Thank you for volunteering to give us some more input on the current sound system. As you fill out this form, we kindly ask that you keep a couple of facts in mind.
1. Please understand that I'm trying to help resolve the situation. We have the system we have, and the technician we've contracted with will help us resolve current issus. However, we do not have a dedicated person responsible for the sound system. I cannot dedicate every day to simply resolving the sound system. That means that some of this will take time. Please be patient.
2. There had been a number of installation and technical issues when we first installed the system. We believe that most of them have been resolved now. In the past, you may have heard feedback, loud booms, or similar "obvious" problems. While it took a while to fix, we believe we've resolved most of those issues. However, some of the solutions involved limiting may have inadvertently created other issues. That's what we're trying to determine now.
3. I can divide the issues into three basic categories, each has a rather different solution. Please keep this in mind as you fill out this survey.
a. Technical Failures in the system - (ie: "What was that noise?") Sometimes equiptment does not perform as it should. There are some pieces that were not changed, but malfunctioned once they were disturbed. Other times, things as simple as a dead battery or a blown breaker can cause all sorts of problems. Once we find these, they do tend to be the easiest to fix.
b. Issues in the Setup of the System - (ie: "I can't hear anything" or "I can hear him, but I can't understand him") OLV is a very unique space. When the project to re-do the sound system was first contracted, we had a number of vendors who were very hesitant about placing a bid. We have large round stone walls, plus a half-wall in the middle that reflect sound. Because of this, it was very difficult to cover the church equally. None of the vendors who bid the sound project were willing to guarantee that everyone would hear well. However, we can still improve it quite a bit. This is the area where clear input is the most helpful.
c. People - ("I can hear Joe but I can't hear Bob") One of the realities of any sound system is that people talk into it. Sometimes a person may be softer than another. Othertimes, they may fail to get close enough to the microphone. We hope, as we get more data, we may be able to determine how much can be solved by changing the habits of lectors/cantors/commentators/priests with regard to the microphones, and how much needs to be changes in the system.
4. Bear with us, we are trying to make it better, but we do kindly ask you to help us to be a part of the solution, rather than a part of the problem. Responses like, "get rid of it and put the old one back" or "you should sue" are not helpful. Responses like, "I can understand Fr. Neil very well when he wears the headset, but not when he is at the pulpit" are very helpful.
So without further ado, here's the survey.
PS: If you tend to sit in multiple sections, please fill out a second form for each section of the Church. (it makes it much easier to tally the results!)