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Flexible Frequencies – Versatility and Security of ClearOne Wireless Mic Systems

Written on September 29, 2017 at 1:09 pm, by

View for yourself the power behind the WS800 Wireless Microphone System, and join such discriminating users as the U.S. Department of Justice.

ClearOne’s WS800 Wireless Micophone System is the most economical, versatile, and easily scalable wireless system in the market today with unprecedented ease-of-use and simple installation.

 

This system has a Receiver, all types of Transmitters (Microphones) Boundary Tabletop, Gooseneck Podium, Beltpack, Handheld Microphones, Charging Station and Extension Antenna kits. WS800 Receiver comes with and without Dante built-in audio networking.

 

The WS800 and DIALOG® 20 systems complement other professional audio products from ClearOne including CONVERGE® Pro 1 & 2 Mixers, INTERACT® Mixers, and CONVERGE® Matrix products.

 

Learn more about the WS800 Wireless Microphone System today!

 

 

CONVERGE Pro 2’s New Control Modules

Written on August 29, 2017 at 8:30 am, by

 

As part of our ongoing commitment to provide commercial AV integrators with solutions that are easy to adopt and integrate into all of their AV system designs, we recently engaged Control Concepts, a leading AV software and services provider, to create a suite of AMX, Crestron and Extron control platform modules for our new CONVERGE® Pro 2 series of DSP Mixers, which we believe are the industry’s most advanced professional audio DSP platform for conferencing and sound reinforcement applications.

 

Control Concepts was uniquely positioned to support us in this capacity because of their ability to deliver a consistent solution across multiple control systems platforms precisely because they are an authorized solutions provider of Crestron, AMX, and Extron control systems.  The modules that were developed by Control Concepts allow our consultants, resellers, programmers and users to have a uniform and standardized experience regardless of the platform they prefer to work with.

 

The ClearOne CONVERGE Pro 2 outperforms in any size room, audio environment and application and is optimized to work with 2nd generation Beamforming Mic Array 2 and DIALOG® 20 2-Channel Wireless Microphone System through its native connection.

 

From the perspective of Control Concepts the newly developed modules help to simplify control system programming and integration of the CONVERGE Pro 2, ultimately

ClearOne CONVERGE Pro 2 Digital Signal Processor- Crestron Controller

creating more effective and adaptable solutions for consultants, integrators, and programmers working with the equipment.  In fact, this partnership provided Control Concepts with a valuable opportunity to collaborate with us during the critically important development stage, which helped to ensure that their clients’ control system needs are fully supported upon product release. Having multi-platform, consistent modules and a support relationship will help us to increase adoption and integration of their products.

 

The CONVERGE Pro 2 DSP mixers give further flexibility and affordability in choosing features and functionality. Scalable connectivity and powerful architecture provide up to 12 mic/line inputs, each with next-generation Acoustic Echo Cancellation®. Noise Cancellation with Adaptive Ambience with advanced microphone gating, and faster convergence span the full line, with different options for built-in VoIP, Telco, USB, and Dante. It creates a neat, economical solution to what might otherwise require a more expensive design.

 

 

ClearOne’s Unique Solution to Comb Filtering Issues in a Conference Room

Written on July 27, 2017 at 4:41 pm, by

 

In conferencing situations, it is quite possible that multiple microphones at different distances may gate on for a single person’s voice. Due to the delay time in traveling to the more distant mic, peaks and notches are created in the frequency response of the mixed signal called “comb filtering, “causing a hollow, distant feeling; like sound traveling through a tunnel.

 

This will reduce the intelligibility of voice transmitted to the far end during a conference call.

 

We at ClearOne deal with this problem in a unique way, by implementing our very effective First-Mic-Priority Algorithm to our Audio Conferencing solutions.

 

First-Mic Priority  helps maintain maximum audio intelligibility by allowing only one mic to gate on a participant’s voice. The algorithm does allow more than one microphone to be activated at same time— but it simply restricts mics from gating on to the same audio source. The first-mic priority feature evaluates each channel and  only allows the microphone with the loudest pickup to gate on.

 

If this feature is disabled, users will notice the undesirable effect of two or more microphones gate on when only one person speaks. Keeping the First-Mic Priority feature enabled in your mixer configuration which will translate into a cleaner pickup of voices with less “phasing” of the audio.

 

Take a look at CONVERGE® Pro 2 and hear the best quality in the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

Why Beamforming Technology with Adaptive Steering?

Written on July 5, 2017 at 2:07 pm, by

 

Why remain seated?

 

Let’s face it, when it comes to most meetings, conferencing etiquette is not a top priority. No matter how much everyone tries, most attendees can’t sit with perfect posture while speaking up; and some may even be a little shy. While there are many ceiling-style microphone solutions to choose from; they are all very different and far from equal.

 

Here are a few bullet points to think about when you are about to choose a ceiling microphone solution:

  • Do I need microphone coverage across the entire meeting space?
  • Are there members who speak extremely quietly most times?
  • Is my room multipurpose and will the furniture need to be moved around depending on the meeting style?

