So your organization has the best auditorium in the city. Everyone is impressed by the decor, the lighting, the ambiance, and the auditorium’s sound system. Everything is running smoothly. The auditorium sees back-to-back shows and hundreds of people accessing it on a regular basis. Until one day, there is a glitch in the system. Your speaker system fails to start or doesn’t perform as expected.
Ever wonder why does this happen? The reasons could be countless. However, there is one factor that is persistent. Improper usage is one of the leading causes of equipment failure in auditoriums. Unlike other systems, they have longer operating hours and are used by different operators. As they say, too many cooks spoil the broth. This saying is apt in this scenario. Let’s have a look at some simple and effective tips to care of your auditorium sound system.
Don’t overdrive the auditorium sound system
One major reason of equipment failure is overdriving speakers and amplifiers. While these systems are designed for prolonged use and abuse, every electronic equipment has its threshold. Overdrive can be controlled in various ways. You can use a master limiter to control the dynamic range of the audio signal. Avoid signal clipping at all cost. Use an SPL meter to monitor this. If the signal levels are consistently at the RED on the SPL meter or mixer/amplifier, turn down the volume immediately.
Allow only authorized access
Auditoriums are used by many stakeholders for actual shows and rehearsals. Quite often, the AV equipment is controlled by non-technical personnel. This is an avenue for equipment being used without much care or know-how. Always ensure only authorized personnel have access to controlling sound systems. Additionally, you can secure the equipment/control room either via hardware or software locks.
Use a safe power supply method
All AV equipment require a clean and stable power supply to function properly. If your geographic location is prone to interruptions in power supply, take necessary steps. You can rely on power generators or UPS in case of power failure. You can use power conditioners to ensure a clean and stable power supply. One of the best tools especially for non-technical users is a power sequencer.
It allows safe usage by powering up or powering down devices in a logical and safe sequence. For e.g. the amplifier should be powered last after all the signal processors and a reverse order must be followed while shutting down i.e. amplifier shuts down first.
Develop a maintenance schedule
Maintaining your equipment offers many benefits. Equipment needs to be checked and cleaned on a regular basis. This allows auditorium sound equipment to function properly for a long time. Having a regular maintenance schedule also highlights key issues and potential pitfalls. They can be highlighted and rectified to avoid equipment failure during actual live performances.
Never attempt repairs
If the auditorium speaker system sounds distorted or won’t power up, turn down all levels immediately and suspend the power supply to the system. If you are not technically sound, do not attempt troubleshooting by yourself. Many times, amplifiers and speakers blow up due to improper troubleshooting. Do not attempt to repair any equipment. This could not only void your warranty but also create further complications. Get in touch with your AV integrator or the equipment manufacturer for repairs.
Have an AV specialist onboard
Having dedicated personnel to handle your sound and AV equipment can reduce your equipment failure rate by half. As trained professionals, sound and AV engineers know how to use the equipment optimally. If a dedicated specialist cannot be hired, you can get yourself or any staff trained on the basics. The training can be to understand the safe operation of all your equipment.
Signup for an Annual Maintenance Contract
Having an Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) with your AV integrator is extremely beneficial. Anytime the auditorium sound system fails, you can contact your AV integrator for professional assistance. Many integrators offer comprehensive AMC plans that cover repair costs, provision of standby equipment, on-site assistance, and even extended warranty. An AMC plan is a good way to care for your equipment and extend its usage cycle.
Taking good care of the equipment increases is ROI and offers great value. After all, electronics need your attention too. We hope these tips help you take good care of the auditorium sound system and use them for a long time.
For more information on auditorium sound system integration and maintenance, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Content and image courtesy: www.sweetwater.com)