Thank you to all who sent us feedback through our form. We received a lot of positive feedback both weekends. Most parishioners had a strong opinion about which was better. We believe this could have been partially due to where people sat and the positioning of the speakers. On September 7/8, we had a single speaker positioned in the center pointing straight out that was elevated to allow the sound to be directed over the altar. Therefore, those sitting in the center sections of the church would have been in the best position for that speaker. Conversely, on September 14/15 we had two speakers that were set up on either side of the sanctuary on the floor. These speakers were also pointed outward at an angle. Therefore, those sitting in the sections of pews off-center would have had the best position for these speakers. With these speakers being positioned on the ground, they could not direct sound in the most effective way such as a line-array should. A higher position would have allowed sound to be digitally directed to different positions. Those sitting closer to the front likely were in a better position than those sitting closer to the back.
After numerous in-house conversations and additional feedback, we feel comfortable making a request to the Finance Council for approval for a solution that provides two Renkus-Heinz steerable arrays. When demoing this system, many parishioners remarked this was the first time they could clearly understand the spoken word from our clergy which is one of the primary goals of the solutions. This solution is more aesthetically-pleasing as the speakers will be hung as opposed to the mounted on the south wall and is also the most effective use of the church’s resources.
As we move into the installation part of the sound phase, we will soon turn our attention to improving the other technical aspects of the worship environment: video and lighting.