Moving Your Audio System Outdoors: One Sound Guy’s Experience

Photo provided by theswedish

Imagine the pastor walking up to you and saying “We will be moving our church service to the public park for one weekend.”  Guess who is in charge of moving the audio system?  You are!  This very thing happened to Scott Pippen.  Read on to find out how he succeeded in accomplishing this task.

Scott chronicled his adventure on his blog.  Before you jump over to read about that adventure, please take note of a few points he makes;

Working in an outdoor venue means you are dealing with areas of unfamiliarity such as circuit breaker location and door access.  Also, you are going to be working harder as you are setting up everything from scratch.  Scott listed the following under “Things that went right.

“The pastor had keys to the bandshell.  This way we were able to open the bathrooms as well as turn on the power.  One of the most important things to me when running sound is to have access to the circuit breakers via whatever means necessary, including taping over door locks.Water jugs – it’s hot and humid, so this is a requirement.  The water jugs didn’t show up early enough for the people setting everything up, but luckily some kind soul found bottles of water for us.I brought a candy bar for my second breakfast, and I keep a bag of beef jerky in one of the rack drawers.  I know at least one other person was munching on breakfast bars.  Food is an essential thing to consider, though it’s not always necessary.”

Problems will occur and you need to be quick thinking to resolve them and you MUST learn from those events.  Scott did exactly that and in his blog, lists out all of these lessons learned.  Here is one example of just that sort of thing;

“The speakers needed to be turned out a bit more to cover where people were sitting.  Because people brought lawn chairs to sit in instead of the benches, they were outside of the benches.  Perhaps this could have been avoided had I tried to think things through the mindset of the people who were just attending the service, but I got too caught up in planning what cables needed to go where to take a step back.  This is another example of why having a team of people who are involved with the setup and capable of thinking for themselves – it was a band member who turned the top speakers out on his own initiative.  I in my sound cave didn’t notice there was a problem, because I had plenty of speakers pointed at me, but there were some parts of the audience that weren’t properly covered.”

Read about Scott’s successful adventure here.

Question(s): What have you learned when you had to move to a new location?

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  1. Frederick says

    Thanks for all the help guys!!! I’ll research what info you’ve given me and hopefully everything goes well at the picnic.