Audix Micros Series Chosen for The State of Michigan 54th Judicial Circuit Court

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WILSONVILLE, OR—Accurate Audio Consultants was contacted by the state’s 54th Judicial Circuit Court to provide a solution to the audio and video problems the court was experiencing while in session. Audix Micros Series were put to the jurisdiction of the court and proved themselves a wise choice.

David Spoelhof, principal of Accurate Audio Consultants in Grand Rapids, Mich., states “We chose the Audix Micros Series to accomplish the tasks of all the microphones necessary to give us the pick-up and control we were looking for.”

Spoelhof explains, “The main concerns were that the judge, the court reporter and the jury were having a difficult time hearing each other. The jury and court reporter were struggling to hear a soft spoken witness testify while the judge and court reporter found it difficult to understand an attorney addressing the jury while standing at the podium.

“The other issues of concern,” continues Spoelhof, “are as follows: The judge needs the ability to locally control the sound levels and mute local microphones when sidebar conversations occurred. The system needs to be foolproof and very simple to use with repeatability of operation being paramount. The defense and prosecuting attorneys and gallery need to hear the judge, jury and witnesses.”

Spoelhof proceeded to solve these two problem areas by utilitizing two separate systems, each working in conjunction with each other and controlled by an automatic matrix mixer. Accurate Audio Consultants specified a 16 input by 12 output digital matrix mixer working in the automatic mix-minus mode. Loudspeakers were divided into three specific zones: the main courtroom and gallery seats, the jury box, and the judge and courtroom recorder who each had personal monitors. The judge was provided with a small control panel to reduce the levels of the jury and witness microphones and mute the jury speaker and provide masking noise during a sidebar conversation.

For the jury box, four highly sensitive Audix M1255-S miniature shotgun mics were mounted on MGN-12 goosenecks across the jury box railing. These four mics were mixed as one group and distributed to all areas except the jury box loudspeaker.

The Witness Box required a very sensitive, directional microphone to pickup all various levels of voices and because it is important for the judge and jury to hear the witness. The Audix M1280-S Mini-Shotgun with a MGM-12 Gooseneck was chosen for this task. This microphone is sent to all zones.

For the Judge, Attorneys and Lectern, Accurate Audio Consultants provided an Audix ADX-218 dual gooseneck mic and ATS-10 weighted base with a lighted on-off switch for each desk location. They used a SMT1218R isolation mount for the Lectern. The Judges microphone is sent to all zones, except his personal monitor. Attorney microphones are sent to all zones.

For the addressing the court, a M1255-HC hypercardioid capsule mounted on a MicroBoom™ and MB-STAND floor stand was used. This combination MicroBoom™ and stand can be positioned wherever needed in front of the judge’s bench to allow for defendant statements or allocutions. This microphone is sent all zones.

Additional output zones are: Media Distribution Feeds; Listening Assistance Transmitter; Court Reporter Computer and Analog Recording Device and CD-R in the remote equipment rack.

“The results”, concludes Spoelhof, “were perfect. The system operated flawlessly from the very first day and everyone was thrilled with the sound quality and the ability of everyone to hear while court is in session. The Audix microphones proved to be the right choice for the application. Audix was very cooperative in helping us determine which mics would be best suited for the job. After working with the Micros, we were highly impressed with their size, functionality and performance. They became the answer to the challenges we faced. Case closed!”

The installation was done by AV Contractor Craig Keelor of Eclectic Communications, Swartz Creek, MI. Keelor says, “We found that the Audix mics were easy to install and we liked the fact that the Micros come equipped with interchangeable and field replaceable capsules in case there are ever any issues. Audix is a great company to work with and we look forward to many more installations like this in the future.”

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