Considering the success we had using Voice Tracker III array microphones in our classrooms for hybrid learning, we decided to install 4 Voice Trackers to cover a large auditorium.
Brindley Auditorium is a trapezoid shape, approximately 1,680 ft2 room with 151 seats. See the attached photos and layout.
In May 2021, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor modernized the A/V technology in the auditorium, which includes the following:
- Video – An 86” interactive display, two 75” secondary TVs, two 85” TVs for content replication and a 70” confidence TV.
- Audio – Four Acoustic Magic Voice Tracker III, one on each wall. A RDLRU-MX4L 4-channel mixer to aggregate audio feeds and an AudioSource AMP100VS amplifier with six C2G 2’x2’ ceiling speakers.
See the attached block diagram.
The four Acoustic Magic Voice Tracker III microphones are able to capture audio from any seat at any location for video conferencing and distance learning.
Director – Information Technology, University Of Mary Hardin-Baylor
A Hospital in Texas wanted a microphone that could do a good job picking up all the talkers in a patient’s room, but needed a cost effective product because of the large number of rooms.
They found the solution in the Voice Tracker I array microphone.
The Voice Tracker allows patients to video-conference to family and loved ones, as well as communicate clearly with doctors and nurses that are not in the room.
In the picture below, you can see the Voice Tracker I, alongside a USB camera, at the top of the footwall TV system. Both are facing the patient’s bed.
The hospital staff tested the VT I in the rooms and had about a dozen folks try it. The decision was unanimous – everyone preferred the VT 1’s sound quality. They went live with it in August 2015 when they opened their new hospital. They originally got 400 Voice Tracker Is and added an additional 350 units this year to finish up the rooms
“We just needed a cost-effective solution to resolve the audio issue and that’s where the VT 1 came in”
Some computers now have a single TRRS 3.5mm jack which combines mic input with speaker output instead of the tradition two jack approach (one jack for mic input and the other for speaker output).
The traditional jacks are TRS.
The Voice Tracker array mics have TRS 3.5mm stereo connectors.
In order to connect to a computer with a single TRRS jack, a TRS to TRRS adapter is required.
A better approach might be to use a 3.5mm TRS to USB adapter like our part 102B.
The sound quality thru USB may be better than the sound quality of the computer’s internal sound card.
Both the TRS to TRRS and TRS to USB adapters are reasonably priced
Two Voice Trackers can be combined using a simple 3.5mm stereo Y. For better coverage in large rooms, several Voice Tracker I and Voice Tracker III can be combined with a mixer.
Mixers that accept unbalanced, mic level stereo input through a 3.5mm connection is preferred for simplicity, even if simple adapters are required. If the mixer requires an XLR connection, you can adapt from 3.5mm to XLR using a product like this. These adapters will also help prevent ground loops.
Nova Southeastern University used the Extron MCV 121 Plus in dozens of rooms. See: https://www.acousticmagic.com/about-us/user-comments/#alinzels
The Extron MVC 121 Plus is a compact, three input stereo audio mixer featuring a digital signal processing platform for audio signal mixing and control. The MVC 121 Plus features a stereo line level input and two mic/line level inputs, plus fixed and variable stereo line level outputs. It offers gain, filter, tone processing, and parametric EQ. Quick and intuitive configuration using the DSP Configurator™ Software allows the MVC 121 Plus to be installed in very little time. The MVC 121 Plus is ideal for presentation applications that require line and microphone audio mixing with DSP in a small form factor.
Other Integrators recommend the Yamaha MG06X Mixer
Less expensive approaches include simply using a 3.5mm Y. Several universities have had success with that approach.
A more expensive approach is to use a DSP device like the BiAmp Tesira.. See: https://www.acousticmagic.com/news/combining-two-voice-tracker-greater-room-coverage/
This approach is best implemented by a profession AV integrator. Care must be taken in the connections. If you are trying to connect to a DSP, connect the tip and the ring to Positive and Negative on the DSP.
Do not connect the ground to the DSP.
Since June of 2019 we have successfully deployed many Voice Tracker microphones for a combination of teleconference and web conferencing rooms. In one specific not-for-profit location, they have had microphone issues in the space leftover from the original vendor. No amount of DSP and adjustments made the space usable for their purposes. We brought in Voice Tracker III to the space and they could not believe the difference in quality. With one microphone connected by the monitor, their entire room was picked up with a clarity they had not ever had in the space.
In my opinion the positioning of the Voice Tracker in the same audio plane of the meeting attendees gives an audio presence that no ceiling microphone has been able to capture. The fact that the Voice Tracker is a reasonable cost makes it an easy sell to the client after the demonstration.
Due to the NYC COVID 19 shutdown many universities we are working with are looking to create hybrid learning environments with Zoom. The Voice Tracker lends itself perfectly to these types of spaces, as many fit the size and price constraints we are being tasked with in the coming months.
323link was an early advocate of the combination of Zoom Rooms and Voice Tracker I array microphone to provide cost effective yet high performance video conferencing.
VoIP products like Zoom make video conferencing easy and affordable. At $279, the Voice Tracker I enhances that affordability, providing long pickup range and good sound quality at a price as much and 1/10th that of competitive array microphones.
The AEC in Zoom is robust enough so we don’t need the built-in AEC in the Voice Tracker II.
The Voice Tracker I is easy to set up and is extremely reliable, minimizing the need for IT support. We have had Voice Trackers installed for more than 8 years without problems.
A single Voice Tracker I can cover a 30 foot room, and two or more Voice Trackers can be easily combined for greater coverage.
The price/performance advantage of Zoom and Voice Tracker I has often encouraged our customers to install multiple rooms.
We have been using a Polycom SoundStation IP 6000 with two expansion mics for quite some time, but the far end participants complained that they had trouble hearing all the participants in the near end conference room. Our room size is 30×15.
Since we already had a Zoom VoIP, we tried calls using a Voice Trackerr, connecting it to the employees computers prior to making their Zoom call.
Our far end participants then reported that they could hear everyone in the room clearly, and we didn’t have to worry about people in the conference room moving the microphone close to them.
And with Zoom, we could do video as well as audio.
Director of Operations
3 Mill & Main
Maynard, MA 01754
Conference Room Systems is a well regarded AV integrator that puts together VoIP conferencing system packages for easy implementation n by its customers. These packages have been designed meticulously by their engineers and installers using only the best components available on the market. Voice Trackers are included in many of their packages.
We recently sat down with Conference Room Systems for a podcast about Acoustic Magic and our products: