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Author Topic: Implementing assisted listening  (Read 2522 times)

Stephen Swaffer

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Implementing assisted listening
« on: December 27, 2017, 10:08:46 pm »

I need some help in implementing assited listening in our church.  Prompted by the recent thread regarding loops vs rf systems I mentioned to pastor that we should do something at some point in time.

A member approached pastor recently unsolicited with money in hand wanting to put in a system set up for 10 listeners-of course they have been shopping on ebay and viewing the bluetooth systems, so the budget is probably smaller than it should be-$1000.  They also want "over-the-ear style" headphones to accomodate hearing aid wearers.  Obviously, if a TX is installed, users can use their preference of phones vs earbuds with any given receiver.

Suggestions for getting started?  Obviously it can grow as needed-currently we run around 300 in a service-honestly I am think 10 receivers is more than plenty-personally I'd rather fewer but better.  I don't want to put something in that users will avoid because of quality.

Suggestions on the mix to feed this?  We are running a QU-32 and a dedicated mix is available.  Other than tweaking piano (we do not use a band) in the mix, I am thinking mainly compression on the mix?  But what do I know :o ?
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 10:34:36 pm by Stephen Swaffer »
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Steve Swaffer

Caleb Dueck

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Re: Implementing assisted listening
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 10:33:25 pm »

I need some help in implementing assited listening in our church.  Prompted by the recent thread regarding loops vs rf systems I mentioned to pastor that we should do something at some point in time.

A member approached pastor recently unsolicited with money in hand wanting to put in a system set up for 10 listeners-of course they have been shopping on ebay and viewing the bluetooth systems, so the budget is probably smaller than it should be-$1000.  They also want "over-the-ear style" headphones to accomodate hearing aid wearers.  Obviously, if a TX is installed, users can use their preference of phones vs earbuds with any given receiver.

Suggestions for getting started?  Obviously it can grow as needed-currently we run around 300 in a service-honestly I am think 10 receivers is more than plenty-personally I'd rather fewer but better.  I don't want to put something in that users will avoid because of quality.

Suggestions on the mix to feed this?  We are running a QU-32 and a dedicated mix is available.  Other than tweaking piano (we do not use a band) in the mix, I am thinking mainly compression 
on the mix?  But what do I know :o ?
The RF "packages" from Listen or Williams would be a great start.  Tx, (4) Rx, antenna, and misc pieces.  Cost is not far from $1k.  The Listen iDSP models supposedly sound better. 

From there you can add Rx as needed. 

Look into some neckloop "personal hotspot" TCoils to plug into Rx units for those with TCoil hearing aids, which is a growing percentage. 

A mirror of the main mix should be fine from the console.  Add a HPF 100-200Hz or so and some compression. 

Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk

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Lance Rectanus

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Re: Implementing assisted listening
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 05:25:20 am »

I need some help in implementing assited listening in our church.

I have recently augmented our ALS mix with a small shotgun mic located at my balcony mix position. During our contemporary service there is always an open mic: either the band is playing or the pastor is speaking. During our traditional service only the pastor is mic'ed, so the mix was silent during the hymns and organ-only times. I put a pretty serious high-pass on the shotgun and also set it up to duck under the pastor's mic. Its working out pretty well so far. We have a Williams system transmitting on FM 72.9 with 4 beltpacks with a choice of ear buds or a neck loop. No one wants to use the neck loop.
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: Implementing assisted listening
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 04:28:55 pm »

We have a FM system.  It works very well.   I to had no request for the neck loop until we got a man with cochlear implants.  The neck loop is his only option, and works well.

Frank
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Implementing assisted listening
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 09:08:12 am »

For a church if the equipment allows for it I will usually set up a dedicated mix for the assisted listening system with all of the spoken word inputs up higher in relation to the music/preformance inputs.
If there are choir mics maybe have them up a little higher in the ALS mix the mentioned room mic is a good idea if the operator remembers to turn it down when the contemporary service starts, of course with a digital board that could be part of the scene change.

The ALS mix should be post fade.

Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Implementing assisted listening
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2017, 05:56:29 pm »

Thankyou for the responses-I know it's relatively simple to do just don't want to do it twice.

My first reaction is "I don't want Bluetooth"-but is that I rational thought?  Reading this article:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4285000/

They allude to hearing devices linking with phones, etc via Bluetooth-but I am thinking this technology is still too new to have established standard-but is this something the industry is moving to?  It would seem Bluetooth broadcast direct to devices would be ideal?

I am not trying to argue by any means-there is a lot of knowledge and experience here.  As much as anything I want to know the "why" if I don't want something.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Implementing assisted listening
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2017, 09:45:20 pm »

Thankyou for the responses-I know it's relatively simple to do just don't want to do it twice.

