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Jonathan Walker 08-19-2007 10:04 PM

DJ tampered equipment stops working...
 
Last night I was running the lighs for a production, and also needed to
babysit the lighting desk as it was in an exposed position where the
public could put their drinks.

While I was babysitting the desk for the hour before the first 1/3 of the
show went on I noticed that the DJ hired for the night was playing with
the controls on the amplifiers - each speaker has its own power amplifier
and all six power amplifiers are controlled by the one digital
controller/pre-amplifier.

Suffice it to say, about 3 hours into the night the amplifier for the
right hand sub woofer went into protect mode and the channel stopped
working.

Shortly afterwards, both midrange channels stopped working.

This, of course, caused management to get their tits massively in a tangle
- as they should - given that the sound system could be described as an
essential piece of equipment for an entertainment business.

While management was trying to get the spare speakers down into the dance
space, nobody seemed to ask the DJ what changes he had made earlier in the
evening. Instead, the DJ was frantically pulling out cables plugged into
the amplifiers.

Nobody seems to have grasped the fundamental point that this equipment
should only be touched by persons within that business who not only are
authorised to touch it, but also understand how to control that equipment.

I have said to the management in that place that the amplifiers need to be
locked in a cabinet that prevents people from touching them, and also
allows good airflow - a huge amount of heat comes off them.

What did I do?

After I had finished doing the lighting for the 3rd part of the show (my
area of responsibility was for the lighting) I went over and looked at the
amplifiers.

Even then, _all_ channels were clipping (yes I could hear that even with
my hearing protection in - surprise surprise the DJ could not!), and two of
them were in a constant state of clipping. One of the amplifiers had the
protection LED almost constantly glowing - and the attenuator for that
channel was sitting on 0dB!

I turned all the attenuators down until the clipping stopped. Eventually
the protection circut that had been engaged seemed to have reset, as the
protection LED eventually went out - but only after I had turned the
attenuator almost right down to nothing.

Given that nobody in that business seems to properly understand how to use
that digital control system (which was showing ALL channels sitting almost
constantly up in RED) I have suggested that that equipment needs to be
restored to factory settings, and then re-set-up for use in that
particular space.

I also think that each DJ when they are hired needs to be explicitly told
what controls on the DJ equipment they may touch, and what they are not
permitted to touch.

Foolishly the management has put me in a position of trust - I can
virtually come and go as I please in order to allow me the time to re-hang
and focus lights for the various shows.

Now it appears that I will also need to teach them how to use their sound
system as well. :o(

Why will I do this? Because I want to see their stage shows presented in
the best possible way, and I also get to play with equipment that I enjoy
using (even if some of it does not work like it should and I have asked
for it to be replaced) and I know that I can do better than what they had
in the past. :o)


--
Jonathan Walker

"The IT industry landscape is littered with the dead
dreams of people who once trusted Microsoft."

Mark Robinson 08-20-2007 05:58 AM

Re: DJ tampered equipment stops working...
 
Jonathan Walker wrote:

<much pompous self agrandisement snipped>

> I have said to the management in that place that the amplifiers need to be
> locked in a cabinet that prevents people from touching them, and also
> allows good airflow - a huge amount of heat comes off them.


If you really knew what you were talking about you would know that the correct
procedure for powering up big amplifiers is to ensure the attenuators are fully
down and then switch the amplifier on before waiting several seconds before
bringing the signal up. Powering them down is the procedure is reversed: turn
the amps down, then switch them off.

This would be difficult if the amps were locked in a cabinet.

<more pompous self agrandisement snipped>

Was it just a couple of weeks ago that I was teaching you some of the basics of
a common lighting desk ?

Jonathan Walker 08-20-2007 06:05 AM

Re: DJ tampered equipment stops working...
 
On Mon, 20 Aug 2007 17:58:32 +1200, Mark Robinson wrote:

> This would be difficult if the amps were locked in a cabinet.


No it wouldn't.

The person turning them on would have the key.

The DJ wouldn't touch the amplifiers - indeed has no good reason to touch
them.


--
Jonathan Walker

"The IT industry landscape is littered with the dead
dreams of people who once trusted Microsoft."

Jonathan Walker 08-20-2007 06:06 AM

Re: DJ tampered equipment stops working...
 
On Mon, 20 Aug 2007 17:58:32 +1200, Mark Robinson wrote:

> Was it just a couple of weeks ago that I was teaching you some of the
> basics of a common lighting desk ?


No.