 

Despite the large variety of ceiling-style microphones available; today’s most popular are beamforming arrays such as the ClearOne’s Beamforming Mic Arrays. Beamforming technology has been around for quite a long time; however, ClearOne was the first to innovate this technology into a conferencing environment with powerful echo cancellation.

 

 

One of the most important features— still not to be found anywhere else—is the incorporation of adaptive steering (thinks of it as “smart beam selection”) into the ClearOne Beamforming Mic solution. This important feature truly makes the array very different from any other offerings. It’s very important to note this feature, and how it moves far beyond static beams that are simply focused in any one area.

 

Beamforming Microphone Array table mount

Beamforming Microphone Array table mount coverage.

Beamforming Microphone Array ceiling mount coverage

Beamforming Microphone Array ceiling mount coverage

Beamforming Microphone Array wall mount

Beamforming Microphone Array wall-mount coverage

 

 

The Beamforming Array’s adaptive steering allows the microphone’s beams to adapt to attendees in a meeting in real-time, as they move around the room, without ever being lost. Despite speakers who may be on their feet, moving around as they speak, they are never “out” of the pickup pattern of the microphone. Arrays that do not have this technology certainly work well; but they only pick up the static, given area which has been pre-programmed for coverage. There may be scenarios in which these static coverage areas may be desired; but certainly not ideal for most audio or video conferencing environments.

 

It seems that the point of using a Beamforming Mic Array in a conferencing environment is to know your participants’ audio will be picked up no matter where they are or how softly they talk. Using a ClearOne Beamforming Mic Array gives you piece of mind knowing that you won’t miss a word during that all important conference call.

 

If you are thinking of using a beamforming style microphone array please take a moment and review ClearOne’s innovative offerings and don’t hesitate to ask for a demo!

 

 

 

 

Volume Control – Who’s the boss?

Written on April 26, 2017 at 12:38 pm, by

 

Many AV installers have multiple systems they run into a single amplifier, using  a single, integrated control system for room volume.  The amp is often one of the longer-lasting pieces of room equipment, and once set, most AV techs know not to “mess” with it.

 

When using Clearone professional audio DSPs, AV techs almost always connect to an existing amplifier.  However, many amps that were in use with legacy equipment or non-conference applications are turned up far too high for use with a DSP and conference audio.

 

This isn’t because the volume in the room is too high. In fact, it will often sound great to the installers.  It’s actually because the DSP functions best when the signal sent to the amp is at 0 dB on average.  It’s tempting on new installs to turn down channels in the DSP to conform to an existing amp that’s set at 50% or higher, but this will degrade the DSP’s acoustic echo cancellation and cause choppy RX audio from the conference.

 

Always calibrate a DSP to 0 dB for all inputs, and outputs, and tune the amp down accordingly.  It’s not uncommon for an amp to be at 30% or lower when used with an AEC-enabled system like the CONVERGE® Pro 2.

 

If you have any comments, questions, and/or suggestions, please leave a comment below and let’s chat!

 

 

 

 

Visit Us and Take a Look at What We’re Showing at ISE 2017

Written on February 8, 2017 at 4:48 pm, by

 

What to See at ISE 2017 – Booth 3-C98!

 

 

We continue to meet with Value-added Resellers and end-users on the ISE show floor; finding new ways to implement solutions and support end-users with the technologies and applications that really help them to succeed. A busy show means many notes to bring back to the people behind ClearOne- real feedback from  AV practitioners – creating solutions that keep people connected. We value this time and this input to continue pushing ahead for innovation and real problem-solving with integrated solutions that make organizations and voice and visual communications that simply work.

 

See the videos of ClearOne’s newest products- on display now at ISE.

 

 

Stop by our booth 3-C98 and let us show you all the latest updates and product developments!

 

We look forward to seeing you!

 

 

 

 

Silicon Review Article- Providing the most reliable voice and visual communication solutions to the world: ClearOne

Written on January 18, 2017 at 10:51 am, by

 

ClearOne was honored to be part of Silicon Review’s 2016  “50 Best Work Places of the Year” edition.  The interview with President and CEO, Zee Hakimoglu, provided more insight into ClearOne and the way in which they continue to disrupt a market full of much larger competitors by focusing on innovation.

 

Read the full article here.

 

 

 

The Case for Audio Making or Breaking Video Communications

Written on January 3, 2017 at 3:06 pm, by

 

It’s easy to see video conferencing and collaboration as the “next step” in communications, something beyond the world of audio conferencing. However, the truth is, a video conference is only as good as its audio. The occasional dropped frame or even severe video issues can still be forgiven in a conference without interrupting the flow.

 

However, if audio becomes choppy, it quickly becomes fatiguing to listen or to repeat statements or questions… and worse, if audio is missing, there simply is no conference to be had.

 

Tune in an find out why great video collaboration can only be built on a solid foundation of superior audio. Ron Lynch, ClearOne’s Supervisor Technical Trainer, provides an overview of why strong audio is an absolute necessity in video conferencing and collaboration, in conjunction with Commercial Integrator:

 

 

See the original post from Commercial Integrator here:

The Case for Audio Making or Breaking Video Communications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the 600 MHz Sky Falling for Wireless Microphones?

