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Author Topic: Teleconference in a live environment?  (Read 3496 times)

Adam Wh3tham

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Teleconference in a live environment?
« on: May 07, 2013, 12:24:42 pm »

So, I have a large room in my building. Its multi purpose, ranging from receptions, to dining, to conference/business meetings.

Here's the problem. How do you do a teleconference with 50 people in the room?

Currently what we have is a Biamp Nexia TC controller with some SLX with MX690 boundary mics. and a 70volt ceiling speaker system coming down from the two story tall ceiling.

We had a meeting with 25 people and we found we had problems with them hearing each other in the room and had to have them hold a handheld mic so the room could hear the questions, then have the MX690 in front of them so the people on the teleconference could hear it also. This created an issue of the teleconference hearing the amplified sound also and made the teleconference audio a bit muddled.

How is this done in a larger environment? My boss and I are looking for a better solution than what we have now. and I'd be interested to hear how larger board rooms accomplish this.

for better understanding here's a picture of my "Fish Bowl" of a room being used for a wedding ceremony.

« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 12:36:53 pm by Adam Whetham »
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TonyWilliams

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Teleconference in a live environment?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 01:51:02 pm »

Would a push-to-talk system such as one from Bosch, or individual mics with a Dugan style auto mixer work? I'm not familiar with your particular Nexia unit, but I know that some Nexia units can be setup as auto mixers.
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Adam Wh3tham

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Re: Teleconference in a live environment?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 02:07:32 pm »

Would a push-to-talk system such as one from Bosch, or individual mics with a Dugan style auto mixer work? I'm not familiar with your particular Nexia unit, but I know that some Nexia units can be setup as auto mixers.

I was looking into an auto mixer of sorts also. I noticed Shure came out with a newer model (The 820).

We already have 12 MX690 boundary mic's. So individual mic's or one mic for every two people is kind of what we're going for. Right now they're going into a Crown 28M Mixer, which is then fed into the Biamp unit in a single feed. I have no experience with an auto mixer, so this is new territory for me.

I'm not sure if a Dugan is in the budget right now, but being as I was told "Find a solution" I know that means they want to know how much it will cost to do something of this nature and I shouldn't ask about a budget...

Thank you for the lead to the Bosch units! I hadn't even heard/seen them before but the DCN series looks promising. I'll have to do a bit more reading up on them to see if it will fit most of our needs.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Teleconference in a live environment?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 04:54:01 pm »

How is this done in a larger environment? My boss and I are looking for a better solution than what we have now. and I'd be interested to hear how larger board rooms accomplish this.
Well, they start by avoiding 25' ceilings and all glass walls.  That's part joking but also serious as the acoustical environment and every speaker being picked up by just about all microphones equally will make simultaneous conferencing and local reinforcement challenging.

A conferencing or discussion system like the Bosch or those from Listen/Televic, Shure/DIS, Brahler, etc. might work if a more controlled meeting is possible.  If people expect a 'free for all' with anyone speaking at any time then you may have a very challenging situation.

I will also say that things such as distributed echo cancellation for each input and automixing (I personally prefer gain sharing) would probably help but even those would likely be pushed in that environment.
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Adam Wh3tham

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Re: Teleconference in a live environment?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2013, 09:59:41 am »

Well, they start by avoiding 25' ceilings and all glass walls.  That's part joking but also serious as the acoustical environment and every speaker being picked up by just about all microphones equally will make simultaneous conferencing and local reinforcement challenging.

You and me both, I was brought in after the construction was done. :( In all honesty its not horrible acoustics with the shades down covering the glass.

Thank you for the other names to look into also. This is one of those, it looks pretty, now lets try and make it functional stories that everyone is all too familiar with.
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Arthur Skudra

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Re: Teleconference in a live environment?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2013, 11:55:30 am »

So, I have a large room in my building. Its multi purpose, ranging from receptions, to dining, to conference/business meetings.

Here's the problem. How do you do a teleconference with 50 people in the room?
Wow, this brings back memories of a similarly sized university lecture hall I did a couple years ago, couldn't change much with the room since it's been there for decades, almost considered a historic site.  Probably one of the more challenging sound systems I have ever done as designer, consultant, system programmer/optimizer.  Because of various compromises that were beyond my control, I couldn't get it to be 100% of what I thought it should have been, but got it pretty close, still could use at least another 3dB in gain in the system before feedback.  In one configuration it's used as a traditional lecture hall with two podium positions, with handheld transmitters for Q&A, in a second configuration a panel discussion with a dozen gooseneck table mics up front and handheld transmittes for Q&A, in a third configuration a giant boardroom with wireless table conference mics (20 revolabs table mics).  All of these configurations can interact with a teleconference or video conference.  Combination of steerable column line arrays up front, and existing ceiling speakers.  Four Biamp AudiaFlex frames, fully loaded!  Took me an entire week to program and optimize!

So how do you conference with 50 people in the room?  Very carefully!  First of all, boundary type table mics are the poorest choice for conferencing systems, period.  You want to get the microphone as close as possible to the source.  This means using gooseneck microphones and handheld wireless transmitters, or on key people use headset microphones connected to wireless bodypack transmitters.  If the look of these microphones is objectionable, tell them to get over themselves, hearing someone clearly is far more important than seeing the "ugly" microphone, this is one compromise that the laws of physics will not give you a free ride.  It's either good looks or good sound, pick one.

Currently what we have is a Biamp Nexia TC controller with some SLX with MX690 boundary mics. and a 70volt ceiling speaker system coming down from the two story tall ceiling.
See my comments above regarding boundary mics.  Also, in my opinion the Nexia is probably underpowered for what you are wanting to accomplish.  It works great for simple and small conferencing systems, but here you need a lot more horsepower, something along the capability of a Biamp Tesira.  I would look at ways in which the ceiling speakers can be lowered using pendant type speakers (or if they have to stay up high, use a higher "Q" ceiling speaker), perhaps even increase their density, and also zone the speaker system so that you can do some mix minus techniques to help with gain.  Finish up the system with some steerable arrays up front for program audio.  At least that is what I would advise as a consultant that's been down the road already with a couple of systems like this, trying to appease a client's unrealistic expectations.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 12:31:05 pm by Arthur Skudra »
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Re: Teleconference in a live environment?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2013, 11:55:30 am »


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