UPDATE TO DECEMBER, 2018
It has been a busy time at church as usual and I have had a chance to chat with most of you from one time or another. However, this message is being sent to say how wonderful and dedicated you all are. It is a privilege to work with you. Your flexibility is absolutely amazing. Thank you so much and the best of the season to you.
Now, onto the business at hand. Dave and I are heading south for a three week plus holiday, returning in time for me to handle sound and light on the second Sunday of January. That being said, we are heading out about the 18th so won’t be on hand to handle sound/light/projection over the Christmas services. I have spoken to Barry and he is going to handle Sound and Light for the 4:30 service on the 24th, Mike Trew will handle projection for the 8 p.m. service on the 24th. That leaves projection for the 4:30 service - Deb Charnuski has agreed to handle that for us and I have asked George if he can handle the 8:00 p.m. service. He is reluctant however so if someone else can be available for that service, he (and I) would be most grateful to hear from you.
With December being a five Sunday month, I will need coverage on the the 30th for sound and light. I’m hoping Meryl can look after projection for then or maybe Tapas - let me know if you are available and that it will be covered.
I trust that the schedule is still working out okay with our assignments. I know Jonathan has some issues with making the trek back from Edmonton on the third weekend so I sure don’t mind filling in.
I will post a new schedule for the coming year asap. We should be okay for the rest of December with me on duty next week with Alison and Mike, Jonathan on the 16th with Meryl and Barry/George on the 23rd with Tapas on projection. It's the service on December 30, 2018 that is challenging.
Tauran has been hard at work at school and on the job so has been unable to help out. I’m hoping she will be available for the 1st. Sunday of January. Let me know, okay, so I can try to make other arrangements is you are unavailable. Tapas did “Scaffolding duty” with Peter Adams, Dave and I when we made the projection image changes — thank you, Dave, Tapas, Peter!!!
On the positive side, the gremlin seems to be on holiday. Using advice from Jason W. , I am turning on the power for the audio with the lower stack off until the top stack is lit up. It seems to stop the loud power snap that has occurred in the past. As well, when I turn off the power, I power down the components in the bottom stack before flicking the power switch. As well, I make sure the the main aux buttons for the hanging mics up front are off except when the choir is singing (i.e. anthems and hymns). I have been using those main aux buttons when we have several mics in operation.
Hints for projection: You may have noticed that we were able to change the image size on the projector - good footage was captured being three stacks high on the scaffolding. Dave M. used white printing on dark background (large font -40- when he could and I received compliments today for the clarity. Yeah, Dave!! The rear screen is up and the projector needs to be moved closer - an act in progress - so hope that the image does not have to hang over the edge.
We will be shopping after Christmas for some new equipment - the mid ranges in our old cluster overhead speakers have failed, however we have resorted to using the monitors as speakers when all else has failed. Don’t hesitate to work with the Main Auxiliary lever to modify sound as required. A digital sound board would alleviate the need for frequent adjustments - we would have Peggy’s mic set as memory, etc. I have to tell you that I am seeking a new chair of communication to give me other opportunities to serve at St. David’s. Any volunteers????
Again, Merry Christmas to you and yours and all the very best of 2019.
UPDATE TO OCTOBER 15, 2018
We have a lot on our table this fall. With our new screen we have to enlarge our picture to make full use of our awesome new screen. The old screen will be installed on the balcony. We have met with Jason Wright, Darkmatter Productions, to critique our system. Jason has been intimately involved with our system since the early 2000's so is familiar with its workings. (We are trying to eliminate the Gremlin.) Jason has given us a quote on bringing our system totally up to date, however it is a little rich for our budget. It did include accessing the speaker cluster for renewal and because of the height and weight restrictions we are rather limited in addressing the problem of aging, old technology speakers.
We welcome a new volunteer to PSALT. Jock McTavish has offered to help us isolate the trouble spots on the system. He comes to the position from a lifetime of dealing with audio systems like ours. On Sunday, Tauran and I met with Jock to begin.
One simple step involves manually turning on the stack of amplifiers, equalizer, sub-woofer etc. I often hear a real protesting when I flip the switch to turn on the audio system. Evidently the relay start for the systems is in reverse. It should be upper stack then amplifiers (lower stack) to begin and amplifiers (lower stack) then upper stack when shutting down the system. Tauran turns off the lower stack machines, flips the switch then turns the lower stack back on. Hmm!
As well, Tauran only opens the manual buttons for Main Auxiliary for the Hanging Mics when the choir is singing (to enhance the recording.)
The monitors work very well, however they need to be turned on and placed facing the choir to work properly. We have considered identifying the best spots on the stage for consistent sound. Watch for future ideas.
She also, like Jason, suggests that we need a workshop to determine best practice and share ideas. If you would indicate possible dates for us to meet for a two hour session. Tauran is available on the first Thursday morning of November. Is that doable?
I will be contacting you through email. P.S. Meryl will be back at projection next Sunday. Welcome back. With the updated computer operating system and the new screen, you will be impressed.
UPDATE TO SEPTEMBER 25, 2018
Here comes Christmas!! Right! Thanksgiving first, then Remembrance Day and then Christmas! Things are going well these days. Thanks, Team, you are amazing.
Tauran has done some experimenting with the size of projection to match our new screen and I have been visiting other churches for ideas re: future directions. On the home front, Meryl is feeling better daily after her scary trip to Emergency two weeks ago. She however will need to have someone do her October date (as well as our fifth Sunday of the month - September 30) date. I'll do sound but I am open to volunteers for projection.
We had some excitement during first three Sundays of September, the third being Meryl's ambulance trip. The battery on our church server failed on the first Sunday so we were unable to tie in with internet on the balcony computer and second Sunday, Mike could'nt load his updated powerpoint to our outdated computer upstairs. Mohammed to the rescue! The old beast upstairs went for a trip and has more memory and latest install so we can compute away.
Check out the schedule to end of November. Watch for our Christmas schedule. Tada!
UPDATE TO SEPTEMBER 10, 2018
Our new screen is up, thanks to Dave M., Wally and the Friendship Group. Now we just have to adjust our projector to match to new size. We no longer lower the screen from behind the organ - we merely point the remote on the balony and press. Neat!
I am taking a couple of our mics to the shop to replace frayed cords, etc. Our computer on the balcony is having senior issues as it is unable to handle the new powerpoint programs on most of our computers at home. Now that the battery on our server has been replaced we can expect to get items into and out of the Bitbucket.
Thank you for your flexibility this summer. Your work is so vital to St. David's.
UPDATE TO JULY 16, 2017
The choir spotlights have been replaced by LED day light bulbs and even with the blackout curtains drawn, the choir will be clothed in bright daylight. This Sunday, our harpist, Gianetta Baril, at centre of chancel was the first to enjoy the new lights. Tauren, supported by the team of Wally, David and Brenda, set up scaffolding and with the help of Janice Rider moved same from the chancel to the sanctuary floor so that the big spot lights could be redirected. Thank you, team!!!
NOTE: Jonathan and Brenda have traded Sundays for July -- 16th for 30th. Sound went well on Sunday 16th, after we realized that the choir fan on full speed was doing a number on the back centre speaker. Remember to use the new technology to record comments, hints, etc.
UPDATE TO JULY 9, 2017
So, summer services are well under way and we are just clicking along. I am soloing now on second Sunday. Today was a busy day with Alison's Stampede Service but with the exception of a sudden and loud "Yahoo" by all five live mics and the resounding feedback that followed, all went well. Rev. Kelley's mic pac 2 seemed to work flawlessly. Go figure!
Jonathan and I have traded dates for July 16 and July 30. I won't be available in the month of August so need August 13 coverage. The sail boat is calling me!!! Let me know if you can help out. As well, following Stampede week, we will get the choir spots modernized. P.S. I use the spotlight to highlight the action on the piano side of the front. Maybe we will be able to redirect the floodlights when we do the bulb change.
Thanks again, Tauren, for the new hi-tech log book.
UPDATE TO JUNE 24, 2017
Check out the new schedule for Summer upto October 29, 2017 as a file attachment below. I will need to make some arrangements for our holiday to the coast as the summer progresses and if any of you are needing alternate dates, let me know. I didn't check for special services outside our usual Sunday services so there may be additions as the fall commences. Have a great holiday season. See you at SDUC.
UPDATE TO JUNE 11, 2017
Sound on Sunday was a challenge for PSALT as the congregation was participating in the Kairos Blanket Exercise. Speakers encircled the centre piece consisting of blankets and Aboriginal artifacts. This service was Erwan's final scheduled time on the sound board as he finishes up 10 years of service for which we are so grateful. Thank you, Erwan.
For the first time, I was able to use the ipad set up as our new technical assist, thanks to Tauren. The Ipad seems happy next to the light board. The old log book which is still at its station can continue to be used, however if you enter comments onto the ipad, they are grouped into relevant categories for easy retrieval.
There is a change for next Sunday as Jonathan is unable to do sound. I will be at the helm Sunday morning. I will need help during September, which looks like holiday month for me.
Replacement of the burned out lights in the choir spots will happen after the Stampede when the Royal Conservatory Music Exams are over and Wally has the chairs removed for cleaning. Watch for it !!
UPDATE TO MAY 31, 2017
Our year is quickly coming to a close and it has been a good one for the folk at St. David's as they were gifted with projection, sound and light by the PSALT Team!! Scheduling for the summer months will be out very soon. If you are planning to be away on your Sunday (note: five Sundays in July), let Brenda know right away or better yet, see if you can swap with someone -- just let me know, okay? I plan to be away from the last week of July for six weeks or so so would love some help.
Tauren has digitized our log book which will make it much easier for us to locate recurring incidents and resolutions as they arise. The link to the log book is
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1FWNsSGBcOw9MEmI3QKYA7mz0408Z5OoA3lij34ninuU/edit?usp=sharing. We can add comments as usual in the book or on line-- progress.
I see from Tauren's comments last week that it is time to crawl up on the scaffolding again to change light bulbs. Such joy!!
UPDATE TO MAY 14, 2017
Happy Mother's Day!! Special thanks to Tauren (with sidekick, Brenda) for removing dust from all the components. You wouldn't believe all the screws that hold equipment together. As well, to Barry for working sound for the Family Service on May 7 and to Tauren, for switching with Barry and George for fourth Sunday of May. Tapas has been working hard on projection and the great news today were the accolades for ease of reading the font - black on white, font size 40.
Lots of flexibility is a blessing in this ministry. Thanks so much. As well, it is budget time at SDUC so I'll be submitting same for the Communication (PSALT) ministry.
UPDATE TO APRIL 30, 2017
I just sent out an email with the revised schedule for the months of May and June as well as some reminders to help provide consistency to our Sunday morning PSALT work. Thanks for your faithfulness and for your willingness to be so flexible. Yeah, team!!
UPDATE TO APRIL 16, 2017
Assuming that everyone loves their Sunday, I have uploaded a schedule to the end of June. You can download it as PDF or EXCEL. Don't hesitate to call me or email me if you have conflicts that can't be solved internally. Thank you for being so flexible.
UPDATE TO MARCH 21, 2017
The Easter week services are upcoming - check out the home page. Brenda will be able to handle sound and light for Good Friday service but welcomes company in the sound booth. Mike will be handling the projection for Good Friday. Thanks, Mike. Congrats to Alison and Mark who have welcomed baby Jonah, brother for Brandon, into their home and into our church family.
UPDATE to March 13, 2017
Brenda had a good visit with John Whidden this past week (he sends his greetings) and she has been in conversation with the finance and property committees as they are looking at further investment in our Sound, Light and Projection ministry. As well Ministry and Personnel are considering a proposal that will bring continuity to our ministry on a weekly basis. The monitors do create a problem for those upfront to hear what is going on when they aren't singing. Contact me if you have any suggestions, comments, questions. Meanwhile, the gremlin has moved on and thanks go to Tauren for organizing the sound board so effectively.
TAPAS has returned from a three month visit to Bangladesh. He has been sorely missed from his fourth Sunday of the month as a projectionist. Welcome back, Tapas.
Thank you, Meryl, for taking on the task for the last Sunday of February.
AND ON INTO 2017
It is a long time since Steve McCumber conducted a blitz to recruit interested folk in working on the St. David's Sound Team. Back in 2005, with a huge sign up sheet in the foyer, Marsha Ma Poy challenged Brenda to volunteer so the two of them signed up. Our first solo was a lengthy funeral service and so it began. David Layton lent his carpentry skills with his first mate as we assembled furniture and finished the roughed - in enclosure. On the existing team during the recruitement phase were George White and Steve McCumber along with John Pierce. In 2007, Erwan Goasdoue joined the team - awesome son-in-law. Other fabulous servants of the cause have joined over the years and many others have moved on. John Whidden helped to formalize our ministry and our equipment has improved dramaticially since those early beginnings.
But.... we need technical input, know how and leadership. The Revised Schedule to the middle of May has been emailed to the PSALT team but let's actively recruit or step up to the leadership plate. Please. See attached files for the updated schedule to May 14, 2017.
ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS SEASON AT SDUC:
The Christmas Schedule is complete, thanks to all the responses. Special thanks to Tauren who will be managing the helm on Christmas and New Year's Day Services. Check out the schedule and contact me if there is a problem.
There is lots of action in the PSALT community as we try to provide light, sound and projection for the services and activities at SDUC. Right now we are in dire need for a volunteer to handle projection on the fourth Sunday of the month while Tapas is out of the country for three months. Special thanks to Dave who was conscripted to fill in on Nov. 27 at last minute.
Because your new chair person is not a source coder, I have had to create a new schedule on my trusty macbook. Time will tell how well it will work. Download the attached files below, using word or pages.
PSALT's Archived Sunday Morning Schedule can be found under ABOUT on our home page. This vital ministry, provides sound, light and projection to our life and work at SDUC and includes a committed group of Volunteers.
By now, you have probably heard via the grapevine that our dedicated PSALT chair, John Whidden, has retired from the Calgary Board of Education and he and his family have relocated in Medicine Hat where Colleen has a contract teaching at the College. That means that the PSALT team needs a new spokesperson, hence Brenda Wallace and Meryl Arnott have joined forces to head up the team. They bring with themselves many years of service to PSALT even though their willingness might not be matched with their technical knowhow. However, the team is strong and knowledgeable so the ministry continues.
Thank you, John, for your dedication and for bringing our sound, light and projection system up to its present standard. Good luck in your new undertakings.