Have you ever heard the old adage “You are only as strong as your weakest link”? This is especially true in sound systems. You can spend thousands of dollars on your system to only be derailed by a 5 dollar connector or cable.
This is not to say you need the most expensive gold plated cables or connectors possible, but you need to pay attention to even the smallest components in your system. The best practice to avoid these types of setbacks is to provide regular maintenance and cleaning of all parts in your signal chain.
Power amps are equipped with internal fans to keep them cool and performing properly. Over time these fans become clogged with dust which causes them to run hot or eventually to not run at all. This in turn could affect the way your system sounds.
Sound mixing consoles have thousands of internal circuits and working parts. Over time these also can be affected by dust, grime and moisture. A few drops of liquid is all it takes to render a portion or all of your sound console inoperable. All this can be avoided with a regular maintenance schedule. Sometimes a simple wipe down or blowing out dust with an air compressor could add years to the life of your system.
Have you sat and listened to your sound system and thought that it just doesn’t sound like it once did? It could be a simple fix. Perhaps it is a blown horn or two in your high end that makes your whole system sound muffled or flat. These are often fairly easy to repair and replace. It could be that someone has changed an Equalizer setting somewhere in the chain that could affect the overall sound. It could be that your power amps aren’t putting out at the same level that they were when they were new. Equipment does wear out. How many times have you had to replace a TV or microwave over the years? These are all electronic devices, why would this be any different for your sound system?
In most sound systems, especially in churches, I have found that the initial system was installed in 1987 and added to in 1993, 2001 and again in 2012. Each time with new things being added on top of the old. This isn’t always a bad way to do things but over time more and more of those 5 dollar speedbumps can enter the equation. Most likely the team running the sound and lighting systems in 1987 is long gone in 2012. A regular maintenance and cleaning schedule would allow new team members to become familiar with every component in the signal chain making fixing issues easier in an emergency. In the middle of a service on a Sunday morning isn’t the time to discover that the amp fans are clogged.
During the system check take a collective look at your system and decide which areas need to be addressed or replaced first. Create a priority list. It is easier to plan ahead for parts changes than it is to change in an emergency. This will also allow you to prepare financially as well.
When it comes time to give a total revamp of your system it is a good idea to bring in a professional who is familiar with room acoustics and system design. They should have software to measure your room to find the ideal speakers for your room and budget. These professionals should also know how to install new speakers and amps safely and properly. Newer technology has come a long way in a few short years. The days of huge amp racks and outboard gear are gone. Speakers now come self powered that run more efficient with less power needed and lower volumes. Mixing consoles are smaller in size, bigger in performance and cheaper in price. A trained professional will be able to walk you this process to answer any questions and direct you to what fits your needs best.
The day is coming where you will have to make a decision on replacing your system. Planning ahead will make this day much easier.
Sound System, Audio, Video, Speakers, Sound Board, Sound Company, Professional Sound, Church Sound, Upgrade Equipment