Class of 2024: Purdue University, Purdue Online

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Purdue University

Left to Right: Jim MacDonald, associate producer; Joshua Brown, multimedia system manager/lead producer; Carl Black, multimedia production manager/lead designer; Andrew Furstenberg, video production specialist; Steven Beier, senior producer  (Image credit: Purdue University)

AV/IT TEAM: Jim MacDonald, associate producer; Joshua Brown, multimedia system manager/lead producer; Carl Black, multimedia production manager/lead designer; Andrew Furstenberg, video production specialist; Steven Beier, senior producer 

Purdue University

(Image credit: Purdue University)

GOALS:  The primary goals of this project included upgrading and replacing the existing microphone array and DSP in three multi-function classrooms that serve graduate-level online programs for the College of Engineering; increasing the quality of recorded audio for faculty/presenter and student conversations in the classrooms; and simplifying audio capture from faculty members and presenters—giving them the ability to walk in and lecture without worrying about putting on a microphone.

Purdue University

(Image credit: Purdue University)

CHALLENGES:  At the start of the project, one of the biggest challenges was that the original Q-SYS DSP we specified didn’t have the correct number of microphone inputs needed to complete the project in the original timeline. We quickly worked with our integrator to order a Q-SYS Core 110f for each of the rooms. This resulted in the project being broken into two phases. The other challenge was room scheduling. There were several recordings on schedule in the classrooms during the first week of the installation. We were successfully able to prioritize course recordings and complete phase one of the installation. 


Q-SYS Core 110f v2 processor (3), Sennheiser TeamConnect Ceiling 2 Microphone Array (7) 

FINAL INSTALL/USER BENEFITS: End user benefits include improved faculty/student audio recording for all course modality types. The ability to define zones in the Sennheiser software helps with overall audio mixing for the presenter and students. Additionally, faculty/staff now enjoy ease of use when presenting course material. Faculty members don’t have to put on a lavalier microphone before each lecture. Multiple speakers don’t need to wear a microphone during presentations. There is also improved web conferencing audio (Teams, Zoom, etc.) for Hyflex or lecture capture recordings. Faculty members often want to use Zoom or Teams during their lectures, and this simplifies the audio capture process. And finally, the Q-SYS DSP allows the classrooms to be used in two modes: Presentation Mode and Production mode. Production Mode allows our team to produce a course lecture, and Presentation Mode allows the room to operate like a standard classroom. 

Success is measured by the end user. “I was wondering whether the microphone is hiding. Your folks provided this amazing technology without any distractions to the course delivery,” said Dr. Wenbin Yu, AAE Professor at Purdue University. Very much appreciated!”

Contributing Writer

Macy O'Hearn has been a contributing writer to AV Technology since 2019 where her focus is working on the Technology Manager's Guides. In addition, O'Hearn has contributed articles to SCN, and is the editor for the 2022, 2023, and 2024 Digital Signage magazine.