Sound system awful

Published 1:30 am Sunday, November 13, 2011

Last week I attended the Center for Pregnancy Choices Banquet at the Vicksburg Convention Center along with about 600 others. In addition last fall, I attended the Autism Conference there featuring keynote speaker Dr. Temple Grandin and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra concerts over the last four years.

At each event I tried to hear the song introductions announced by Crafton Beck over the sound of the air conditioning motors. After paying good money to hear Dr. Grandin squeak and squawk for several hours, I was about ready to go to the nearest sport supply store or eBay and purchase her an old-fashioned megaphone which she probably would have liked much better anyway.

I find it an embarrassment to our community for a facility that prides itself in promoting such events and looks this nice, but lacks the acoustical dampening to have a public address system that it is actually pleasinging to listen to. I now cringe every time someone picks up a microphone.

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The podium mic sounded somewhat better than the wireless handheld, which may need an upgrade, but whatever is heard from my perspective is normally less than pleasing. I will say the system used at Christmas for the caroling contest, which was owned and operated by an outside source, was better than anything I have experienced there that is permanently installed.

I do understand that this is a very open, high-ceiling room not conducive to good acoustics and that, combined with a “knob turner” who may not understand such, can be explosive. Being a musician and somewhat of a sound engineer myself with my recording business, I hope that when renovation time comes, someone will carefully consider what they will spend more taxpayer’s money on.

Mike Robinson