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Evolving the Architecture for Conference Audio Solutions
Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Evolving the Architecture for Conference Audio Solutions

As audiovisual manufacturers continue to engineer the best, most innovative solutions for audiovisual systems, they have not always made implementing their solutions easy.

For example, DSP mixers have changed the nature of integrated audio, but they’ve had to carry too much of the burden within increasingly complex and demanding audiovisual systems. When you rely on one solution to do so much of the work, you can be faced with deciding between adding more mixers or limiting what you can do in a room.

And what you’re trying to do in a room is no simple task. At a minimum in today’s conference rooms, you want to be able to:

  • Deliver high-quality audio pickup
  • Pull inputs from user laptops
  • Drive the loudspeakers
  • Connect audio conferencing participants around the world

However, the number of connection points on a DSP mixer can limit your system, leaving you with the options of cutting back on capabilities, adding a second small DSP mixer (or more), or upgrading to a larger (more costly) one.

Changing the Architecture for Simplicity and Savings

ClearOne has decided to take a different approach to engineering solutions, to help users simplify the integration process and cut costs. Rather than relying so much on the DSP mixer, ClearOne has decided to move intelligence to each input device.

For example, the ClearOne Beamforming Microphone Array Ceiling Tile (BMA CT) has built-in acoustic echo cancellation, noise cancellation, and beam selection to eliminate the need for per-beam processing in a DSP mixer—requiring fewer DSP mixer resources. The built-in 2 x 10 Watt into 8-ohm power amplifier conveniently drives loudspeakers.

ClearOne’s beamforming microphones also enable all the echo cancellation, noise cancellation, equalization, mixing of the beams, and power to be transmitted via one cable. Since ClearOne’s beamforming microphone arrays perform per-beam processing in the microphone, they only send a single channel of processed audio to the DSP mixer. In order to do per-beam processing with other beamforming microphones, the audio from each beam must be sent to the DSP mixer as a separate channel. This can require up to eight audio channels from each non-ClearOne beamformer. Add in additional wireless microphones and USB connections and you’d quickly run out of either physical inputs and/or processing channels on a conventional DSP mixer.

Managing Audio Solutions More Intelligently

Since ClearOne architecture makes it possible to perform most of the processing within the microphone, you not only decrease costs and simplify your work, you also make ongoing management and long-term improvements much easier. Additionally, you can minimize the rack space clients need, and allow them to grow and standardize more easily in the future using the Clearone architecture.

Most importantly, though, the ClearOne architecture benefits users because solutions improve the quality of meeting room audio. Collaboration is better, allowing organizations to focus on their most important work while the technology works for them.

If you want to learn more about getting the most out of your meeting rooms, read this blog to learn ways you can improve collaboration spaces.

Model: Beamforming Micr Array Ceiling Tile (BMA CT)