Intro: Department of Commerce Auditorium and Soundbooth Renovation Project
I am a public servant, I work for me and every other taxpayer in the federal government,..
I am the Audio Engineer here and have been for the past 6+ years..
I LOVE my job, I love working to the public...
about the location..
I want to document the project for myself, my directors and for the public..
the space (Auditorium and Soundbooth) is located inside of the HCHB (department of commerce) building in downtown Washington D.C. (Sensitive material will not be distributed)
About the Auditorium
The Auditorium and Soundbooth were built back in the early 30's along with the main structure of the Commerce Building.
The auditorium was the place the public would go for entertainment. it was the nicest theater at the time and everyone came around from everywhere to occupy its space.
it was renovated in the early 60's. The renovation included adding interpreter booths, heightening the stage, adding a thrust, framing the stage, raising the seats to slope down from the balcony among other structural and architectural changes.
One part was the sound system.
back in the early 60's there was not a set specification for professional audio systems. the designers were also metal fabricators and electronic engineers. and with the simple history of the "magic" and invisible room that makes anyone to be heard by everyone, means that budget for the audio system was very limited, (just like today..lol). so all of the work, everything from building patch panels to running cable and soldering was done in house...
this means that none of the boxes and patch panels are compatible to the modern "Rack Unit "
and shear time is destroying the channel cables...
not to mention a drop ceiling that went in to help mitigate acoustic reflections...
a quick rant about drop ceilings..
I use to love drop ceilings. They were fantastic! You could run a patch cable right over while keeping the space wire free!
removing the drop ceiling, pushing back the air vents and replacing the lights were my directors idea.. He wanted to go back to the real architectural ceiling that was showing back when the building was built..
fine.. i set up the contractors to come in, and pull the drop ceiling and paint.. Easy enough until the guy asked me is i would pull back the wires..
I took a double take and said.. Yes.. I need to so I can trace the cables..
That is where the chaos started...
Fix The Sound in the Auditorium my director told me...
So after Cathy installed the new carpet and seating, I was open to fix the old lady..
This "photo blog" entry will be a running commentary on the project...
Given that this space is in the public domain, please feel free to comment, critize, poke fun or ask any questions.
Being as busy as I am, I will try to keep it updated as I complete each phase in the renovation.