Sorry to be the rain on the parade. If nothing else this identifys an overall communication problem I'm not sure we yet know the "right" way to poll the entire membership and make intelligent decisions about space and resource allocation--particularly if the area managers are going to kick it over to the forums.
I want to be clear that I support audio exploration and production. My objection is to expansion of the current "audio area" of the classroom when that space isn't currently being utilized well or often.
Ok, fine, but I have yet to hear an alternative suggestion for the usage of that space. Currently it is barely being used.
An alternative suggestion would be--space. Flexible space. Space that can be repurposed as needed. You admit that, the current equipment is "little used" which makes expansion even less desireable in my eyes. We should better use the space already allocated to audio. (There was also discussion regarding that space during an impromtu meeting about the classroom that was held last Wednesday night.)
As to a smaller board being "less flexible", I concur (sort of--a Mackie 1204 is a damn versatile piece of kit)--but as I've yet to see us make use of the current board (in its current postion) to do anything other than route "house audio", I think we could live with some compromise for our "permanent" setup and pull out the big board for live mixing, etc.
As for whether or not it makes sense to add more equipment when an existing setup needs to be re-organized, I would argue that this is actually the BEST TIME to integrate new hardware. What would NOT MAKE SENSE is to disassemble all connections, figure out your signal paths, reconfigure current hardware, set it all up, and then DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN so that you can incorporate new hardware (which inevitable changes signal paths).
If the signal routing is that difficult, we're already doing it wrong.
I agree, that the the best time to add/replace equipment to the existing audio setup is during a re-org of that specific area. The point I was trying to make is that I don't feel we should add anything to the classroom *as a whole* until we get the current equipment allocated, orgainized, etc. I would have no objection to a re-org of the existing table independent of the the overall effort--it's the expansion that bothers me. Particularly in that expanding to "Jude's table" conflicts with the discussion about the space that John, McSteve, Brian and I had on Wednesday night--though none of that was conclusive or final. Again, the problem is that this room is already serving too many masters. We need a focused overall plan. I commend your effort here as part of that process!
Part of the point of this thread should be for people to speak up about their support or dissent for this project and the reasons why.
Agreed, hence my dissent.
In response to my concerns about "doing it right" you say:
Rest assured that this will be the case.
I'll rest assured once I see the gear racked and stacked, but for now I'll take your word for it.
As you suggested previously, we should base our actions regarding this project on as many facts as possible, not suspicions. From my conversations with members, the interest I have seen contradict your suspicions.
Your survey of the membership is anecdotal. Did nobody express concerns? Dissent? Disagreement? Were people excited about the idea of a "studio" in the abstract or were they supportive of adding it to and already stresssed classroom/meeting space? Am I the only member concerned about this stuff? (Again, that's why we're having a conversation and I'm happy that you've initiated it.)
It is my observation that I can walk around and talk to members and find "consent" for almost anything. To be "snippy" (and hyperbolic) in an otherwise polite, adult conversation I'm reasonably sure that I could walk around and get a statistically signifcant portion of the membership to agree that stabling a polo pony would be a "good" idea if I presented the idea in isolation. (Riley would be measuring it for armor in his mind.)
One of our big challenges is that we're all, somewhat by nature, "yes" people who want to be able to do it all and have the ultimate, wizzy-wig Hack/Make space that is all things to all people--and we all want to "play" in a number of areas The problem is that, during informal discussion, very few of us take the time to evaluate the overall costs in terms of space, power, other resources and, *gasp*, money.
My compromise suggestion is that you revamp the current single table space to better serve all of our purposes. If there isn't eough room for everything there, perhaps we look to create some rolling rack cubes (with patch bays) to incorporate less frequently used gear on an as-needed basis. (I think rolling carts, cubes, etc. may be the solution to a lot of our "AOI" challenges moving forward.)Yes this will involve sourcing patch panels and road cases. (Sadly, I disgarded same when I moved).
I've said my piece and am now moving on (to the Hack Factory to try to make some order in the classroom). This will work itself out---probably not to my liking but whatever. It's a shared space.