The overall system has been designed by DSH Audio Visions of Milwaukee, WI, which is a nationally-known independent audio consulting firm. They specialize in sound design for traditional liturgical worship spaces (including the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame). Farber Sound, our new A/V Integrator from the Twin Cities, has deployed Audio/Video/Lighting Systems for over 25 years.
Our new sound system consists of very low-profile speakers that are strategically placed on the pillars throughout the church to make sure all parishioners will be able to hear the Word of God clearly, no matter where they sit. Music originating from the loft—including cantors, vocal soloists, and light musical instruments (such as violins and guitars)—will be supported by speakers installed at the loft face.
In order to help everything—music, organ, and spoken word—sound clear and alive in the renovated church without sounding too “live” and “echoey,” we have added some acoustic enhancements. Absorptive panels are located on the transept walls and at the rear wall at the entry. This keeps sound from reflecting off walls in echoes that make speech and music indistinct. The sound system should be fully working the first weekend Masses return to the Church of St. Michael, though fine tuning may be required as we adapt to the new system.
With our new sound system, most parishioners will be able to hear more clearly than before. For those with hearing loss, new technologies have been introduced. An induction loop system has been installed that should work great for parishioners with telecoil-equipped hearing aids. Many hearing aids have a switch that can be toggled between M and T. When in the M position, a tiny microphone on the hearing aid picks up sounds, and the hearing aid amplifies the sound in the ear. By switching to the T on the hearing aid, the microphone on the hearing aid is turned off and the telecoil will receive the signal being broadcast via the induction loop system. In this position, any word spoken into the church microphones will be broadcast directly to the hearing aid. If you are not familiar with this feature on your hearing aid, please talk with your hearing aid professional and ask how your hearing aid can be used with an “induction loop system.”
For those who do not have hearing aids, or have hearing aids that are not telecoil equipped, we will still offer personal wireless receivers that can be used with earbuds or earphone devices. These can be found in the cabinet to the right as you enter the sacristy. Please ask an usher, greeter, or sacristan to help you find this equipment and be sure to return the personal wireless receiver after Mass.
If you have hearing loss and you have questions about hearing options, please feel free to call Joe Kiolbasa at 439-3566 for assistance.