Michael Orland who many will remember for his long running column in the industry mag Connections is the owner of Sydney based T-Pac (The Public Address Company). Over recent times Michael has restructured his business, in fact downsized his business, but in the process found away of making increased profits.
T-Pac at one time offered two truck sized systems for hire, a large ‘A’ rig which was the modern day equivalent of a triple 3 way system in excess of 12,000 watts (and capable of being scaled larger when needed), a ‘B’ rig almost as large and smaller ‘C’ & ‘D’ rigs were available as well. Michael’s ‘A’ rig always needed a minimum of 2 crew plus loaders and a stage guy was usually required as well, the ‘B’ rig needed almost as much manpower. On a busy weekend T-Pac would need to co-ordinate and arrange a small army of crew to cover it’s commitments.
As those in the hire industry would know, it is becoming increasingly harder to get paid the right amount of money for your equipment and services. Recent changes in legislation regarding gaming machine licenses, noise pollution problems and the increase in ‘DJ’ style entertainment has seen many work opportunities disappear. Add to this the added paperwork and administration duties brought on by the implementation of GST (ensuring sub-contractors have ABN’s etc) it is getting harder and harder to turn a profit at this end of the market place.
Michael realised that it was time to change, but in what way? To gear up and enter an even higher profile market than he was in, would require substantial investment and only create even more work on crewing and transportation. The other thing to be considered was how good was the market place in that section anyway, they had experienced problems as well. The answer was to downsize, but in a different way to the others, so that you didn’t have to compete with the bargain basement owner/operators.
T-Pac had always offered the leading brands to it’s customers, so skimping on equipment costs was not an option, but by having ‘smarter’ equipment could save substantial costs on crewing and trucking. Michael still offers a rig, which provides a loud and clean F.O.H., five sends of monitors and an intelligent lightshow, but it is now transported in a van and only requires one crew to rig and operate.
How was this achieved? Compact high performance loudspeakers, a digital console (capable of five sends from F.O.H.), digital EQ and system control and Camco amplification. When Michael ran the ‘A’ & ‘B’ rigs he had amps of around 40kg a piece and amp racks in excess of 100kg, he now runs amps that weigh only 12.5kg and are only two rack units high. Camco is a very respected name in amplification throughout Europe and is now expanding into American and Asian marketplaces. The Camco Vortex 6 offers power of 3,000 watts a channel at 2ohms and is capable of stable operation at 1ohm when used in parallel mono mode.
Michael selected the Camco Vortex 4 (2,200 watts a channel at 2ohms) for his system, The technology within the Camco (a digitally controlled analogue amplifier) offered a little bit more for the same or less money than other lightweight (or heavyweight, for that matter) amplifiers.
T-Pac still services many of it’s old ‘A’ rig clients such as ‘Mental as Anything’ with this new system, and the acts are happy to pay for this rig as they are still getting the result they want. In fact this one-man system in a van creates almost as much income as the old larger rigs, the difference is a lot more of the fee gets retained.
T-Pac can be contacted on 02 97997219 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org