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Conferencing Mics and Systems

Conferencing systems in today's marketplace can be many things. One might think of web conferencing or telephone conference systems. And one might also think of discussion systems used in legislature, senate, or congress

Conferencing Mics and Systems

Oct 27, 2010 12:00 PM,
By Mark Johnson


Conferencing systems in today’s marketplace can be many things. One might think of web conferencing or telephone conference systems. And one might also think of discussion systems used in legislature, senate, or congress, where typically a large group of people will meet to discuss matters of local, national, and even global importance. Often, these groups can range from the tens to the hundreds, and even into the thousands, in terms of the number of participants.

How the people communicate with each other, to be heard over the din of the proceedings, is of paramount importance, requiring systems to have good vocal intelligibility and occasionally sophisticated automixing, processing, and signal routing capabilities.

In some cases, it’s a purpose-designed and -built conferencing system with a control unit and chairperson and delegate microphone units. In others, it could be a system composed of the ubiquitous gooseneck mic and an automixer (see more on automatic mixers). Some of the systems use their own proprietary mics, while others accept gooseneck microphones of any manufacturer with standard XLR connectors. First we’ll review some of the systems currently available, and then we’ll take a look at some of the gooseneck microphones on the market.

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Systems and control

The AKGCS 5 conference system comprises the CS 5 BU base unit, which digitally controls the CS 5 VU and CS 5 DU microphone stations. The CS 5 BU is also an interface for external devices, including mixers, wireless microphones, recording devices, and CD players. The system is expandable, allowing for up to 5,000 participant and interpreter units. Basic control software is included. Microphone stations are designed to be shared by two people, and five different microphones options are available.

At the heart of Azden‘s wireless 6-channel IR conference system is the IRR-106 receiver, which interfaces with the IRC-51 chairperson and IRC-56 participant tabletop microphones. Six AA alkaline batteries or 1HR-3 U NiMH rechargeable batteries power the microphones. Handheld and bodypack transmitters are also available. The receiver features six individual output connectors, plus an additional mixed output. Up to four additional external IR sensors can be attached to the receiver.



Conferencing Mics and Systems

Oct 27, 2010 12:00 PM,
By Mark Johnson

beyerdynamic MCW-D 200

The beyerdynamicMCW-D 200 central control unit has the capability of controlling up to 65,000 digital wireless microphones. The system operates in the 2.4GHz band and uses direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) modulation to ensure noise immunity when used in conjunction with other 2.4GHz systems. The MCW-D 200 is used with the MCW-D 2073 wireless digital chairperson microphone unit and the MCW-D 2071 wireless digital delegate microphone unit.

Bosch Security SystemsCCS 900 Ultro discussion system provides a Possible-to-Speak function that gives a visual indication when a microphone is available for use. It also features an onboard MP3 recorder with up to 64 hours of recording time on a 2GB SD card. The control unit can power up to 50 chairperson and delegate units and can control up to 150 discussion units. The system incorporates Bosch’s Digital Acoustic Feedback Suppressor. The system also allows for multiple mics to be on simultaneously.

Listen Technologies‘ DCS 6000 digital conferencing systems are available in four options: LS-75, LS-76, LS-77, and LS-78. The complete systems are configured for either 29 delegates and one chairperson (LS-75, LS-76, LS-78), or 28 delegates and two chairpersons (LS-77). The LS-75 features voice activation. Cat-5e cabling is used to connect the discussion units to the control unit.

Sennheiser ADN CU1

The ADN CU1 digital discussion central unit from Sennheiser powers and controls up to 40 delegate and chairperson units. The system features an integrated PC with the Conference Manager software package, which can be used directly on the CU1 by connecting a screen, mouse and keyboard. The ADN C1 digital chairperson unit features a gooseneck microphone fitted with a supercardioid capsule. The system uses Cat-5 cabling for connection of discussion units to the central unit.

Taiden‘s HCS-5300 digital wireless infrared conference system can control up to 1,000 contribution units and is capable of transmitting up to four channels of digital audio. Infrared transmission technology provides immunity to RF interference. The removable microphone’s EQ and sensitivity can be individually adjusted, and system frequency response is 20Hz to 20,000Hz. The system uses rechargeable lithium batteries.

