Earthworks LED mics bring clarity to council chambers22 June 2016
MSC Systems has designed and installed a system upgrade based around Earthworks LED FlexMics for the City Council Chambers in Beaumont, Texas to improve the local sound reinforcement, live streaming and recording for archiving.
Key requirements for the system upgrade were clarity and better off-axis response when council members didn’t speak directly into the microphones, which replace the existing gooseneck microphones. The client also wanted the microphones to have an LED light ring that would serve as a visual indicator of the microphone being on.
With those client requirements in mind, Chase Daigle, system designer for MSC Systems, selected the Earthworks FlexMic microphones for the install. “Earthworks met the client’s main requirement of exceptional clarity and great off-axis response hands down, but didn’t have a current model with a LED ring,” explained Daigle.
“After contacting Earthworks with the client’s request, we had a prototype within 20 days. We set up a demo in the council chambers and the microphone sold itself. They were blown away by the overall improvement in audio quality and were very impressed with the smoothness of the microphone at different distances and positions around the microphone. After hearing the difference a microphone of this quality can make the client ordered 16.”
After Daigle selected the FMR600-LR-G for the installation, which features a green LED light ring, cardioid polar pattern and 14in gooseneck, he was able to program the microphones with a BSS processor. “We are using a custom mounting plate from Horizon with mounting points so the PMM1 shock mount can be used. There is a two pole toggle switch on the plate, which allows the audio to be muted and the power to the LEDs to be turned off at the same time. On the back side of the plate is a pop filter circuit to keep the audio from popping and terminal strip where the audio lines and 12v power supply for the LEDs tie in.”
The City of Beaumont’s chief technology officer, Bart Bartkowiak commented: “We were struggling with reports of poor sound quality on City of Beaumont Council meeting broadcasts. The Earthworks FlexMic Series microphones with the LED ring have greatly improved our overall sound quality. In fact, we’ve had to turn down the gain on many due to the fact that the microphones pick up voices so well. The LEDs have also helped us when evaluating any issues since it is now so easy to tell if the microphone is on or off while the person is speaking.”