Earthworks IML3-B microphones were selected for a recent conference room upgrade, which has produced "the best-sounding system of this type" its designer has ever heard.
Integrator Audio-Video Group was called in by CenturyLink when the company was looking to upgrade the executive conference room at its office in Arlington, Virginia, US.
Stephen Bon, sales development engineer at Audio-Video Group, selected the Earthworks IML3-B microphone for the install – in which table- mounted button microphones were to be replaced. “We have used the Earthworks ChoirMics, FlexMic podium mics and PianoMics in a number of our church sound system designs," he explained. "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.”
In Arlington, CenturyLink has several conference rooms, which can be combined, and audio feeds can be sent to and from the different rooms. The Earthworks IML3-B microphones were installed in the executive conference room, where audio conference calls are frequently made. The room has a horseshoe-shaped conference table with six Earthworks IML3-B microphones on each side and two at the end.
Bon programmed the IML Series microphones, which feature the LumiComm Touch Ring, into an AMX control system. “The bi-colour light rings on the microphones are tied into an AMX control system that is designed to mute the microphones. When all of the mics are muted, the colour of the light ring will change from green for ‘on’ to red for ‘mute’,” he said.
“The Earthworks IML microphones have provided us excellent fidelity of the audio pickup that is extremely consistent, both on and off-axis, which allows them to overlap and blend well together,” he continued.
The IML3-B provided substantial improvements over other microphones Bon had previously used for AV conferencing. “In previous systems designs, we have used other brands of microphones, which typically sound like you are using a speakerphone,” he explained. “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.
“One of the benefits of the Earthworks IML series microphones is having a gooseneck that provides a lot more directionality of the audio pickup. In addition, the IML microphone’s polar response was smooth and consistent. The microphones are spaced evenly (about three feet apart), so if I were to sit at any seat, or even in between the seats, the pickup of the microphones is seamless, and you never go into a lull, as they blend so well together.
“These microphones also dramatically reduced ancillary table noise (such as tapping of fingers, rustling of papers and moving things around on the table). CenturyLink wanted a strong emphasis on quality, reliability and exceptional clarity in this system redesign. 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.”
Ease of installation was another benefit of the IML3-B. “The installation of the IML microphones was clean and easy,” explained Bon. “Just drill a hole, slide the microphone in and screw it together. The IML series control function works seamlessly with the AMX.”
He concluded: “We as a company know that if we demonstrate an Earthworks microphone, we will sell it, every single time. We have never demonstrated an Earthworks microphone and not sold it. So, the quality speaks for itself.”