May 8, 2018
Our Sanctuary offers a magnificent setting for choral and instrumental music to stir the soul. We experience the grandeur of the choirs and organ, brass and orchestra in high and holy worship services. And yet the spoken word and clarity challenges us after many attempts and tens of thousands of dollars in new equipment and “fixes,” to improve sound so all can embrace both music and spoken word in services, special events and community events at Plymouth Church.
We’ve been “testing” again since Easter Sunday. Some small modifications with stage monitors have helped the choir, and speakers around the Sanctuary perimeter (don’t worry, they aren’t staying like that) also help us continue to better understand our circumstances. We’ve consulted with a variety of acoustic experts, and they all share in the assessment that our space offers unique challenges. If we make a change in one area, it impacts sound presentation in another area. So far, no matter what we do, there are still some dead sound spots in the space. Never fear! We are not deterred in our efforts to continue seeking options to make our listening experiences together ones where all can be touched, moved and inspired.
In addition to mounting small speakers, one option that holds promise is for those who use hearing aids made within the last decade. The Telecoil Loop System (Tcoil), which integrates with Bluetooth functionality in enabled hearing aids and cochlear implants, allows hearers to have sound shared directly from the main system through a magnetic loop in the desired space. All options are being considered. Unfortunately, research takes time and thoughtful, informed assessment to determine options that provide the best solutions. Thank you for your patience and willingness to work through the process so all can be blessed by what we share and hear together! – Rev. Steve Davis