DSH Audio Visions is an independent consulting firm. With no product to sell and no manufacturer’s sales commitments to meet, we are free to provide every client with exactly the services each one needs. That means we are objective about the condition of the sound or video system, and about the room acoustics.
Every situation is unique. There are no such things as “cookie-cutter” designs or consultation processes. At DSH Audio Visions we study your total situation, and we study the equipment currently in place in your system. We will be as “full service” as you need us to be!
What if we need a full design and project management process?
It might be a new building project, a renovation project, or simply a long-overdue sound system or video system project. In all of these cases you need assistance “from concept to completion”. Our work includes:
- Computerized room modeling, acoustic analysis, and loudspeaker layout and performance prediction so that we all know in advance which speakers will work in the space, and if the space needs any acoustic enhancement in order to achieve your goals for your worship setting.
- Developing detailed schematic drawings and specific equipment lists that spell out the design so that you and the installing contractor know exactly what’s in the system and how it will go together.
- Developing and refining budget estimates with you so that you have an accurate idea of what to expect relative to cost.
- Determining if any existing components will work within the new system plan so that your money is invested wisely.
- Coordinating with architects, engineers and building trades on the front end of the project in order to minimize surprises at the back end.
- Qualifying and inviting to bid only the best sound and video contractors so that the installation is carried out by people who understand the type of project we are carrying out.
- Overseeing the physical installation to ensure that the design intent is carried out and that your expectations are met and exceeded.
- Being very hands-on with the sound system tuning and setup to ensure that what we intended for you is what you get – the very best sound quality and video image clarity possible for your worship space.
But what if we don’t need an entire design process?
That’s okay! We don’t just try to “sell” you on a new system design and the investment that goes with it. Our goal is to accomplish what you need for your situation. Examples of specific needs we are ready and able to assist your congregation with include:
- Evaluation and tune-up of existing systems – You may want an objective point of view regarding the sound quality or overall condition of your system. We have the expertise and experience to complete a full evaluation of the system(s) in question and give you an honest reporting on condition, performance quality, and what to do to improve the situation. If a tune-up is all your system needs, that’s what we’ll recommend, and with your approval get it done correctly. If we see that a component needs to be replaced or upgraded based on its age, condition or your congregation’s needs, we will discuss available options with you.
- Troubleshooting -We will work with you to find the cause of a system malfunction. It could be anything from poor tuning or setup to poor microphone technique to a bad connection or component. If the repair required is beyond a simple connection or operator error (for example, a bad component that needs repair or replacement), we will recommend a qualified audio-video service entity to provide further assistance.
- Mic technique training – Maybe the lay readers and pastors need to be trained in proper mic technique. Where should the mic be in relation to my mouth? Do I need to slow down as I read? Can I turn and look to the side when using a microphone? How do I mic a small choir that needs a little “lift”? We’ve been studying microphone applications for over 25 years. Together with David’s experience as a choir director, we can help you get the best results from every aspect of microphone use.
- Operator and user training -Do the people running the mixing console need to know the best way to operate it to get the best sound quality or mix? Do they need some help in maximizing the potential of the wireless control app? We will provide the training necessary to help your personnel get the very best results from their efforts.
What about room acoustics?
As a matter of due-diligence, we will always pay attention to room acoustics when evaluating the sound system. The reason is simple: what might seem to be an issue with the sound system can actually be an issue with room acoustics. For that reason, we always perform acoustic tests along with sound system evaluation. Here is a list of sound system and room acoustic tests we perform when called in to evaluate your sound system:
- Ascertain the overall condition of the system;
- Inspect physical connections such as microphone jacks;
- Measure the frequency response of the system (does the system sound as natural as possible?);
- Measure loudspeaker coverage within the seating areas (are there hot spots or dead spots, and where?);
- Study the “directional realism” exhibited by the speaker system (does the priest sound like he’s speaking from the sanctuary or from somewhere overhead or behind?);
- Measure the direct sound level from the main loudspeaker to various points in the seating area;
- Measure room reverberation;
- Test for and seek the source of any occurring “slap” echo;
- Check for feedback issues;
- Check for buzz, hum and other noise issues;
- Investigate the source of any volume level differences across the nave;
- Investigate current wire routing paths (do audio lines share pathways with other things such as electrical or data lines?).
We have the testing equipment and know-how to study the acoustical character in your worship space. We will help you understand how the room shape, structure and building materials play into sound system performance. We’ll also show you the pro’s, con’s, and trade-offs involved when designing a new loudspeaker system or figuring out why worshipers can’t hear clearly at worship.
We often partner with Scott Riedel Associates of Milwaukee, WI, a nationally-known and regarded acoustical consulting firm, to ensure that “all the bases are covered” when it comes to acoustics and sound for your worship space. We’ll work together to develop the right balance of acoustic enhancements, which might include:
- Adding absorption to reduce excessive reverberation;
- Making surfaces more reflective by recommending tile floor to replace carpet, for example, or
Adding diffusive materials which will make smooth, flat walls less smooth and flat in order to eliminate reflections that “slap” back and create audible echos.