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San Francisco’s Masonic Center Audio System, Part 2

Aug 22, 2013 3:43 PM, With Bennett Liles

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Editor’s note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

San Francisco’s Masonic Center has to accommodate lots of big acts, and they wanted to streamline setups and minimize leaked sound into the surrounding neighborhood. Keith Conrad and Julio Valdez from 3G Productions are back to tell us about how they handled all of this, coming up right now on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Keith and Julio, thanks for being back with us for part two on the SVC Podcast from 3G Productions in Las Vegas. We were talking about a complete d&b Audiotechnik sound system upgrade for San Francisco’s Masonic Center. A lot of very big acts coming through there and the stage is almost surrounded by the seating which can make things interesting for coverage and monitoring. I think you went with the V-series speakers and the D12 amps. What was the timeframe on this project? When did you get in there?

Keith Conrad: Right. We originally contracted with them around the end of August, and that was just a couple months after the V speaker was released. So we initially did a partial install in September with them, and actually we sub-rented some of our V speakers in the meantime until the rest of them came in, and we finished it up in the November/December time period. But in terms of actually being on site, I mean I think we were there maybe three days total with a couple engineers, so it went up pretty quickly. [Timestamp: 1:49]

That’s not much time to be working on a system like this in the Masonic Center especially since most of it’s flown. Was all that rigging in place or did you have to pretty much start from zero on the rigging?

Julio Valdez: We pretty much started from zero. There was a few minor adjustments as far as positioning of the motors there, but nothing critical at all. We were able to get it all up without any issues. [Timestamp: 2:13]

Okay. And if there’s any doubt that you’re really doing system testing there, I can hear the frequency response sweeps going in the background. Either that or there’s a spaceship coming in.

Conrad: It’s constant QC-ing going on here, making sure everything’s always working for the next show. [Timestamp: 2:31]

If you had to do most of the rigging, how did that go? I ask that because that’s always a potential source of some big surprises.

Valdez: Yeah, there are just minor, “Oh, there’s like here, we can’t put a point there,” scoot it over a foot type thing. Nothing complicated at all. It was fairly smooth. [Timestamp: 2:50]

That place looks like it would be pretty close to perfect acoustically. How are the acoustics in the Masonic Center?

Valdez: The Masonic Center is not very live at all. I thought the acoustics were great in there without having to do really anything on our end to correct for acoustics. [Timestamp: 3:08]

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