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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.

 

 

 

NOTES FROM THE ROAD… CLEARONE SALES ROADSHOW TOUR

Written on October 24, 2016 at 4:04 pm, by

 

We’re traveling the states showing off our newest products. Read about our adventure at each stop on the ClearOne Sales Roadshow Tour and be on the look out for us at a city near you.

 

HOUSTON – 1/12/17

This fabulous trek comes to an end in the Lone Star State. The Houston AV practitioners really helped us end on a high note, with unique interest in the Network Media Streaming solutions. The demos and even the networking of peers was a great ending to a productive series of meetings.  We hope to be on the road again in the near future, as we look ahead to more releases, and new innovations!

DALLAS – 1/10/17

 

We started off 2017 with the next-to-last Roadshow in Dallas – the mild weather in direct contrast to the high energy and interest of our attendees as we did hands-on demos of all the Pro Audio, Network Media Streaming, Wireless Mics, and Video Collaboration solutions. The UNITE 200 PTZ camera was of special interest, as well as the overall integration of products, bringing together the best in audio and visual communications with the flexibility to fit any environment!

 

SAN FRANCISCO – 12/8

Rainy San Francisco played home to our last Roadshow of 2016 (Seems strange to call it the last -but  we’ll  be back in January with more locations!)

 

Local Integrators and Consultants learned quite a bit about our latest solutions and found some very interesting possibilities with current projects that may now find some huge cost savings and a wealth of features with audio and video conferencing/collaboration. Many were introduced to the power of our streaming solutions, many not having previously done many of these types of installations. Wireless mics were of great interest with the simple integration and security offered with any pro audio installations.  The simplicity and flexibility of ClearOne’s integrated options really helped open everyone’s world to new solutions!

 ANAHEIM 12/6

Just next door to “the happiest place on earth” we found quite a few smiles of our own, as our local west-coast Integrators and Consultants were opening their worlds to all the newest ClearOne solutions.

 

The hands-on demos lasted quite a long time, as our attendees were finding more and more options for integrated solutions – adding industry-leading video collaboration to their pro audio installations, or vice versa, finding that video conferencing and media collaboration installations would be so much more natural and immersive with ClearOne professional audio integration.

 

Interest in streaming technology were answered with the unique ability to run powerful audio, video, and control over a single cable in a client’s existing TCP/IP network – something that opens up a lot of people’s worlds when no new wiring is required to have an easily installed mesh network for media streaming.

 

ClearOne’s wireless mics held everyone’s attention with the breadth of features and security found in such affordable packages. The flexibility of installations and the ease of use with field-upgradable products made the new wireless mics solutions a hit with everyone.

 

WASHINGTON DC – 11/10roadshow-dc

 

Our nation’s capital seems to be relatively calm after such a heated election season. We had a very productive meeting with attendees in Washington DC, with a session full of insightful questions and interactive dialogue. We heard from many consultants and integrators who were excited about all the newest ClearOne solutions and the expanded offerings they could provide for upcoming installations. Others now had the possibility of revisiting large projects already underway with the ability to offer clients solutions with the full range of features at a lower price than what may have been originally suggested.

All in all, we had a great time in Washington DC and will stay in close touch with our new contacts.  Will we see you at the next stop?

 


TORONTO – 11/1

 

Wroadshow-torontoe reached the far north this week with a visit to Toronto as our team of AV experts ran through the demos of the latest CONVERGE® Pro 2 Pro Audio DSP innovations, Spontania and COLLABORATE® Pro cloud-based videoconferencing and media collaboration (respectively), our affordable – and more importantly, highly secure – new wireless microphones, and the powerful flexibility of VIEW® Pro and its ability to stream across existing TCP/IP Ethernet networks.

 

The Canadian stop was very well-received and we thank everyone who attended! We’ll stay in touch with contacts old and new to support everyone with the latest solutions as a one-stop manufacturing resource.

 

Now it’s on to the next stop – hopefully we’ll see you there!

 

 


 

 

NEW YORK – 10/20

 

The “Big Apple” of AV practitioners’ eyes

 

 

roadshow-nyc

In the shadow of the Empire State Building, the historic Hotel Pennsylvania played host to ClearOne’s second Sales Roadshow.  High above the never-ending NYC  bustle, integrators and consultants learned all about ClearOne’s latest – ending with a hands-on tour of each major group of solutions.

