CASE STUDY: 1st Bank, Lakewood, CO

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When 1st Bank decided to install new videoconferencing systems in the bank’s upgraded 225,000 sq. ft. headquarters in Lakewood, CO, it explained the needs of its executive boardroom. In it are multiple tables that seat 104 people for weekly teleconferences among their 30 branch offices, to Ford AV of Oklahoma City. To meet those demanding conditions, Ford AV installed 104 Earthworks IML12 microphones at each position so they could have increased clarity and high quality audio from each of the participants.

“In their previous boardroom, they used a single microphone unit in the center of a table routed through a videoconference codec,” said Ed Hyong, Ford AV senior account manager. “Consequently, audio quality at the far ends of the table was not consistent with the audio quality of those sitting closer to the microphone unit. However, when using the Earthworks IML12 microphones at each location, each person was able to experience the same high quality audio. In fact, the audio quality was so good that those participating in the teleconference at remote locations said it sounded like they were actually in the same room with those in the headquarters executive boardroom.”

For this installation, the audio quality and accurate polar pattern of these microphones was important, explained Adam Kirson, Ford AV project engineer for the installation. “To have more than 100 mics in a room like this, we needed very accurate polar response and high rejection of sounds from the rear of the microphone,” he said. “The accurate polar response and rear rejection was key to having multiple microphones open at the same time. Three ceiling-mounted cameras in this room are controlled by the logic technology in the microphones, which enable the cameras to zoom in on each person while they are speaking. Because of this, along with the idea of having multiple open mics simultaneously, we were limited on what gating features we could use on the DSP side. So we needed microphones with a tight and accurate polar pattern that sounded great, and didn’t cause the participants to have to lean into the microphone to get a good and clear sound feed. The accuracy and consistency of the Earthworks IML12 microphones allowed us to do very minimal EQ on these mics.”

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Beyond the audio performance, Kirson also said ease of installation and aesthetics were benefits for using the IML12 microphones in the boardroom. “These microphones were ready to use right out of the box, which saved us time on the back end, from a DSP standpoint,” he added. Kirson notes that beyond their use for teleconferencing, the IML12 microphones are also utilized for sound reinforcement in the executive boardroom. “It was great to get the SPL up in the room with more than 100 pickup patterns and still get a lot of level out of the mics. Superior sound quality at the far end of the room was vital, and upon completion, everything worked well. The customer was very happy.”

From a project manager’s standpoint, Ford AV’s Chris Kinsella who was responsible for the big picture on this install, said: “Our company made the choice to use the Earthworks IML12 microphones because they are a good product and the customer wanted the best microphones available for the audio clarity they required. When the installation was completed, the results were fantastic, and 1st Bank was very happy.”

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