normal Sunday. It was initially spec'd and installed to handle a sanctuary with 400 attendees, as the church has grown, the sanctuary has been extended, and the sound system has been ignored and remains in its original setup for 400 attendees.

     

    No problem, in the past we have hired in sound companies to handle large concerts, the cost has always been reasonable and the reduced stress was always welcome. So when I approached the worship leader to get permission to contact the usual companies we get quotes from, he agreed the current system will not cut it. But then he shocked me by informing me he has already taken care of the sound provider. Another church attendee will be "providing sound" for the concert. He will be bringing two Mackie 18 inch powered subs, two JBL Eon subs, and four Mackie SRM450's, and a new Behringer digital soundboard for FOH duties. And the best part! He won't charge us at all! It is Free!!!!!!!

     

    Any concerns I brought up about the amount of equipment needed to provide 110 decibels to 1200 individuals was met with a very surly attitude. Apparently I just do not understand how great these Mackies are.

     

    The conversation got better too, I had sourced the required amps and percussion items on the list, I just needed a PO to send over to the rental company. I guess I misunderstood something when I was handed the list because the Worship Leader asked why we were being charged. I guess he thought AC-30s and refrigerator sized Ampeg cabinets were just handed out on street corners. I was informed the there will be no PO and I need to find "free" amps somewhere (like from my guitar playing buddies), after all, why would we pay for backline equipment when the PA was free.

     

    Already long story made shorter: I couldn't find the needed amps for "free", anyone I know that owns one laughed when I asked if we could borrow them without compensation, so the worship leader located "better" amps, a Hartke kickback 112 bass amp and a Fender Deluxe Reverb. I didn't ask if he mentioned these substitutions to the band.

     

    This has been going on for the past month, I fully expect the band to show up Saturday and refuse to play. Should they go on, I fully expect complaints from anyone sitting in the back half of the sanctuary. Sorry to bore you guys, I needed to vent and I hope this serves to prevent future atrocities for others.


    I would run, not walk, away from this situation. It sounds like a very typical (crappy) attitude and really makes me wonder who or what is being glorified in this situation.

     

    Greg

    Comment


    • #4

      Typical church mentality stuff should be free cause they are "free" of property taxes, sales taxes etc so everything else should be free too right? I wonder if the pastor works for free?

      Wish you luck brother, don't now much about those VOX amps but what I don't get if this is main line act and all why do you have to provide in ear monitors? Are those not a customized piece of equipment? I could not imagine using an in ear speaker someone else has used? anyway I'm a noob on that subject so flame away.

       Why wouldn't the artist supply their own amps? The amp I guess I always thought of to be as unique as an instrument or a person, i.e., like a pair of shoes. No different than having to use the stupid built in drum kits, quit doing it years ago, flat out refuse cause they always stink, out of tune (if the heads don't have holes in them), broken hardware, crappy cymbals.

      Curious to see how this turns out. Isn't 110 DB kinda loud in the back? That would mean 130 + out front of speakers right?

      I can't wait to hear what the gray haired guy (forget his name) has to say!

      Comment


      • vaughn4380
        vaughn4380 commented
        Editing a comment

        nchangin wrote:

        Typical church mentality stuff should be free cause they are "free" of property taxes, sales taxes etc so everything else should be free too right? I wonder if the pastor works for free?

        Wish you luck brother, don't now much about those VOX amps but what I don't get if this is main line act and all why do you have to provide in ear monitors? Are those not a customized piece of equipment? I could not imagine using an in ear speaker someone else has used? anyway I'm a noob on that subject so flame away.

         Why wouldn't the artist supply their own amps? The amp I guess I always thought of to be as unique as an instrument or a person, i.e., like a pair of shoes. No different than having to use the stupid built in drum kits, quit doing it years ago, flat out refuse cause they always stink, out of tune (if the heads don't have holes in them), broken hardware, crappy cymbals.

        Curious to see how this turns out. Isn't 110 DB kinda loud in the back? That would mean 130 + out front of speakers right?

        I can't wait to hear what the gray haired guy (forget his name) has to say!


         

        Your questions are fair. They will be providing their own ear buds, but the receivers and sending units are to be provided by us. Ironically, we already had four in-ear systems so that was not an issue.

