Sound and Video at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Part 2

The new Pacific Coast Club at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base has an event schedule that requires a very versatile sound and video system. 9/26/2012 8:43 AM Eastern

Sound and Video at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Part 2

Sep 26, 2012 12:43 PM, With Bennett Liles

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The new Pacific Coast Club at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base has an event schedule that requires a very versatile sound and video system. Jensen AV in Santa Barbara took on the job, and John Salgado is here with details on how the place was fitted out to function as one big room or several smaller ones, coming up on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: John, thanks for being back for part two on the SVC Podcast from Jensen AV in Santa Barbara, Calif., with the big setup there in the Pacific Coast Club on Vandenberg Air Force Base. We were talking in part 1 about the camera, the Vaddio system that you put in; they have more than just cameras in there though. They have a lot of presentation gear there, too. How was it trying to work around the busy schedule they have at the Pacific Coast Club? Did they clear everything out for you to work?

John Salgado: Well, in a perfect world they would have cleared everything out, but since it was a working facility, it definitely was a challenge. We ended up having basically at ad hoc meetings; we ended up having commencement ceremonies, presentations, and training all happening during the time we were there, so even trying to block a room out you really ended up only getting a couple of hours in one room. So trying to be flexible and setting up the installation to be flexible really was one of the challenges. The bonus to that was that the staff in house was really on our side and really wanted to see the project be successful, so they did everything they could and bent over backwards to accommodate us. We really appreciated that. Having their buy in and support made it so much easier to work around all these meetings and start ups that would happen. [Timestamp: 2:00]

Makes a big difference when everybody is working together instead of just seeing who can get to their own finish line first.


And they have plenty of presentation equipment there. They have media players, presentation computers, and everything. Now, where is that stuff located? How do they get to those?

We ended up setting up one central command position for the entire facility, so in there they have classified computers; they have the Blu-ray players, the DVD players, CD players. They have everything that could be controlled from one centralized location behind Ballroom B. Basically we’re in the middle of the whole facility. From that point one person can actually view and monitor each of the rooms independently, and they can actually listen to see if there’s anything going on, any issues. That ended up cutting down the need to have multiple techs during a presentation because one person could just actually see the entire facility. [Timestamp: 2:52]

OK, so if they have somebody in there to do a presentation and as part of that they want to show a video, the AV operator can just listen for his cue and just roll it in from the control room?

Exactly and on top of that they would be able to take video to tape and then record it. Things like that were important for them for commencement ceremonies or promotional ceremonies, I should say. So then that way the actual individual could have a take home as well as when they would have important people come through. They wanted to record those and be able to share those later on, on their closed circuit television network that they have too. So they had the ability to take any content in and then distribute it even videoconferencing as well. [Timestamp: 3:27]

And when you have multiple events going on in close proximity to each other the video isn’t that much of a problem, but the sound can be a more difficult situation as far as isolation between the sections. So how is the sound system set up in the way you have it routed from the mic inputs to the speakers and all that?

Well, what we ended up doing is we ended up using one of the dbx products, an SC64 and we actually created a matrix, a 32x16. And what we ended up doing is basically setting up a series of presets that the AMX system will recall. That gives us the ability to create different mixes and also adjust different volume levels from the main position and then that also let us through the AMX to provide individual looks and scenes for the individuals in the rooms. They only have access to a certain portion of the overall system, giving the master control still to the one individual. So that let us set up certain speakers closer [in] proximity toward each other at different volume levels, and we could go ahead and do mixes that would let a full blown party happen in two thirds of the ballroom while they’re having a key note presentation in the first. [Timestamp: 4:35]

Sound and Video at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Part 2

Sep 26, 2012 12:43 PM, With Bennett Liles

OK and you’ve got AMX panels for control in there?

Yes, we had to put in an AMX system for the control and monitoring. [Timestamp: 4:41]

OK and can they control the sound on those? Of course those are wireless, right?

Oh yes, they actually have one dedicated 17in. in the command position. Each one of the rooms then has its own 8.4in. that’s wall docked so that it can be removed so the presenter can actually take it to the podium and do that, or if they wanted to have someone else do the video switching for them within the room they could actually take that. It’s a wireless scenario, but they have the ability to turn on the room. They have the ability to turn on the room, they have the ability to adjust volumes for two microphones per room, the laptops, the DVD players, the CD players—all that control just comes back down to one panel. [Timestamp: 5:17]

And you have, I think it was a ProductionVIEW HD switcher in the control room?


That’s another Vaddio product.

It is and it ended up being great for them. The learning curve on it was awesome. Everybody took to it right away, but it definitely helps us with the feed in those four areas, recording and then again for the monitoring. You know really just the one tech that can work all five cameras from one position and on the fly feed the recorder, the additional rooms, and it just made it a lot easier and again, they really took to it and minimal training was needed so we really liked that. They just learned it right away. [Timestamp: 5:49]

OK and somebody comes in organizing one of these events and say about 5 minutes before it starts they say, “Oh by the way, we want to record this.” How does that work? Are you able to record an event on very short notice like that?

Yeah, well we ended up using Extron for switching and routing of the video, so what we ended up doing is they actually have a dedicated recorder there. I think it’s like a 200GB hard drive and they can burn a disc so that if they wanted to have a take away or just save it in a digital file format. So with that it’s just a very simple push of a button, select a source, the destination, and [that] takes [about] three clicks [and] that’s it, video and the audio gets routed. So it ended up being something that was simple to use and exactly what they needed because before they would drag in cameras, set up tripods, and then take it back and then try to do the transfer, and now it’s literally just a couple of button pushes and it’s done. [Timestamp: 6:42]

And with the big breaks in the ceiling I noticed, or at least I think I noticed, the projectors come down on lifts?

Yes, we actually ended up using some scissor lifts and I believe that the extensions go down about 17ft. to 20ft. so they can actually service the projectors from the floor, no ladders needed. So that ended up being a very specific request from them. They said, “We do not want to bring in a personal man who was just to change out lamps.” [Timestamp: 7:05]

Oh, that’s a wonderful thing to have for the tech people. The time saved with that is just fantastic. I’d love to have projectors that come all the way down to the floor for me to work on them. Now on the training, did you bring everybody in and show them all this or did you do like a lot of the churches do and train a few main gurus and have them train the rest? How did that work?

Well, what they ended up doing is setting up three separate sessions and we ended up having the airmen early with specific people that would come in for, let’s say, a confidential meeting that they needed to happen. We trained them separately, showed them the system, and let them go through the whole scenario as if there was an actual event happening. Then they wanted to have separate trainings for the in house staff so we kind of tailored three different training sessions for the three different types of groups that would be involved—you know classified meetings, non-classified, and then civilian as it were, so it ended up being a couple of days of training, but all in all we haven’t gone back to train again since. It was one of those things that they took to it and they just ran with it. [Timestamp: 8:06]

Making it as complex as it needs to be but very simple to work. That’s always the creative challenge on these things.

Yeah, really.

Well, what’s coming up for Jensen AV? You’ve got this one done, so what have you got on projects in the works. Anything you can tell us about yet?

You know we have a lot of government work, so there will be a lot of travel for us. I know we’re based in Santa Barbara, but we travel quite a bit, so we’ll be everywhere from Sacramento to San Diego. So there definitely is a lot of that, so we’re thankful that we have our space in the military and government work that just doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop anytime soon. So fingers crossed. [Timestamp: 8:42]

All right, a great facility and a nice job on it. I’m glad you were here to tell us about it. John Salgado from Jensen AV in Santa Barbara, Calif., and the Pacific Coast Club at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Thanks for being here.

Bennett, thank you for having me.

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