Thursday 25 June 2009

Something completely different

This is rather off-topic, given the title of the blog, but this is another reason why not much has progressed on the layout recently. As my profile says, I'm involved in the PA (public address) or Sound system at my church. Actually I'm one of the deacons, who look after the practical issues of the church, and my role is the sound, video, and other technical systems. Now the sound system was a good 30 years old and had real problems, so last year it was decided a comprehensive upgrade was required. For many months we have been considering requirements and specifications, and discussing with potential suppliers, then at the begining of June the new system was installed by the selected company, DM Music.

The new sound system has a new "multicore" (mic cables), mixing desk, signal processor, 4 amplifiers, speakers, "foldback" speakers (for musicians), and a compressor to the recording systems. In addition to the sound system we had a "visual media" system installed, with two digital projectors and screens, and 4 LCD screens, which can be fed from one of two PC inputs (front and back of church) or a DVD player. Generally this is used for song-words using EasyWorship software, but other media can be presented. This also feeds into our video system (with 2 cameras and a vision mixer) which was upgraded a few years ago. Sound and the video is distributed throughout the church buildings so TV's can be used in other rooms.

The new system works really well and should meet the needs of the church for many years to come (not sure about another 30 years, but ...) the sound is clear and covers a great range, with no hums, echo or feedback. The visual system is really clear and easy to use. OK, I guess we should expect that but after suffering an inadequate sound system and acetate OHP's for so long it feels like another century! Anyway, I've been busy overseeing the technical side of the project, learning how it all works and showing the rest of the team of volunteer operators, and labelling and documenting so we can remember how it works in future! That should keep me busy a while yet too.

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