         

        As for the amps, I thought it was an odd request, but we have had other artists in that have requested amps and we just rented them without issue (under a different pastor or department, never has the worship department done a project like this before). Plus, a lot of the artists fly in for the gig, so bringing an 80 pound amp is not as easy as the guitar and pedal board.

         

        The 110 at the back of the room has been brought up in other threads. I have heard several theories, A) if the system can do 110 at the back, than it has to be a certain quality thus ankle-biter level gear will be avoided, B) if it can do 110 at the back, than it should sound good if it is run at 100 and you won't be maxing anything out, etc., but I honestly do not know the reason. Since they asked for line arrays, I don't think you would have the hot spot towards the front that you get with traditional speakers.


    • #5

      You are taking all this on your shoulders buddy.

      There is to much here you have no control over.

      Walk away and let them do it.

      The bands rider demands for a sanctuary setup is ridiculus actually.

      Let your Pastor/managment handle it.

      Brothers in Christ refusing to play for the cause because of a rider issue?

      If this is so then I question their direction and your Churches leadership on their choice.

       

       

       

       

       

      Comment


      • vaughn4380
        vaughn4380 commented
        Editing a comment

        Pro Sound Guy wrote:

        You are taking all this on your shoulders buddy.

        There is to much here you have no control over.

        Walk away and let them do it.

        The bands rider demands for a sanctuary setup is ridiculus actually.

        Let your Pastor/managment handle it.

        Brothers in Christ refusing to play for the cause because of a rider issue?

        If this is so then I question their direction and your Churches leadership on their choice. 



        You bring up some good points, thanks.

         


    • #6
      Wash your hands of the whole situation, then sit back and enjoy the ****************show.
      NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

      Comment


      • vaughn4380
        vaughn4380 commented
        Editing a comment

        Well last night I went over to the church to help set up the stage and lights. While we were working the soundguy showed up and unboxed his brand new X32 mixer. After three hours of tweaking and frustration (while we were working on other things), he still could not get the mixer to pass signal through his digital snake. Both he and the worship leader were frustrated. I suggested switching to one of our spare analog mixers since we knew they worked and all I got was an earful. So I resigned from helping with this event completely right then and there. I won't be back until next Sunday after everyone has had a chance to calm down.

         

        I have not been in contact with the band or I would give them a heads up.

         

        Our youth department has brought in large acts before and they actually went very well, but the youth pastor understands the need to hire in pro sound and rent the proper equipment. Plus the youth department is not worried about profit, they just want cool events for the kids to attend and usually plan to just break even. And our senior sunday school group has brought in special acts for Christmas that went well, I think the worship department just felt there was "nothing to it" and ignored all of the advice from others in the church who have had succesful events.


    • #7

      I didn't read a single word of the OP, but I know that a job situation isn't worth it if it takes 8 paragraphs to explain.

      Comment


      • vaughn4380
        vaughn4380 commented
        Editing a comment

        Mogwix wrote:

        I didn't read a single word of the OP, but I know that a job situation isn't worth it if it takes 8 paragraphs to explain.


         

        Worse than that. It's not a job situation, I am a volunteer.


      • sirfun
        sirfun commented
        Editing a comment

        Mogwix wrote:

        I didn't read a single word of the OP, but I know that a job situation isn't worth it if it takes 8 paragraphs to explain.


        awesome thread title !!

        awesome thread !!


    • #8
      Maybe help out with the youth situation. They seem to be on the ball.
      NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

      Comment


      • #9

        I know this is just rubbernecking at a car crash, but I really hope you post a report on how the show turns out. I'm curious about whether they get lucky and it doesn't turn out too badly, or whether it turns out the way we're expecting.

        Comment


        • #10
          Limit your time with him before the catastrophe.

          Comment


          • #11
            I can't tell you guys the number of fund losers I have worked...

            Comment


            • Unalaska
              Unalaska commented
              Editing a comment
              Had to be an interesting meeting after the gig! Loosing money should be a wake up call but I doubt they'll see the equipment issues as part of it. They may see it as glad they didn't spend the $ on a real system and back line.

            • WynnD
              WynnD commented
              Editing a comment

              agedhorse wrote:
              I can't tell you guys the number of fund losers I have worked...
              The expectations of people who have never done anything like this before is always amazing. I get it a lot with rally organizers. They come and say the rally's going to draw 2,000 people and rarely do they draw 200. I'm always amazed when the figures are close.
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