TOA Electronics TS-900

TOA Electronics offers the TS-800 and TS-900 series infrared wireless conference systems. The systems can be expanded to accommodate up to 96 units (TS-900) and 64 units (TS-800). Audio from a wired microphone or other sound source can be input, and two different microphone types are available. The systems may be operated via battery or AC adapter. Additional features include a speaker restriction function to prevent interruptions, and an Auto Mic-Off function to prevent a microphone from being inadvertently left on.




Conferencing Mics and Systems

Oct 27, 2010 12:00 PM,
By Mark Johnson

Astatic GNVPD series

Mics and input

The AstaticGNVPD series miniature-gooseneck condenser microphones feature a continuously variable polar pattern and an integrated desk stand with a programmable membrane switch, LED, and logic interface. The logic I/O functions can be used with automatic mixers, teleconferencing systems, and control systems, and the logic input can remotely control the LED and membrane switch activation.

While it’s not a mic, any phantom-powered gooseneck microphone with a three-pin XLRM connector from Audio Technica‘s lineup (or even another manufacturer) can be used with the AT8666RSC desk stand. The stand features a touch-sensitive on/off switch, indicator LED, and external contact closure ability for controlling remote devices. The on/off switch can be configured for touch-on/touch-off, momentary on, or momentary off. A control switch allows for local control, remote control, or LED remote control.

Audio Technica AT8666RSC

The AudixMicroPod series is a modular system comprising a 6in., 12in., or 18in. gooseneck and the M1250B miniature cardioid condenser microphone. Hypercardioid-pattern models are also available. The frequency range is 50Hz to 19kHz. The MicroPod series may be used in conjunction with the Audix ATS-10 table stand that includes a lighted on/off switch.

Bogen‘s DDU250 dynamic desktop mic features a 16in. gooseneck and a cardioid pickup pattern. The microphone also features push-to-talk and push-to-lock switches. The microphone comes with a hardwired 10ft. cable with external contact closure outputs for the talk switches.

Clockaudio C801

The C800/C801 mini-shotgun condenser microphone from Clockaudio features a hypercardioid pickup pattern and a 50Hz-to-18kHz frequency response. The C801 is fitted with a knuckle joint that provides for lateral and vertical adjustment of the mic.

The PolarChoice Satellite manufactured by Electro-Voice is a wireless freestanding gooseneck microphone. The base features a compartment for a Telex or Electro-Voice bodypack transmitter. The PC-Satellite features an EV PolarChoice multipattern microphone with one nondirectional and three directional polar patterns available. A mute switch can be programmed to operate as either latching on/off or momentary push-to-mute.




Conferencing Mics and Systems

Oct 27, 2010 12:00 PM,
By Mark Johnson

Milab VM-44

The VM-44 gooseneck condenser microphone from Milab comes standard with a cardioid capsule with optional additional capsules available. The frequency response is 20Hz to 20kHz, and the mic is supplied with an attached 2-meter cable with XLR preamp.

Peavey‘s Architectural Acoustics PM 16S is designed to either be mounted with the supplied collet mount or attached directly to an XLR connector. The condenser microphone features a cardioid pickup pattern and full shielding for rejection of hum and RF interference. The frequency response is 50Hz to 20kHz.

The RevolabsExecutive HD wireless 4- and 8-channel systems operate in the 1.9GHz RF band. Up to 32 microphone channels (depending on the mode) may be used within a 100ft. radius. Microphone and/or transmitter options include omni and directional tabletop boundary microphones, a wearable wireless mic, an XLR adapter, and an adapter for Countryman microphones.

The SamsonCM15P and CM20P miniature gooseneck microphones feature a cardioid pickup pattern and an onboard 100Hz high-pass filter. The microphone comes with a multistage rippled windscreen to help reduce P-popping. The mics are fitted with standard 3-pin XLR connectors, and a flange mount is also included. The frequency response is 60Hz to 16kHz.

ShureMX405/MX410 Microflex miniature gooseneck microphones are available with optional desktop or mounted bases, and they come wired or wireless with interchangeable (cardioid or supercardioid) microphone element cartridges. The system is compatible with SLX wireless systems, including the SLX4L wireless receiver with logic output for applications requiring logic functionality. The desktop model provides a programmable mute switch and logic input for remote LED and mute control.

Sony‘s ECM530 tabletop gooseneck microphone features either battery or phantom-power operation and comes in a matte black finish, with a noise-isolated base. The frequency response is 70Hz to 18kHz, and the system includes a 2-meter XLR cable, connected at the back of the base.



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