I already had downloaded the text of the instruction manual for that desk.
I was enquiring if anybody had scans of the images that would have been in
the instruction manual.


--
Jonathan Walker

"The IT industry landscape is littered with the dead
dreams of people who once trusted Microsoft."

DaveD 08-20-2007 01:08 PM

Re: DJ tampered equipment stops working...
 
Mark Robinson wrote:
> Jonathan Walker wrote:
>
> <much pompous self agrandisement snipped>
>
>> I have said to the management in that place that the amplifiers need
>> to be
>> locked in a cabinet that prevents people from touching them, and also
>> allows good airflow - a huge amount of heat comes off them.

>
>
> If you really knew what you were talking about you would know that the
> correct procedure for powering up big amplifiers is to ensure the
> attenuators are fully down and then switch the amplifier on before
> waiting several seconds before bringing the signal up. Powering them
> down is the procedure is reversed: turn the amps down, then switch them
> off.
>
> This would be difficult if the amps were locked in a cabinet.
>
> <more pompous self agrandisement snipped>
>
> Was it just a couple of weeks ago that I was teaching you some of the
> basics of a common lighting desk ?


<chortle>

DaveD


Mark Robinson 08-20-2007 01:21 PM

Re: DJ tampered equipment stops working...
 
DaveD wrote:
> Mark Robinson wrote:
>> Jonathan Walker wrote:
>> <much pompous self agrandisement snipped>
>>
>>> I have said to the management in that place that the amplifiers need
>>> to be
>>> locked in a cabinet that prevents people from touching them, and also
>>> allows good airflow - a huge amount of heat comes off them.

>>
>>
>> If you really knew what you were talking about you would know that the
>> correct procedure for powering up big amplifiers is to ensure the
>> attenuators are fully down and then switch the amplifier on before
>> waiting several seconds before bringing the signal up. Powering them
>> down is the procedure is reversed: turn the amps down, then switch
>> them off.
>>
>> This would be difficult if the amps were locked in a cabinet.
>>
>> <more pompous self agrandisement snipped>
>>
>> Was it just a couple of weeks ago that I was teaching you some of the
>> basics of a common lighting desk ?

>
> <chortle>
>
> DaveD


Hi Dave,

Greets from the south.

Kent Smith 08-20-2007 09:35 PM

Re: DJ tampered equipment stops working...
 
Mark Robinson wrote:
> Jonathan Walker wrote:
>
> <much pompous self agrandisement snipped>
>
>> I have said to the management in that place that the amplifiers need
>> to be locked in a cabinet that prevents people from touching them,
>> and also allows good airflow - a huge amount of heat comes off them.

>
> If you really knew what you were talking about you would know that
> the correct procedure for powering up big amplifiers is to ensure the
> attenuators are fully down and then switch the amplifier on before
> waiting several seconds before bringing the signal up. Powering them
> down is the procedure is reversed: turn the amps down, then switch
> them off.
> This would be difficult if the amps were locked in a cabinet.
>
> <more pompous self agrandisement snipped>
>
> Was it just a couple of weeks ago that I was teaching you some of the
> basics of a common lighting desk ?


I've worked in venues where the amplifiers and eqs are untouchable apart
from a master power switch on the circuit they are wired onto.

Anywhere that has invested in acoutically balancing the equiptment to the
room will probably understand the importance of change management in their
system and should have the optimum configuration documented to allow
restoration should anything change. Of course, the majority don't - they
are just interested in selling beer. :)


-KENT



Jonathan Walker 08-20-2007 11:28 PM

Re: DJ tampered equipment stops working...
 
On Tue, 21 Aug 2007 09:35:16 +1200, Kent Smith wrote:

> Anywhere that has invested in acoutically balancing the equiptment to the
> room will probably understand the importance of change management in their
> system and should have the optimum configuration documented to allow
> restoration should anything change. Of course, the majority don't - they
> are just interested in selling beer. :)


Agreed, and agreed.


--
Jonathan Walker

"The IT industry landscape is littered with the dead
dreams of people who once trusted Microsoft."

Yeah Right 09-17-2007 06:28 AM

Re: DJ tampered equipment stops working...
 
On , , 20 Aug 2007 10:04:06 +1200, DJ tampered equipment stops
working..., Jonathan Walker <nospam@nospam.invalid> wrote:

>Last night I was running the lighs for a production, and also needed to
>babysit the lighting desk as it was in an exposed position where the
>public could put their drinks.


WHAT THE HELL HAS THIS GOT TO DO WITH LINUX?
Get onto the topic man!




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