Boxes have been arriving at my office this week. Late last week we finished our priorities list and established the budget for the rest of the year and I started ordering. So now, my office looks like Christmas morning, with all sorts of new and wonderful toys. As I get each item set up and tested out, I’ll work at putting up some mini-reviews of them. The ones I really like will get more in-depth reviews. Here’s a sampling of what has arrived.
- Alesis M1 620 Active Speakers
- Lexicon Alpha USB Audio Interface
- Ansman Professional 9v Battery Charger
- Production Intercom 700 Headsets
- ProPresenter 3
I also picked up the necessary parts to build a 25′ 12-channel snake to run from one side of the stage to the other. Every week we end up stretching 8-10 cables from our main snake to most of the band. When I make up the snake, I’ll also make up some short XLR cables to keep clutter down. Should make setup and teardown go a little faster.
Also on their way are various racks, mounts and hardware to clean up our installations. Once I get a USB to Serial interface, I’ll also be playing with Shure’s Wireless Workshop to run a full-on frequency coordination. I ordered a antenna combiner for 4 of our PSM-700’s, along with 2 wideband antennas. Turns out we have a bunch of dead spots on stage with the IEMs, probably due to the fact that we’re just using 1/4 wave antennas right on the transmitter (that are mounted in a metal rack backstage). I hope to vastly improve our coverage by going with a nice cardioid pattern antenna for each combiner.
In a few weeks, I’ll be ordering an Aviom 16-0 output module to make up a digital snake. We’ll use the Aviom MY card in the M7 to send 17 channels of IEM mixes backstage to a new IEM rack I’m making up. The idea is that we’ll rack up all of our PSM-700s, the antenna combiners, 16-0, power conditioner and a patchbay. Then when we need to set up a system somewhere else in the church (or elsewhere), we’ll just pull the power and cat-5 cable and go. Eventually, I’ll rack up 8 channels of wireless with the same idea. This should save us a few thousand dollars in rental costs each year.
Finally, I’ll be ordering a 20″ iMac 2.4 Ghz to replace the PC in our presentation station. After using ProPresenter live at our Meal Link event on Monday, I’m convinced it’s the way to go. I trained our volunteer in about 10 minutes and she said at the end of the event, “Wow, that’s so much better!” When a product makes my volunteers happy, I’m sold.
Our new Eiki LC-X80 projectors are installed and once we get cat-5 pulled to them so I can do a full calibration, I’ll write up a full review. For now, let me tell you I’m impressed. I’ve had at least a dozen comments in the last few weeks about how bright, colorful and crisp these projectors are. I’m a little disappointed in the Navitar lenses that Eiki supplied (Navitar hails from my native Rochester, NY–East Rochester to be exact–and I did one of my first ever projects for them), but the average viewer isn’t likely to notice anything amiss.That’s a quick update for now. As the new gear comes on line, I’ll give you my unbiased thoughts. Peace.