— The challenge was to find a way for both on-site and online training sessions participants to hear everything clearly and consistently; the solution was 15 ceiling-mounted A-T MicroLine® Condenser Gooseneck microphones that provide complete yet unobtrusive audio coverage of the room —
STOW, OH — Sandler Training is an acknowledged leader in sales development training programs for salespeople at businesses of all sizes, entrepreneurs and independent consultants, delivering an estimated 92,000 training hours per year. The Ruby Group, Inc. operates two Sandler Sales Training Centers in Ohio – in Akron and Columbus. The Ruby Group’s Sandler trainers were encountering what has become a fundamental challenge in the era of online education: the hybrid classroom, in which instructors are simultaneously addressing both students in the room and distance learners listening and watching in online. Intelligibility for the online contingent was proving a challenge, and the solution was met with components from Audio-Technica, a leading innovator in transducer technology for over 50 years.
“When you do one or the other – either working with students just in the training room or only online – everything is fine, but when you try to do them together, you run into problems,” explains Ken Guest, a Partner in The Ruby Group. He says the company saw the need to increase the distance-learning side of its operations, in order to reach more clients, and the hybrid classroom approach is the most efficient and cost-effective way to do that. The Sandler Training classes in the company’s training room in Fairlawn, OH, which seats 30, had already been using Audio-Technica’s System 10 Digital Wireless microphone systems for some time, with instructors using a headset system as well as a pair of handheld microphones available to pass around as students asked questions and discussed topics. But the need to constantly move around those handheld mics was presenting a unique problem. “It interrupts the flow of the session, disrupting the learning process,” he says. “For instance, if someone makes a joke or a good observation in the room, the people listening in online might not hear the punch line or hear the laughter. It makes them feel unconnected to the session.”
A solution was direct and comprehensive: 15 ceiling-mounted A-T ATND931WMLMicroLine® Condenser Gooseneck microphones were installed in the training facility, processed through a Symetrix Radius AEC processor, which provides features such as echo cancellation. The use of individual MicroLine microphones allows the installation to be perfectly scaled to the room, and they bring a host of features that confer significant advantages. For instance, the microphone, which features UniGuard® RFI-shielding technology for outstanding rejection of radio frequency interference (RFI), attaches to the A-T ATND8734 Dante™-enabled wall/ceiling plate power module via a special TA3F-type connector designed to optimize RFI immunity. The result is clear, highly intelligible sound online. The gooseneck mic provides a uniform polar pattern with narrow 90-degree acceptance angle, so each microphone will cover a precise area. In addition, the power module is equipped with an 80-Hz low-cut UniSteep® filter, to eliminate rumble from HVAC and other sources, and a three-position input gain level selector (+30 dB, +40 dB, and +50 dB) to precisely regulate levels. Finally, a red/green LED status indicator is controlled remotely through the DSP processor, which provides a high degree of confidence in operation by providing a visual cue.
Once the new system had been installed, says Guest, the change was startling. “It’s awesome!” he exclaims. “Everyone online can now hear everything that happens in the room. It’s made the entire training process into a single seamless proposition. Whether you’re in the room or online, everyone has the same experience. We’re no longer handing microphones around the room.” And the installation was fast and easy, thanks in part to the Dante compatibility of these MicroLine microphones, which vastly reduces the amount of wiring needed. “And they not only sound great but you’d barely know they were there,” he adds. “They don’t affect the aesthetics of the space at all. So these were the perfect solution to what had been a very critical problem. Now, problem solved.”
For more information, please visit www.audio-technica.com.