How to Facilitate Multiple Microphone Sources into Zoom with Dante Via and no DSP

In the medium to the more extensive classroom and training spaces, there is an increasing desire to make systems more efficient while maintaining a high level of function.

Zoom is a widely adopted platform for various reasons. One of the reasons discussed here is Zoom’s ability to see two audio channels from an audio interface and, by default, sum them to mono.

In this scenario, we will be using the Dante network to tie the system together and provide a mixed signal into Zoom without any additional DSP. Picture a room where the Sennheiser TeamConnect Ceiling 2 (TCC2) microphone is over the audience area. A SpeechLine Digital Wireless Multi-Channel Receiver (MCR) receives wireless signals from a podium gooseneck microphone and a head-worn microphone connected to a bodypack on the instructor or presenter.

The MCR has a built-in auto-mix function and outputs a single mix channel through Dante or an analog output. Connect the MCR to a PoE switch for power, control, and Dante. The TCC2 is a single-channel microphone and can send a signal through Dante or analog, too. Connect the TCC2 with two data cables to the same PoE switch.

The Zoom computer will also need two Audinate software applications installed, Dante Controller and Dante Via. In addition, the system will require an Audinate AVIO Dante USB adapter (AVIOUSB) as the audio interface. First, connect a data cable to the AVIO adapter, and plug the adapter into the computer with the USB. Next, connect another data cable to the ethernet port of the computer and the switch.

When you launch Dante Via, you will see your available sources and destinations, and in Dante Controller, you will see your available transmitters and receivers. In Dante Controller, route the TCC2 to the AVIOUSB Left or Right and the MCR Channel_Mix out to the other channel of the AVIOUSB.

Launch Zoom, go to Settings, Audio, and click on Test Mic. Zoom will show in Dante Via as an active Audio Destination. In Dante Via, in the Zoom box, Enable Dante. Dante Controller will populate Zoom Left and Right channels and automatically route the audio.

In Dante Via, when you click on the mixer icon in the Zoom box, it will only show one fader. Therefore, during the setup process, balancing source volume will need to be done inside Sennheiser Control Cockpit using the Audio Output (digital) fader for each device.

In Zoom, select the Dante Via Receive option for your microphone and the appropriate Speaker output for your system. This configuration will allow you to have a TCC2 and a SpeechLine Digital Wireless Multi-Channel Receiver delivering up to 5-channels of audio into a Zoom call without needing a DSP for the microphones.

Alternatively, two TCC2’s can be used in a room and routed the same way. The exclusion zones would need to be adjusted to avoid overlap in pickup zones.

The benefit of this configuration is getting a higher microphone channel count into a Zoom call without the need of a DSP.  This could be a significant cost savings approach for a multi-microphone solution without compromises in audio quality.

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