My first reaction is "I don't want Bluetooth"-but is that I rational thought?  Reading this article:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4285000/

They allude to hearing devices linking with phones, etc via Bluetooth-but I am thinking this technology is still too new to have established standard-but is this something the industry is moving to?  It would seem Bluetooth broadcast direct to devices would be ideal?

I am not trying to argue by any means-there is a lot of knowledge and experience here.  As much as anything I want to know the "why" if I don't want something.

There are many devices for the hard of hearing that link via Bluetooth.  I am not aware of any that will do that in real time, without latency, from an external source such like an effective assisted listening system would require. 

There certainly may be some things out there but I have not seen any yet.

Lee
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Jason Dalley

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Re: Implementing assisted listening
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2018, 12:04:13 pm »

I need some help in implementing assited listening in our church.  Prompted by the recent thread regarding loops vs rf systems I mentioned to pastor that we should do something at some point in time.

A member approached pastor recently unsolicited with money in hand wanting to put in a system set up for 10 listeners-of course they have been shopping on ebay and viewing the bluetooth systems, so the budget is probably smaller than it should be-$1000.  They also want "over-the-ear style" headphones to accomodate hearing aid wearers.  Obviously, if a TX is installed, users can use their preference of phones vs earbuds with any given receiver.

Suggestions for getting started?  Obviously it can grow as needed-currently we run around 300 in a service-honestly I am think 10 receivers is more than plenty-personally I'd rather fewer but better.  I don't want to put something in that users will avoid because of quality.

Suggestions on the mix to feed this?  We are running a QU-32 and a dedicated mix is available.  Other than tweaking piano (we do not use a band) in the mix, I am thinking mainly compression on the mix?  But what do I know :o ?

Hey Stephen, another interesting option you might consider is a WiFi audio system. Basically, anyone in your congregation who needs assistive listening could be accommodated through an app on their smart phone. This would let them use their own headphones, and most Bluetooth hearing aids are already synced to the users phone.

Like Lee had mentioned, there can be some latency, (especially with bluetooth), but with Audio Everywhere: https://www.listentech.com/shop/product/audio-everywhere-2-channel-wi-fi-server/ the latency is extremely low, making it a great option for assistive listening, and it will connect right to your existing WiFi network. It's also within your budget.

Full disclosure, I work for Listen Technologies, but I saw this, and figured it never hurts to throw another option out there. I'm happy to answer any questions if you have em.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Implementing assisted listening
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2018, 12:58:06 pm »

We have made the decision not to invest in the infrastructure to provide public WiFi in our auditorium-we figure people are there for other reasons than to be on their devices.  Of course, that is their decidion-but we don't feel obligated to support it.  The wifi we do have is reasonably secured to provide us the tools we need to "produce" the service. 

Interestingy, this was posted an hour after I was notified that our system had been delivered.

I would be willing to reconsider-but the FAQ's on the Listen site caution that audio might be delayed by up to a syllable?  That seems excessive for comfortable listening?
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Implementing assisted listening
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2018, 07:32:10 pm »

We have made the decision not to invest in the infrastructure to provide public WiFi in our auditorium-we figure people are there for other reasons than to be on their devices.  Of course, that is their decidion-but we don't feel obligated to support it.  The wifi we do have is reasonably secured to provide us the tools we need to "produce" the service. 

Interestingy, this was posted an hour after I was notified that our system had been delivered.

I would be willing to reconsider-but the FAQ's on the Listen site caution that audio might be delayed by up to a syllable?  That seems excessive for comfortable listening?


As for delay on an assisted listening system, if available I will sometimes actually add a little delay to the ALS mix feed. That can help get what the person listening to the ALS closer to in sync with the direct sound from the speaker system. Notice I said closer, there's no way to delay it perfectly for everywhere in the room.   

Frank DeWitt

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Re: Implementing assisted listening
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2018, 07:54:57 pm »

Kind of late here but I have some new info.  We have a man with two Cochlear Implants who wanted to use our hearing assist system.  I gave him a receiver and a neck loop, and he said he could not understand what he was hearing.  Our system was old (About 25 years) but seemed to work OK.  Perhaps a bit noisy, and you might need to position the receiver a bit for the best signal but it worked with plenty of volume.  After talking with the people at Listen technology I learned that volume is only part of the solution. You and I can hear part of a word and our mind will fill in the rest.  With impaired hearing this is harder.  They need volume AND clarity.  We replaced our transmitter and a few receivers with new from Listen. Same FM frequency and channel.  The guy came up to me after the service and held up the receiver and said I CAN HEAR. I understood every word. I am keeping this receiver.

I tried our booth cans on a new receiver and it sounds just like the cans on the board.

BTW I am crazy cheep so we bought it all on Ebay.

BBTW I put a little delay on the system so those with some hearing get the same sound from there earphone that they get from the speakers.  I did this after one guy complained of a echo. 

Given this info, I don't think I would use anything related to smart phone or blue tooth.
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