Today I visited the Montgomery Arts Theater at Booker T Washington High School in Dallas Texas to do a check up on their sound system before their upcoming production of “Oklahoma” begins the tech process.
A few things that slowed the process down. First, the dbx 4800 dsp is located in the amp rack on the 3rd floor of the theater and without a way of controlling it remotely, a lot of time was spent climbing stairs and ladders. Next time I would be extend the dbx 4800 network cable to FOH measurement position. Secondly, during the measurement process, it was discovered that the Main L / R speakers were out of polarity. How do you troubleshoot a connection that runs all over the building? Easy! You use Soundtools XLR Sniffer / Sender tester. What is known in the industry as a “Rat Sniffer”. Unlike a normal cable tester box, the two parts of a Rat Sniffer / Sender kit can be used at any location all over the building. This is one of the 2 most important audio tools I use on a daily basis. Get one or more if you don’t have one already. If you have more than one kit, you can troubleshoot multiple lines at the same time.
Using a RAT SNIFFER we narrowed it down to a bad XLR cable between the catwalk patch point and the self powered speakers. Resolving that issue made the system much more usable:)
measurement results to follow: