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Duke Kunshun Uni deploys 116 Sennheiser mics

The TCC 2 utilises Dynamic Beamforming technology, which automatically tracks, and switches between, speakers in real time

Duke Kunshan University (DKU), in Jiangsu Province, China, has installed 116 Sennheiser TCC 2 Ceiling Array Microphones in 50 classrooms, and various other spaces across its campus, providing students and faculty with an immersive blended learning experience. DKU has a team of faculty members located all over the world and has stringent requirements for blended smart education.

Located in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, DKU is a 1,200-acre campus characterised by liberal arts education. DKU offers courses taught by faculty from Duke University in the United States, as well as other locations around the world. As a result, the university requires each classroom to provide an immersive online learning experience as if it were face-to-face.

This audio-video project is part of the university’s second phase, covering 22 buildings on campus, including 29 classrooms, 20 conference rooms, and a visitor centre. DKU chose to install a total of 116 TCC 2s so that every space could use the Sennheiser microphones.

The TCC 2 utilises patented Dynamic Beamforming technology, which automatically tracks the position of speakers and switches between speakers in real time, ensuring that their voices are clearly captured. Teachers are able to move around and communicate freely with students while teaching, and the layout of desks and chairs in the classroom can be flexibly adjusted.

In addition to classrooms, schools also place a high value on the design of audio systems in conference rooms. In teleconferencing, the seamless integration of audio and video is very important. In this project, TCC 2 integrates Biamp DSP and Sony PTZ camera tracking to synchronize the monitored speaker’s position to the camera, thus realizing real-time switching of the speaker’s footage.

The Visitor Centre is another highlight of this project. It has a flexible layout and a bright and spacious space, with an area of 400 square metres and a height of 4.8 metres. Three TCC 2s were installed in the Visitor Centre whose TruVoicelift acoustic enhancement feature delivers sound with no distortion or delay.

The DKU Phase II project, which took three years to design and deploy and complete, was not only large in scale but also in complexity. The project’s audio/video system includes many types of products, including Biamp DSP, Bose loudspeakers and Crestron control systems. Therefore, for the success of the whole project, easy operation process and seamless integration of products of each link are crucial, which is also the main challenge of the project manager.

Wan Li is the chief engineer at DKU and the university’s technical lead for the audio system design. His team adopted an all-digital and fully distributed AV-over-IP architecture. The TCC 2 can be integrated into the campus network with all brands of audio equipment via Dante, allowing IT managers to monitor and control the communication, interaction and control of various devices in real time via cell phones, tablets or computers. TCC 2 has been certified by Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Tencent Conference and Nail Conference to meet the preferences and needs of all types of users.

During the implementation of the project, Sennheiser’s technical engineers went to DKU several times to carry out on-site investigation and debugging work room by room to ensure that the installation position and angle of each TCC 2 could achieve the optimal effect and realise the best voice clarity.