And it solves three problems for us
- We have anti-noise headsets – really light on good microphones
- We keep getting asked to bring a PA system with us – didn’t have one
- You’ve seen me schlepping bags, and boxes, and more bags, and cases to events.
And it took upwards of an hour for set up and then again to take it all apart. Add to that time constraints – not being able to get in early enough and then being chased out because the venue rental time was too short. Both of which generally meant I and the rest of the Groksters looked rather “stuck up” and not able to yak with all of you that came up to events and I had to keep apologizing for not being able to talk. Which, is quite important (and many of you always offered to be Sherpas in getting stuff in and out – God sends!!)
So, engineers either go redneck to solve problems when $$ is an issue or engineer more elegant solutions when finances become less of a constraint. We’ve dealt with the former for years, donations have made it possible to do the latter given what we’ve been growing into.
For the first item, the solution was to finally buy some mics. Nice mics – wireless ones:
Eight, to be exact. This acquisition solves a big problem for us for when we have covered other peoples’ events – sound. Sometimes we could hook into the “house audio” or the sound company that the event organizers hired would throw us a port. Other times, it became problematic in getting decent sound, especially during a livestream. Now, this won’t be a problem as we can put one of our mics onto the podium like everyone else does.
For the second one, this has been acquired:
It is a Bose L1 Compact Linear Array system – a PA (Public Address) system. I can’t tell you how often folks have asked if GraniteGrok could cover their event AND “do you have a PA system that you could bring”. Now, we can bring it! Sized to handle small to medium sized venue with about 100-150 people, we’re now self-contained. We’ve done video for years and now we can do the audio. Not only that, but if the need (and the finances as well), we can lash another one to it to service larger venues and number of attendees. And oh, btw? It only weighs 24 pounds!
And for the last problem listed – a solution:
No, that’s not mine and the gear in it isn’t ours. That rack system just arrived yesterday and is still an empty shell. Later on today and tomorrow, the build “in” will start with the rack equipment we’ve already got, the wireless mic receivers will be installed, and the new soundboard as well:
Yep, no faders, buttons, lights, or other stuff that you’ve seen on our previous boards – this is iPad controlled. That’s cool, but not the point – having everything pre-wired and set up is. This should cut our set up and take down time to a quarter of what it has been in the past. Besides that, there’s the practical problem that this rack system solves – I am finally admitting to myself that I’m now on the cusp of saying “I’m getting up there in years” and the thought of continuing to lug bag after bag after bag is getting unsustainable – the joints and muscles aren’t what they used to be. Using a pickup bed ramp and an electric winch installed is said bed to roll this rack system in and out? And then just wheeling it around “on the ground / building” and getting rid a ton of bags?
My back is jumping for joy (that is, if I could still jump). And we’re doing the same process we’re doing with our video capability which means it will allow us to do what we really want to do: talk with you.
For THAT is the name of the game. Techie toys and gear and how it all fits together is fun for engineers (and the occasional “rednecking” it when necessary) but the bottom line is that all of these are just tools, along with Grok 2.0 (and soon, Grok 3.0).
The real bottom line is to make sure that we remain true to our mission and that’s to inform folks here in NH (and elsewhere) what we think is important to Conservatives and Libertarians; for us Groksters is getting what we learn and think out to you and then learning from you what’s important.
And with this new capability (as we work out the operational ins and outs of “best practices” which will take a few tries), we can now not just cover other peoples’ events – we’ll be stretching out to that Next Level and putting on our own debates and events – and we’ll be happy to team up with other groups as well.
I’ll close with this: we have appreciated your support and readership these last 12 years – now, we want to do things that will keep you coming back for the next 12 years!