Bells at Middleton High School Continue to Crackle


Benjamin Zumbrunnen

One of the speakers seen in classrooms throughout The Stack at Middleton High School. These speakers are linked to the PA system at MHS, and is where bells sound from within The Stack.

Benjamin Zumbrunnen

When students at Middleton High School (MHS) came back from their spring break, they noticed something different about their school: the bells that faithfully inform them of every classes’ beginning and end had begun to crackle. As both students and staff began snickering at the disturbance, it became clear that the problem was being noticed. 

According to Bradley Crandell, Assistant Athletic Director and Activities Coordinator at MHS, the problem began after the PA system was rewired over spring break. 

“[MHS] had the company come in that originally wired [the PA system] and [they] did some rewiring because parts of the PA system weren’t working and bells weren’t being heard,” Crandell said.

When MCPASD Technology Services rewired the PA system, the gain was skewed. According to the Landr Blog, gain is the amount of amplification introduced to an audio signal. When a microphone records audio, the changes in air pressure caused by soundwaves are converted into an electrical signal. If that signal is directly converted back into audio, it is not audible. So, the microphone amplifies the signal to an audible level. Gain is just the amount of amplification added to this signal.  

“[MCPASD Technology Services] believe[s] that it’s just a matter of balancing out the gain.”  Crandell said. Currently, the bells are crackly at some times and painfully loud at others.

According to Crandell,  MCPASD Technology Services is responsible for fixing the bells, not the technology department at MHS. The MCPASD Technology Department is going to work overnight the week of Monday, April 24, 2023 to test the system.

MCPASD Technology Services hopes to quickly solve the crackling. Until then, students at MHS will continue to learn as always, even with the disturbance in the bells.