The University of Florida is a research university located in Gainesville, FL. At the heart of its 2,000-acre campus is Emerson Alumni Hall, a red brick and limestone building that hides a multi-purpose facility dedicated to alumni, faculty, and staff. It is used for fundraising activities, as well as lectures, conferences, receptions, and many types of meetings and special events. A key space within the facility is the Center for Preeminence, a high-end conference room that hosts equally high-end meetings. With only a small display and conference phone system, the room’s AV was not reflective of the importance of the meetings it hosts.
Lon Vance, senior engineer and project manager for audio visual systems at the university, was called in to lead the installation of updates to the AV. University administrators were looking for a high-quality microphone solution that was as discreet as possible, preserving aesthetic appeal, minimizing distractions, and allowing meeting participants to focus on the business at hand.
“Table mics weren’t an option, because of a requirement to keep the tables clear and a lack of any good cabling route to the tables,” said Lon Vance. “In a situation like that we would normally install ceiling mics, but the client did not want to see the microphones when not in use.”
Through online research Vance found the Audix M3 tri-element ceiling microphone with the Servoreeler precision microphone retraction system option. He spoke with a few colleagues in the industry and they all highly recommended the Audix M3 / Servoreeler combination.
“The Servoreeler allows the mics to drop low enough to get away from the AC, ceiling, and projector noise, which are usually a pain to deal with,” said Vance. “The M3s pick up the whole room really well with no dead spots and when not in use, they virtually disappear into the ceiling.”
Another big advantage of the Audix M3, according to Vance, is the ability to selectively control each of the microphone’s three capsules (in this case, via a Crestron touch panel), allowing him to turn off unneeded capsules, such as those that might be aimed at a buffet line.
The entire room upgrade was completed in a day and half, with the mic install taking a half day.
“I expected small hang ups, having never worked with Servoreelers in the past. Instead, I found the Audix mics easy to install, easy to use, and a breeze to integrate into a control system,” Vance said. “The entire microphone installation, including the Servoreelers, was surprisingly easy. The mics run back over Cat 5, then a breakout runs out to a Phoenix and you are good to go. The alumni, faculty and staff using the Center from Preeminence conference room are delighted with the results.”
Vance was not only impressed with ease of installation, but also with the customer service he received. “Both Audix and Servoreelers have very knowledgeable and helpful staff. I let them know what I wanted to accomplish and they recommended the approach and parts I would need.”
“The M3 with the Servoreelers was exactly what the university had in mind and they were very happy with the result,” said Vance. “When a job calls for discreet microphones that also sound great, you would be hard pressed to find a better option than the Audix M3.”