When a leading website optimization platform company was looking to upgrade the video conferencing rooms at its San Francisco headquarters, the company turned to Audio Visual Design Group to design and install the system.
Among the requirements for the installation was superior sound from ceiling-located microphones, which also blended in with the interior design.
“Ceiling mics by nature are difficult to make sound good due to the distance from participants and the unintended sound they can pick up,” says Aaron Obstfeld, Director of Technical Services at Audio Visual Design Group. “These rooms themselves were acoustically challenging as well.”
Audio Visual Design Group went with Earthworks IM3-W and C30/C-W microphones for the install.
With those challenges and client requirements in mind, Obstfeld and Project Engineer Greg Spydell selected the Earthworks IM3-W and C30/C-W microphones for the install.
“The specifications and our preliminary testing led us to believe we could minimize factors such as ambient noise and acoustic reflectiveness for a better quality sound,” says Obstfeld.
The project involved 3 independent spaces, with the IM3-Ws being installed in the room with a drop-tile ceiling. The C30/C-Ws were installed in the other two rooms due to an exposed ceiling. The microphones were installed with a Biamp TesiraFORTE DSP, Labgruppen E4:2 Amplifier and Tannoy CVS6, OCV6 and Di 6Ct speakers for use with a video conferencing application using Vidyo HD-230 Video Conference codecs.
The IM3-W provided substantial improvements over other microphones Obstfeld had previously used for this type of application.
“The audio quality was superior to other ceiling microphones we’d used for conferencing applications,” says Obstfeld. “Improved clarity, appropriate pickup patterns and fewer issues with distance from microphone to participant were some of the key improvements with the Earthworks IM3-W microphones.”
Beyond improved sound quality, Obstfeld also notes ease of installation as a chief benefit of the IM3-W.
“Our install technicians had a very easy time with mounting and configuration – particularly in ACT ceiling tiles. They’ve asked that Earthworks become our standard for ceiling microphones from an installation perspective. The quality of sound was good enough that we are planning to use these microphones for other clients on upcoming projects and will lead with them for designs with ceiling microphones whenever the budget allows.”
Obstfeld notes the client’s reaction to the installation and plans for future upgrades. “The client was very happy with the quality of the systems overall. They have decided to standardize on Earthworks microphones for future installed conference room systems.”