Written on November 18, 2016 at 3:16 pm, by

 

The answer is: very probably.  In 2016 the FCC intended to sell off 128 MHz of spectrum from 700 MHz all the way down to 572 MHz.  And they started the initial auction of licenses in that spectrum in March 2016.

 

However the sky is falling very slowly at this point; due to disagreement between the sellers and buyers as to how much the 600 MHz licenses are worth.  The sellers are broadcasters who use the spectrum for Digital Television Stations.  The buyers are companies such as mobile carriers who want to add more subscribers and new services on this prime piece of RF Real estate.

 

The outcome of the FCC auction the first half of 2016 was a temporary impasse.  The license holders wanted $86B for their spectrum; but the buyers only offered $22B. No deal that time.

 

So, a second auction started on September 13, 2016 and the FCC has reduced its goal to only sell 114 MHz of spectrum.

 

And if the round-two auction is not successful, the FCC will try another round with a goal of clearing 108 MHz.

 

But until the sellers and buyers agree on the price, the changes to the 600 MHz band won’t begin.  And when the changes start, it will take 42 to 47 months to complete.  Of course, some channels in some markets will be changed earlier than others.

 

So if a wireless microphone user purchased a 600 MHz system today they could possibly have over 4 years to use it before the planned changes would affect them.  And that could be the right time for that user to upgrade to whatever the latest technology had to offer.

 

ClearOne and other wireless microphone manufacturers are working on new products that leverage new frequency bands such as 2.5, 5, and 6 GHz.  Plus we are making systems that can tune over wider ranges and use smaller amounts of RF spectrum per wireless microphone channel.  These new products will make the current 600 MHz and future FCC rulings less impactful to wireless mic users.

 

So yes, eventually most wireless microphone uses of the 600 MHz band will go away.  But there is still time for the industry transition effectively.

 

Let us know what you think about this situation in the comments below.

 

What’s in a Name? Making Sense of CONVERGE Pro 2 SKUs

Written on November 7, 2016 at 7:00 am, by

 

InfoComm 2016 was the setting for a big announcement – the next generation of ClearOne’s  flagship Pro Audio DSP product family, CONVERGE® Pro. The product name was already familiar across the AV industry, and it was important to retain this well-known name across the new group of SKUs. CONVERGE Pro had become synonymous with the term “Audio DSP mixer” for most AV practitioners. CONVERGE Pro 2 was now on the scene, with many new features and options, and the importance of naming conventions came to the forefront, to avoid confusion and make the transition as smooth as possible.

 

The new CONVERGE Pro 2 family includes an extensive list of additions to its powerful new architecture, including:

 

  • New AEC algorithm, new NC algorithm,
  • Acoustic Intelligence with faster convergence,
  • Distributed Echo Cancellation on every mic input,
  • Built-in feedback elimination advanced microphone gating,
  • 2 VoIP lines plus additional 3 more lines through licensing,
  • Built-in USB for web/UC conferencing applications,
  • Built-in Telco or VoIP, built-in Dante for audio networking,
  • New expansion bus (C-link) for connecting more our DSP units together for scalable system,
  • New peripheral bus (P-link) for native integration with our new & 2nd generation Beamforming Microphone Array 2 and new DIALOG 20 2 channel Wireless Mics,
  • New CONSOLE software with  FlowView for visualized audio signal flow along with traditional MatrixView,

 

The list goes on and on, as this product redefines Pro Audio again!

 

To accommodate various scenarios and end-user expectations, and to provide more flexibility for integrators in choosing  the proper SKUs, ClearOne created multiple SKUs for CONVERGE Pro 2 with various combinations of features and physical interfaces.

 

The trick was in naming the multiple versions to make them easy to identify.

 

The solution was a simple rule of thumb so that end-customers, consultants, distributors, integrators, resellers, sales staff – everyone could easily identify and remember each SKU’s features/interfaces by the model name.

 

 

The main features or interfaces that contribute for forming the model name of the CONVERGE Pro 2 SKUs are:

 

1)      Number of Inputs (12 or 4)

2)      Number of Outputs (8 or 0)

3)      Telco (T) / VoIP  (V)

4)      Dante (D)

5)      Sound Reinforcement (SR)

 

These points are very important when specifying and choosing DSP products for conferencing and reinforcement applications, projects are designed by using one or multiple sets of these features. So, that became the system for the model names.

 

All the SKUs have commin interfaces, with built-in USB audio interface, RS232, GPIO, Ethernet, C-link and P-link ports, USB for Connecting to PC to run software. But the differences in features listed above are now inherent in the model names themselves:

 

1)      128        – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs

2)      128D      – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + Dante

3)      128T      – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + Telco

4)      128TD   – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + Telco + Dante

5)      128V      – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + VoIP

6)      128VD   – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + VoIP + Dante

7)      120        – Model name represents 12 inputs + 0 output

8)      48T        – Model name represents 4 inputs + 8 outputs + Telco

9)      128SR    – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + No-AEC

10)   128SRD – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + No-AEC + Dante

 

We hope this system will make it easier to specify the right hardware for the right project and the combination of DSP features required!

 

If you have any questions, contact us today and we’ll be happy to help.