 

Pro Audio has been redefined- AGAIN!  A live-listening demo of CONVERGE® Pro 2’s noise cancellation provided real-time examples of the latest and most powerful adaptive audio DSP algorithms, including acoustic echo cancellation, noise cancellation, feedback elimination, gain and level control, and microphone gating.

 

The Beamforming Microphone Array 2 raised everyone’s brows, representing the second generation of the most powerful beamforming & adaptive steering technology in the industry – something others are just beginning to explore.  The beautiful, sleek design was preserved, with some new back-panel updates and the  addition of color-matched “feet” to completely blend in with the entire piece. In addition, a standard projector mount option is now available with different suspension column lengths.

 

The affordable new DIALOG® 20 wireless microphone system proved that good things come in small packages. Just two channels, it is the affordable choice for smaller venues requiring few wireless mics – with the option to daisy-chain to expand with more channels- or even be combined with options such as the Beamforming Mic Array 2 & CONVERGE Pro 2!

 

VIEW® Pro again displayed the ease of use with auto-discovery and AV over IP streaming on existing networks. The idea of creating a full video wall and video windowing configuration using PANORAMATM in minutes without running any new cable was astounding.

 

COLLABORATE® and Spontaniatrade; video collaboration solutions fit the new work environments with their multi-use appliance and built-in cloud-based conferencing. Huddle rooms and large conference rooms alike can easily add everything from simple in-room wireless presentation to full, remote media collaboration, all with a single appliance.

 

The UNITE® 200 PTZ camera represented the most flexible and future-proof PTZ solution for video conferencing & media collaboration, with options for USB, HDMI, and IP connections.

 

nyc-sm1

Our next stop will be Toronto – more updates to come!

 

 


 

 

BOSTON – 10/18

 

The ClearOne Sales Roadshow Tour is well underway, and Boston started off the series with a bang! Attendees learned all about the latest ClearOne solutions and experience hands-on demos of all the newest powerful technology.

roadshow-boston

The CONVERGE® Pro 2 and Beamforming Microphone 2 led the charge, as a double-shot of redefined Professional Installed Audio, providing, respectively, a completely new DSP mixer line and next-gen beamforming technology when any others are just beginning to explore the possibilities. Attendees listened in with headphone stations to experience the true power of unbeatable noise cancellation and pristine clarity.

 

DIALOG® 20 2-channel wireless mics represented a new market solution for environments requiring few wireless mics,; but still with the need for professional-quality sound. The mics were not only there to experiment, but had a starring role in the sound reinforcement for all the presenters.

 

VIEW® Pro Network Media Streaming showed the agility and power of it’s single-cable audio, video, and control streaming – with the latest PANORAMAS software for video walls and video composition. The simplicity of the software and it’s powerful self-discovery on existing IP networks could be shown on a tabletop – creating a video composition setup in minutes.

 

COLLABORATE® and SpontaniaTM provided live demos of video and cloud-based web conferencing for all attendees. The hybrid appliances now provide a full spectrum of possibilities from wireless presentation and full video conferencing- all within a single box! Attendees could download the Spontania app on mobile devices and immediately join a live conference as ad-hoc attendees at any point.

 

It’s on to New York for October 20th and more live demos – we’ll see you there!

 

 

New Product Videos of Awesomeness

Written on October 18, 2016 at 6:45 am, by

 

We recently launched our second generation of the groundbreaking Beamforming Microphone Array and the progressive CONVERGE® Pro 2 Audio Conferencing Platform.

 

These products are redefining the professional audio space once again with extraordinary audio fidelity. The Beamforming Microphone Array continues to advance the art of voice conferencing and extraordinary audio fidelity with the industry’s most sophisticated audio beamforming, adaptive steering, acoustic echo cancellation, and noise cancellation technologies; and CONVERGE Pro 2 delivers the very latest and most powerful adaptive audio DSP algorithms for stunningly clear audio.

 

Together, these technologies deliver the world’s most advanced audio signal processing for a powerful 1, 2 knockout punch.

 

View for yourself and see how revolutionary these products truly are, and how they’ll give you and your clients a superior and world-class audio and video conferencing environment that will be the envy of all their friends.

 
 

Beamforming Microphone Array 2

Read the Press Release Here

 
 

CONVERGE® Pro 2

Read the Press Release Here

 

 

Now that you’ve seen what these two great products can do, please let us know how we can help with any questions you may have about your pro audio and video conferencing needs.

 

 

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