Higher-education classroom technology has been going through a transformation by necessity for over a year now, and one thing we have learned is there is not one single solution for every classroom and campus. One of the exciting aspects of this diverse trend is understanding how different people have unique ways to use products to meet their needs.
One solution that surfaced was the need for wireless microphone channels, video camera, and audio playback in a mobile cart. The demand came up when a school was finding their classrooms were used for many different applications, not just school, but didn’t need to outfit every room with a sizeable multifaceted system. The decision was made to build a few mobile carts that would accommodate a wide range of needs but in a simple configuration. This configuration included our SpeechLine Digital Wireless microphone system with the Multi-Channel Receiver (MCR) to provide ease of use, flexibility, reliability, and quality wireless.
Each cart consisted of two MCR’s connected to a small PoE switch to provide power, control with Sennheiser Control Cockpit software, and Dante through a single cable for each receiver. They mounted these receivers on a universal shelf in the rolling rack. The PoE switch and data cable were connected to a laptop sitting on the mobile rack for control, and another to an Audinate AVIO Dante to USB dongle into the same laptop for audio.
The MCR is a 4-channel wireless microphone receiver that also has a “mix” output capability. The mix is the automix of the 4 wireless channels, on either a 5th Dante output channel, or the single analog output on the back of the device. In this case, Dante was used, and in Dante Controller, the audio was routed for one of the MCR’s to go to the AVIO dongle channel left and the other MCR to channel right.
The school uses Zoom, which allows a stereo input and will sum to mono. Zoom can provide a stereo signal if both parties have that option selected, but by default, it is mono. This feature was necessary because the Dante audio was routed through the AVIO left and right channels and would become one summed mono signal. Zoom is one of the only programs that allow this. Teams, Google, and GoToMeeting all only see one channel of the two-channel AVIO adapters. Alternatively, one could use Dante Virtual Sound Card and Dante VIA to achieve this routing instead of an AVIO dongle.
This mobile cart setup allows for a total of 8-channels of wireless audio, auto-mixed in two banks of 4-channels, with auto-gain and auto-frequency management in a system that can go anywhere in the facility without RF interference and provide fantastic flexibility for Zoom. In addition, with the use of wireless gooseneck microphone transmitters, this school can do larger delegate and panel meetings or groups of presenters without sharing bodypacks and still have handheld transmitters to be put in the audience for Q&A and discussions.
Because this audio is on a local Dante network, it can be fed into an existing permanent audio network system for playback, voice lift, recording for archival, or even have the ability to mix independent channels with a Dante capable mixer in the room while still streaming everything in Zoom.
The Sennheiser SpeechLine Digital Wireless Multi-Channel Receiver provides a compact, flexible solution for wireless in any space for any speech application while keeping integration simple and even easy enough for ad hoc and temporary solutions.
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