Skip to Content

Tag Archives: Professional Audio

What You Should Know About “Microphone Gain Structure”

When it comes to echo cancellation, microphone gain structure is essential to your success.

Let’s face it. When you break down today’s digital signal processors for audio and video conferencing, all you really have is a metal box with a little green guy inside running faders up and down. Although you tell him things like why, when, and how fast to perform his duties, he’s still relying on you 100% to accurately set up your microphones, otherwise known as the ‘front end’.

 

After working in this industry for over 16 years and programing many echo cancelled DSP mixers, I’ve seen that nine out of ten issues are due to the same cause.  Our little green friend (let’s call him Simon) is usually sampling incorrect information  due to the gain structure not being set properly on the microphone input. When this happens, you’ll see what could be referred to as a “domino effect.”  Although Simon won’t admit it, our friend is nothing more than a piece of electronics that can, and will, make mistakes.  However, when he is receiving the correct information, the number of mistakes he makes is reduced dramatically.

 

Think of it as if you were an individual who needs to wear glasses to see properly. You drive down the road wearing your glasses, and everything seems fine. Sure, you could have an accident at any time; but the odds are typically slim. Now pull over, take off the corrective lenses you love wearing so much, head on down that open highway, and see what happens. Just as we aim for 20/20 vision with our eyes, in our industry, we also aim for a standard volume level that the average talker uses when speaking.

 

Believe it or not, the average person speaks right around the 64db mark at a one-meter distance. Now, this isn’t like your average parent, at home with three misbehaving little ones, trying to deal with them after a long day of work. This speaking level is more like the average person talking normally during a casual conversation.  Understanding this level will help you tremendously with your setup.

 

Here are a few tips and procedures to follow to keep in mind while setting up your microphones for conferencing.

 

Have the proper tools:

 

Although most people will simply use speech as their source, and watch the meters within the applied software package, I’ll briefly run through another method that is arguably more accurate.

Speaking is 64db

 

We mentioned earlier that the average talker speaks at 64db at a one-meter distance, and we know that in almost every echo-cancelled DSP we want to see 0db from the signal being picked up by the microphone and reflected on the input. Using our signal generator, we can measure one meter away from the microphone element and place the generator there. Turn the signal on and set it for pink noise. We use pink noise for this process, as pink noise has equal energy per octave. Using your SPL meter, adjust the level of the noise to be 64db at the microphone. Now we are simulating speech, and can set our input levels accordingly to peak at 0db.

 

Regardless of what DSP you choose for your echo cancellation and mixing, setting your inputs peak at 0db using the method above will ensure Simon has the correct information to sample. When Simon is happy, everything works perfectly.

 

Today’s digital signal processors for audio and video are so advanced that I ask the question, in your experience regardless of most other settings, when your inputs are set properly, doesn’t your audio system sound pretty good?

 

 

ClearOne Acquires Professional Wireless Microphone Solutions Supplier

 

Acquisition of Sabine, Inc. secures continued access to product central to ClearOne’s growth strategy

 

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — March 5, 2014

 
ClearOne (NASDAQ: CLRO) today announced the acquisition of Sabine, Inc., solidifying the company’s industry-leading portfolio of professional microphones. With the addition of Sabine, ClearOne will have reliable and exclusive access to the wireless microphones that are a critical component of ClearOne’s complete microphone portfolio. Under the terms of the transaction, ClearOne will pay approximately $7.5 million in cash and $1.5 million in ClearOne shares. In addition, ClearOne will assume and pay off Sabine debt of $1.25 million and make earn-out payments over the next three years, based on achievement of certain performance criteria.
 
Sabine has partnered successfully with ClearOne since late 2012, supplying the wireless microphone systems sold under the ClearOne brand. These microphones complement ClearOne’s CONVERGE® Pro and INTERACT® Pro products, driving sales of the company’s broader product line. The wireless microphone systems lead the industry in features, performance and pricing.
 
“The wireless microphone product has performed well and has driven sales across our Pro portfolio since its introduction more than a year ago,” said Zee Hakimoglu, Chairman and CEO of ClearOne. “This strategic acquisition is critical to solidifying our leadership position in this high-growth market and positions us for accelerated development of installed audio and visual collaboration solutions.”
 
“We look forward to combining resources with ClearOne to offer a complete portfolio of professional products to a global customer base,” said Doran Oster, founder and CEO of Sabine, Inc. “We are pleased to join a company with a track record that reflects our shared vision for product innovation and quality.”
 
ClearOne’s WS800 wireless microphone systems include four new models of wireless microphones/transmitters and a base-station receiver with either 4 or 8 channels, which connects to professional audio mixers. The wireless system combines ease-of-use with the most reliable security and power.
 
