When CenturyLink was looking to upgrade their executive conference room at their Arlington, VA office’s Government Contracting Division, they turned to Audio-Video Group to design and install the system. Reliability, quality and exceptional clarity were key requirements in the system redesign, which consisted of replacing table mounted button microphones.
With those client requirements at hand, Stephen Bon, Sales Development Engineer at Audio-Video Group, selected the Earthworks IML3-B microphone for the install. “We have used the Earthworks ChoirMics, FlexMic podium mics and PianoMics in a number of our church sound system designs,” says Bon. “Based on our experience in using Earthworks microphones, there was no question that I would use Earthworks microphones in this installation. We needed the best microphones for the job and we knew it had to be the Earthworks microphones.”
CenturyLink has several conference rooms in their Arlington, VA facility, which can be combined and can send audio feeds to and from the different rooms. The Earthworks microphones were installed in the executive conference room, which is where the majority of audioconferencing calls for the company take place. Six microphones were installed into on each side of the horseshoe shaped conference table in the room, as well as 2 microphones at the end of the table.
One of the reasons Bon chose the Earthworks microphones were thanks to their programmability under AMX control systems. Bon programmed the microphones so that the bi-color light rings on them could be tied into the AMX control system, designed to mute the microphones. When all of the mics are muted the color of the light ring will change to green when the microphones are live and red when they are muted.
“In previous systems designs, we have used other brands of microphones, which typically sound like you are using a speakerphone,” says Bon of the microphones used for this design. “But with this new system, even in the remote rooms, it sounds like that person is right there in the room with them. When you hear a call from the CenturyLink system using the Earthworks microphones, it is hands down the best sounding system of this type I have ever heard.”
The goosenecks in the microphones were also an upgrade over the previous button system, providing more directionality for audio pickup. The IML microphones’ polar response, explains Bon, is smooth and consistent. By spacing them at even intervals of about three feet apart, the microphones are able to pick up voices whether sitting in front of them or between, and the blending allows voices to continue to be crisp and clear regardless of where the speaker is in the room. The microphones also reduce ancillary table noise such as rustling papers or tapping pens.
“CenturyLink wanted a strong emphasis on quality, reliability and exceptional clarity in this system redesign,” says Bon. “So I chose the Earthworks microphones because of their outstanding clarity and polar response. I coupled the Earthworks microphones with the Biamp Tesira Forte audio processing, which resulted in the best audio conferencing system I have ever designed.”