The integrator was able to treat two, 36-seat board rooms and one classroom hall with ceiling-mounted AC-360-Zs for Zoom Room integrated meetings. Here’s a closer look (and listen) of the install:
The TechSonic Team, stationed in South Africa, specializes in spec and installing cost-effective video communication systems into corporate buildings throughout the continent. Eric de Jager is the Managing Director at TechSonic and a certified technology specialist (CTS).
Earlier this year, his team was challenged with providing sound and video coverage for three large Zoom™ Room-enabled meeting spaces for a top law firm in South Africa. Eric had an idea that ceiling-mounted microphones would be perfect for the job, but before they got started, Eric did a little online research.
He and his team had already installed many Zoom Rooms into the African market, and had great success using single MXL AC-404-Zs as ceiling-mounted microphones for small Zoom Rooms.
Eric says of his initial impression on how well the AC-404-Zs worked, “It simply did not make any sense that such a small microphone could have such an amazing pickup,” he said. “This triggered my curiosity to further investigate the product for other applications. The previous year we installed many projects with beamforming ceiling microphones, but the setup was quite tricky, and customers found it just too expensive to buy the right number of microphones for the required coverage. So, my first plan of action was to see if MXL could answer my ceiling microphone issue.”
This, Eric says, lead to an interesting article on www.thingiverse.com, that showed this clever contraption, which essentially is a custom-made ceiling mount that can house four AC-404-Zs in a wide, ceiling-fan-like configuration.
Eric was all set to build this apparatus when he went to the Integrated Systems Europe 2018 show and saw the release of the new MXL AC-360-Z, which expands on the AC-404-Zs three internal capsules to offer 12 internal capsules in a four-axis design, enabling 360° of clear sound coverage.
After the show, Eric put in an order for the AC-360-Zs and once they arrived, put them up to the test. “It was a huge gamble to spec them as ceiling microphones,” he says, “but I was confident that with the same amazing pickup as the AC-404-Zs, but now with coverage in all directions, the customers would love it.”
The results have been outstanding, Eric says, with total sound coverage in every corner of the three large rooms. You can see the AC-360-Zs mounted on the ceiling of one of the large meeting rooms below.
And here are the AC-360-Zs mounted in the classroom lecture hall room. Three AC-360-Zs placed down the middle of the room, running from front to back, enable nearly 100% sound coverage in the room. All the way from the lecture area to the back row.
You can listen for yourself to the coverage in the link below, as Eric gives a quick walk around the classroom showing clear sound pickup in every area of the room.
Eric says that both the client and TechSonic are very happy with the results, and that currently “we are running numerous projects utilizing the AC-360-Z as a ceiling microphone solution,” he says.