S.D.S.S. (Sam DuBois Sound System)
A Joint Venture of Sam DuBois, Astrid Juengling, Ezequiel Lopez and the AUSD Maintenance Department.
Table of Contents
-A Brief History
-Operation for Sound People & signal chain
-Addressing Complaints & Possible improvements
The new sound system has been simplified to allow its users easier operation. All of the controls are located in the gray electrical box adjacent to the weight room door. The 3252 key will get you in. PLEASE DO NOT GO INTO THE OLD SOUND CLOSET.
For use with Mics:
If the light on the mic is RED replace batteries Immediately
1. Press the sound system ON button.
2. Adjusts the knobs for mics 1 & 2 to get desired volume.
(a suggested volume setting is indicated in sharpie)
For use with Music Players:
1. Plug your device in using the “aux” cord
(if your device does not have a headphone jack it is your
responsibility to provide an adapter)
2. Press the sound system ON button.
3. Plug in the green cord with the yellow plug labeled BASS
BOOST into the outlet beneath the box.
4. Adjust the MUSIC volume knob settings until desired
volume is achieved.
1. Press the sound system OFF button. (the red indicator light
on the mixer should slowly fade off)
2. Put the “BASS BOOST” plug back in the electrical box.
3. LOCK IT UP (hooligans can destroy a sound system in
A Brief History
The gym was built in the early 2000s. With it came a sound system I estimate to have cost $10,000-15,000. Originally intended on providing PA capabilities for assemblies and sporting events, the system operated as intended. Fast-forward 15+ years to 2018: the system is failing to meet the demands of larger high energy events and modern music. Additionally, very few know how to operate the complex and convoluted controls. These problems are compounded by the rumor that a man of the name “Richard” had been a dick and blown out the speakers. Sam DuBois, the sound guy, has been wrangling the system for almost 4 years, begging the everchanging administration for an upgrade all the while. By the second semester of Sam’s senior year, he and and Athletic Director Ezequiel Lopez have had enough. The dynamic duo goes rogue! Without administrative approval or a known source of funds, the 2 begin revamping the entire system. They have 3 goals:
- Improve Intelligibility
- Simplify the User interface
- Improve low frequency response
The fact that you’re reading this manual indicates that the two men succeeded in their quest.
Many obstacles were overcome: declined credit cards, acoustic problems as well as a general lack of installation experience. With a minimal budget of about $3000, Sam was forced to make tough decisions about what to replace. Due to Richard’s negligence and phase issues with the current speakers they were the first to go. Despite concerns regarding headroom the JBL CBT 70j1’s were selected as they had the horizontally wide and vertically narrow dispersion pattern required to cover the bleachers with minimal acoustic reflections. An additional simpler sound board was installed outside of the cabinet to make the system more approachable. Finally, thanks to a generous donation of subwoofers from Jeff Castle and Jerome Allen the low frequency can now be felt by many cougars to come.
Operation for Sound People
& Signal Chain
A mono pre DSP line-level input is available in the amp rack if you are using a seperate mixer. Please power on the system from the electrical box next to the weight room door. In that electrical box there is a green cord with a yellow plug labeled BASS BOOST this is the power cord for the subwoofers. If you want anything below 100hz you definitely want this plugged in. With this setup you will achieve an almost flat frequency response.
If the sound system is down for repair/upgrade. Immediately notify the athletic department and put a sign on the electrical box. The power cord can be unplugged and locked into the back of the rack to protect the system.
Shure BLX 288PG58 (wireless mics) + Music player ----> Technical pro podcast mixer + emergency mic receiver ----> Ashly rack-mount Mixer ----> DBX DriveRack 260 ----> Mackie SWA1501 Subwoofer + Crest Amps -----> JBL CBT 70j-1 line array ---> The critical ears of thousands of teens!
Do you have power?
There is a red indicator light on the mixer in the electrical box if this is on you know you have power and can proceed to the next question! If it is not on:
- Press “sound system on”
- Go into the sound closet and check if there is a red light on the very bottom box in the rack.
- If this light is OFF flip the red switch and the light should turn on. If it does not you have lost power to the rack. Make sure that the rack is plugged in, in the back. If the cord is not plugged in contact the AD as the system is likely down for repair. If it is plugged is the circuit breaker has tripped and needs to be reset from the wrestling room closet.
- If the light is ON and the “sound system on” button doesnt work this means the remote switch is not functional. It can be circumvented by the white rocker switch on the bottom rack unit.
Do you have sound?
Once you hear sound proceed to Microphones.
- Plug in a phone or other audio device to the provided headphone jack style cable. (make sure the device volume is all the way up)
- Turn the main volume and music volume knobs in the electrical box up.
- Check the indicator lights on the blue mixer in the rack. They should be twinkling and green
- If they are continue to step 4
- If they are not your issue likely lies in between the Coach mixer and the rack mixer. Make sure the knobs for channels 1 and 2 as well as main left and right on the rack mixer are at the levels indicated in sharpy.
If this is the case the coach mix is likely broken as that mixer is GARBAGE. See “upgrades” section for more info.
- Check the indicator lights on the Driverack 260 there should be twinkling green lights and no red lights. (red lights means that channel is muted) Pressing the button next to the red lights should fix this.
- If everything else has worked this means all amps are broken, off, not receiving signal or disconnected from the speakers. Make sure they’re powered on and if none of them are working you are out of luck :(
Are the mics working?
Only check this once you know there is sound.
- Are the mics on? They should have a green like when on. If not replace the batteries!
- Is the main volume and mic volume at the recommended settings?
- Is the receiver getting signal? At the very top of rack there should be a dual mic receiver. The “ready” light should be on and the “audio” light should twinkle to your mic check.
- If the light is twinkling then then check the cables between the coach mixer and the mic receiver. If there is not an apparent issue ask the AD for the emergency mic
- If the lights are not as stated unscrew the battery cover from the Microphone and check the channel indicator. It should have a letter followed by a number (ex: E4). Does this match one of the #s on the reciever?
- Yes: the stars have not aligned :( get the emergency microphone
- No: get them to match by pressing the channel and group buttons on the mic.
“The speakers aren’t aimed down enough!”
Yes I know… The maintenance department had a very short period of time they could dedicate to this project and this was as far down as they could point with the brackets we had. A side effect of this is up on the second floor the music sounds to have too much highs as we are aiming for a flat response in the bleachers which are off axis
“The subwoofers are only on one side! Screw you and this asymmetry!”
There was no way to mount them in the middle or on both sides of the gym as they are powered and not flyable.
“Why the heck would you have to plug in a cord for the sub’s each time!?”
Do to a lack of assistance from the maintenance department a switched outlet for the subs was not installed. Extension cords are not rated for permanent use so having it unplugged when not in use makes it temporary.
Do you have additional complaints or maybe even questions? Please send them in an envelope labeled “GRRR… SAM!” to my PO box.
1569 Solano Ave #494
Berkeley, CA 94707
The #1 improvement that could be made is installing a new miniature mixer for the coach interface(~$100). The current one was acquired for free and is absolute garbage. The preamps for the mics are absolute garbage! Additionally the main outs don't even work so the whole system is receiving sound from the monitor output. I’ll give you a minute to clean up your vomit. If you do this I would recommend a mixer with a DC power supply as extending the power cable back to the power sequencer is far easier with a low voltage setup.
The headroom and overall performance of the system could be greatly improved with the inclusion of cbt 70je-1 bass extensions run in parallel with the existing speakers. This improvement would cost $2500 but the real expense would be in the install cost. Make sure maintenance is 100% on board before you buy any materials.
Brand New System
This will cost $10,000 at a bare minimum but in order to make significant improvements expect to be spending $20,000+.