Audiologic, provider of professional audio solutions, has collaborated with GVAV to deliver an enhanced lecture theatre audio system to Plymouth Marine Laboratory for the Marine Matters Centre (MMC).
The Plymouth Marine Laboratory, a flexible conference venue with facilities to host up to 200 attendees, required an upgrade to their AV system in order to support their diverse application use. GVAV approached Audiologic to work with their teams to work up a design and specification that would provide a premium audio solution to support presentations, workshops and a variety of meetings and events. This included content streaming capabilities via a unified communications system such as Teams or Zoom, with the additional option of live streaming to YouTube.
Offering a versatile solution with precise coverage was key to ensure that speech intelligibility is maintained throughout the large space and prevent unwanted pickup from microphones within the room.
The “true technical feat” of the system specification is that of the auto-tracking system within the space. Commissioned by Audiologic application support engineer Diogo Scutti, the QSC Core 110f digital processor running a custom script, controls three QSC PTZ cameras to track participants within the room using speech picked up from four Shure MXA 910 ceiling microphones and an MX418 gooseneck microphone.
Using the microphones’ impressive eight lobes, the system is able to trigger a range of camera locations to be shown based on the position of the active participant. The diversity of this room, with many different layouts and retractable seating, meant that the system had to adapt to any use. Fine-tuned for an array of seating arrangements and speaker heights, the system ensures both the audience and presenters can be picked up accurately, while keeping background noise to a minimum.
The Sennheiser SpeechLine Wireless Microphone System provides reliable digital wireless microphones, automatically allocating a frequency on the DECT range when in use. This means that the presenters will not have to worry about finding available frequencies or interference, as the Speechline system is constantly checking for both. Supported by Sennheiser Infrared for assistive listening, the system not only provides quality, reliable audio, it caters for all listeners.
Not only do the Shure MXA910’s offer precision auto-tracking, they are also used to provide voice-lift within the space. This means that anywhere in the space, a speaker can be heard, as the microphone captures their voice, which is then processed by the QSC Cores and lifted to the areas furthest away. Voice-lift uses subtle gain to compensate for the natural loss of level over distance. This eliminates the need for passing around microphones, especially useful in modern times, and means that even those without wireless mics can be heard. This is a great feature to hear audience participants without disrupting flow of a lecture.
“The concept of this project was to provide to the end-user a system with the most flexible features, meeting the room initial requirements,” said Scutti. “Adding brands like QSC and Shure to this equation brought all of this to the project. The combination of QSC Core, the QSC PTZ cameras, and the Shure MXA910 ceiling tile microphones allowed several room combinations, even when the retractable seats are in a different configuration.”