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Yamaha UC on Conferencing Audio

Holger Stoltze Sound ADVICE
(Image credit: Future)

AVT Question: Intelligible audio is the lynchpin that holds the entire conferencing experience together. What are some best practices to help ensure reliable, intelligible audio as the demand for hybrid solutions grows? [November 2021]

Thought Leader: Holger Stoltze, senior manager of Technical Sales and Marketing, at Yamaha Unified Communications

A video conference without audio becomes a pantomime, and that’s why for remote meetings and hybrid learning experiences, it’s essential to invest in audio solutions that suit the size and nature of the meeting, capture the voices of all participants, correct for poor room acoustics, block out unwanted noise, and are easy to configure and use.

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Microphone type, style, and configuration are naturally top considerations for capturing the voices of presenters and participants. Will the mic need to capture a small group around a table, a moving presenter, or questions from the audience? For smaller groups—wearable microphones, directional tabletop mics, or a portable speakerphone can keep the microphone close to the speakers for better sound pickup even in acoustically challenging rooms. 

A video conference without audio becomes a pantomime. — Holger Stoltze, Yamaha UC

For larger gatherings, consider using ceiling-mounted multi-beam tracking microphone technology. These sophisticated mics automatically detect and capture voices from anywhere in the room, while noise reduction algorithms and adaptive acoustic echo cancellation block out ambient noise. For large audiences, also consider a line array speaker system for a more evenly distributed sound output pattern focused on the audience without wasting output energy on the spaces above and around them.


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Today’s smart audio technology is also capable of automating the solution of difficult communications and acoustical challenges while reducing setup time, costs, and complexity. Look for technology that automatically detects installed system components, configures the devices, and optimizes audio performance.

Your system should be user-friendly while allowing for contactless conferencing. It should be compatible with your existing system so you can connect to legacy products such as control systems, codecs, and speakers. It should be easy for your AV/IT department to manage remotely. And finally, choose a unified communications system that is flexible, scalable, and reliable for a truly future-proof solution.

Cindy Davis is the brand and content director of AV Technology. Davis enjoys exploring the ethos of experiential spaces as well as diving deep into the complex topics that shape the AV/IT industry. In 2012, the TechDecisions brand of content sites she developed for EH Publishing was named one of “10 Great Business Media Websites” by B2B Media Business magazine. For more than 20 years, Davis has developed and delivered multiplatform content for AV/IT B2B and consumer electronics B2C publications, associations, and companies. From 2000 to 2008, Davis was the publisher and editor-in-chief of Electronic House. From 2009 to present, as the principal of CustomMedia.Co, Davis developed content plans and delivered content for associations such as IEEE Standards Association and AVIXA, content marketing for Future Plc, and numerous AV/IT companies. Davis was a critical member of the AVT editorial team when the title won the “Best Media Brand” laurel in the 2018 SIIA Jesse H. Neal Awards. A lifelong New Englander, Davis makes time for coastal hikes with her husband, Gary, and their Vizsla rescue, Dixie, sailing on one of Gloucester’s great schooners, and sampling local IPAs.