ClearOne expects to maintain Sabine operations at its current headquarters in Alachua, Florida.
 

About ClearOne

ClearOne is a global company that designs, develops and sells conferencing, collaboration, streaming and digital signage solutions for voice and visual communications. The performance and simplicity of its advanced comprehensive solutions offer unprecedented levels of functionality, reliability and scalability. More information about the company can be found at www.clearone.com.
 

About Sabine

Sabine, Inc. is located in Alachua, Florida, and manufactures, designs, and sells Sacom professional wireless microphone systems for live and installed audio. It also makes FBX Feedback Exterminator for reliable automatic feedback control. More information about the company can be found at www.sabine.com.
 
© Copyright 2013, ClearOne, Inc. All rights reserved. ClearOne ®, the ClearOne logo, and the names and marks associated with ClearOne’s products are trademarks and/or service marks of ClearOne, Inc. and are registered and/or common-law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
 
Please find the printable release in our Investor Relations area at http://investors.clearone.com.
 
 

Comm-Tec Shares Video of ClearOne Products from ISE 2014

Comm-Tec talks about ClearOne’s game changing Beamforming Microphone Array, and the WS800 Wireless Microphone System.
 

Beamforming Microphone Array:

 
The Beamforming Microphone Array is the Pro-Audio industry’s first professional-grade microphone array with beamforming and adaptive steering technology and ClearOne’s next-generation Acoustic Echo Cancellation. The ultra-sleek design fits into any conferencing environment and delivers the clearest audio pickup available. Twenty-four microphone elements steer pickup patterns towards participants and reject unwanted noise and reflections, offering superb and unmatched performance for group conferencing environments.
 
Download our free whitepaper “Advanced Beamforming Microphone Technology for Corporate Conferencing Systems”
 

(Please note that the Beamforming Microphone array has 24 microphone elements, not 25 convential microphones)
 

WS800 Digital Wireless Microphone System

 
WS800 Digital Wireless Microphone System — Optimized to work with CONVERGE® Pro and INTERACT® Pro products and perfectly complements ClearOne’s professionally installed audio conferencing product lines. Four new models of wireless microphones/transmitters are now available, as well as a base-station receiver with either 4 or 8 channels, which connects to professional audio mixers. The microphone system uses multiple band RF technology, 24-bit digital audio, and strong encryption for security that fits any application.
 
Learn more about the WS800 Digital Wireless Microphone System here.
 

 

ClearOne’s Beamforming Microphone Array featured in Sound & Communications Magazine

In the latest version of Sound & Communications magazine (Vol. 59 no. 12) published on December 23, 2013, ClearOne’s game-changing Beamforming Microphone Array was featured in the article titled “Business Evolution by Design.” Franklin Electric in Fort Wayne, Indiana has grown from a small motor manufacturer into a global company that produces and markets systems and components for moving water and automobile fluids. The company serves customers around the world, and has more than 14 manufacturing and distribution facilities. When the company wanted to move their headquarters from Bluffton, Indiana to Fort Wayne, they wanted to have cutting edge technology installed throughout the building. Earl Almack, Business Development Manager at Integrator Sensory Technologies said “They wanted to set themselves apart, technology-wise. That was one of the challenges and goals; to get them equipment and systems that nobody else, or few companies, had.”
 
For their audio conferencing, Integrator Sensory Technologies installed the ClearOne CONVERGE® Pro 880 which works in conjunction with a ClearOne Beamforming Microphone Array. The CONVERGE Unit offers Distributed Echo Cancellation®, Noise Cancellation, First Microphone Priority, and Adaptive Modeling that all work in tandem to provide the unmatched sound quality you expect from ClearOne.
 
ClearOne’s Beamforming Microphone Array is the Pro-Audio industry’s first professional-grade microphone array with beamforming and adaptive steering technology and ClearOne’s next-generation Acoustic Echo Cancellation. The ultra-sleek design fits into any conferencing environment and delivers the clearest audio pickup available. Twenty-four microphone elements steer pickup patterns towards participants and reject unwanted noise and reflections, offering superb and unmatched performance for group conferencing environments.
 
Modern companies are looking for reliable technology that provides crystal-clear audio without visual intrusion. The Beamforming Microphone Array offers a variety of mounting options – ceiling, table, and wall mounts are all available. The variety of mounting options, together with the Beamformer’s adaptive acoustic processing which automatically adjusts to room configuration, offers you the best possible audio pickup regardless of room setup and design.
 

 

 

 
You can read the entire Sound & Communication article here.
 
 

Really Hear the Difference with True Full-Duplex Audio

Hear the difference with true full-duplex audio. This quick interactive piece makes it easy to see the need for echo cancellation, full-duplex audio and professional audio processing – even if the solution is as small and portable as a deck of cards!  Click here to learn more!