Belle Glade, FL – November 2012… The ability of an AV system to accommodate the frequent exchange of words, images, and related supporting materials commonly encountered during legal proceedings has grown exponentially in recent years. In addition to the real-time aspects of managing multiple microphones and the plethora of audio, video, and teleconferencing equipment involved, these proceedings are commonly recorded. There’s a lot to keep track of and, in many cases, there are no on-site AV technicians. Such was the case at the recently renovated 15th Judicial Circuit of Florida West County Courthouse. Managing all those audio feeds required a sophisticated processing system with the ability to interact seamlessly with other equipment. The solution was found in a series of ASPEN processors from Rio Rancho, NM-based Lectrosonics.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL-based NDR Corporation, a design / build firm providing turnkey installations of audio, video, nurse call, intercom, clock, MATV, CATV, and CCTV systems in the education, corporate, government, worship and healthcare markets, was contracted to handle the West County Courthouse’s facility upgrade. Byard Hey, NDR’s Sales Manager, who is responsible for sales, system design, specification writing, and numerous other aspects of the company’s projects, discussed the nature of the installation and his decision to deploy Lectrosonics’ SPN1624 ASPEN processors, SPN16i ASPEN 16-input expansion units, SPNConference ASPEN telephone conferencing processors, and PA8 8-channel power amplifiers.
“This was an involved project,” states Hey, “The job involved two courtrooms and two hearing rooms. In each of the two courtrooms and one of the hearing rooms, we deployed the same setup, which included the ASPEN SPN1624, the SPN16i input expander, the SPNConference processor, and two PA8 power amps. The second hearing room used the same equipment—minus the SPN16i expander, as this space required fewer audio inputs.”
Unattended operation was of paramount importance on this job, as was the ability of the ASPEN processors to operate as an integral part of the managing Crestron control system. In each of the rooms, the judge has a touch panel controller for making changes to various aspects of the system and there is also a wall panel for the bailiff to interact with the equipment if necessary.
“The ASPEN system is set up for automixing,” Hey explained, “with an average of thirteen microphones in each space, as well as audio from portable AV sources such as laptop computers, video conferencing, telephone conferencing, audio recording, and video follow audio for camera initiation. All of these feeds are handled through the Lectrosonics ASPEN family of products. I’ve been very impressed with the ASPEN equipment, particularly the automixing process with mix-minus functionality, which is applied for each ceiling speaker associated with an open microphone in close proximity. Equally important on this project was the system’s expansion capability, as this was what enabled us to accommodate all the mic inputs and the additional AV and conferencing audio inputs.”
While configuring and controlling the ASPEN processing system is quite intuitive, Lectrosonics does offer training to help integrators get up to speed with the equipment. Hey took advantage of that training and was very impressed. “I attended a one week class at Lectrosonics’ headquarters in preparation for this project,” said Hey, “and my lead technician had experience with other Lectrosonics equipment. Throughout the project and during final commissioning, my tech spoke with Lectrosonics’ support staff and, in each case, had a very positive experience. We’ve always had a great relationship with Lectrosonics and these factors explain our continued and repeat purchases of their equipment. Lectrosonics provides the right products at competitive pricing with responsive support services—and this helps NDR Corporation protect the reputation we have worked so hard to attain.”
The West County Courthouse installation occurred during August and early September. With everything up and running, Hey offered these final thoughts, “While this was the first ASPEN installation for the County, they have Lectrosonics equipment installed in other judicial applications, so they knew what to expect. Rest assured, they were not disappointed. This installation was a gradual progression for the County and I believe it will continue in future projects because of their familiarity and trust they have in Lectrosonics products. With impressive performance and first-class support services, you just can’t go wrong with Lectrosonics.”