The Power Behind The Voice

For meetings of the minds, it's necessary to hear the voices...clearly. Such is the principle upon which Norwalk, CT-based Sound Control Technologies (SCT) was founded almost 20 years ago.

Incorporated in 1987 out of a partnership between David Neaderland, Adolph Neaderland and Chris Jaffe of Jaffe Holden Acoustics, SCT grew out of Jaffe's patented Voice Lift system, which was designed to enhance speech intelligibility via a unique array of ceiling microphones and loudspeakers. The company began introducing its products to the corporate market, where they were installed into the boardrooms of some of the largest firms in the country.

"This was back before the proliferation of videoconferencing," recalled David Neaderland, vice president. "These boardrooms were very ornate, and highly integrated with custom furniture and architecture. Our niche was to work with some of the physical acoustic properties of the room environment with the audiovisual designer or integrator to come up with pre-packaged acoustics systems for the room to improve the speech intelligibility."

Soon after SCT's inception, the company moved into audioconferencing. "It was really only about a year or so later when we started to work with some pretty sophisticated-for the time-digital signal processors," David Neaderland explained. "We developed our own acoustic echo-cancellation models for audioconferencing, telephone conferencing and audio for video conferencing, which was really just starting to come about."

Today, SCT offers its ASP audio matrixing line of products. "Everything that we are offering today is representative of where we are moving forward in the next two to four years," David Neaderland explained. "The ASP family of digital matrixes is a modular platform that is very highly integrated to provide telephone interfaces, power amplifiers, microphone inputs, line-level inputs, and line-level outputs that are cascadable in the digital domain. This way, the integrators and designers can pick and choose which analog peripherals they need for a particular project."

Additionally, the company provides the RemoteCam series of pan/tilt/zoom interfaces. "A few years ago, we migrated into some video peripherals, and have a very nice line of pan/tilt/zoom camera interfaces for mounting these PTZ cameras in a conference room and providing power, video and remote control over a single Cat-5," David Neaderland said. "Our move into that is really to provide more solutions for our existing customers in the same spaces where they are already working. It's the same room environment."

The goal, said Adolph Neaderland, SCT's president, is to simplify the integration process. "One of the key elements is that in what we do, we try and make it easy for the integrator to lower his installed cost so that he gets in and out with less complications. The trick is to find out where there are problems, and then we try and solve them." SCT also develops products for other manufacturers on an OEM basis.

"Certainly more and more of the conferencing world is moving toward IP," David Neaderland noted. "We are developing technologies down those paths as well."

Carolyn Heinze has covered everything from AV/IT and business to cowboys and cowgirls ... and the horses they love. She was the Paris contributing editor for the pan-European site Running in Heels, providing news and views on fashion, culture, and the arts for her column, “France in Your Pants.” She has also contributed critiques of foreign cinema and French politics for the politico-literary site, The New Vulgate.