Growing A/V for a Start Up Pt 2
For my second act, I will be explaining my decisions of what I bought and why and how this will all fit in for what LiveRamp wants to do from an internal A/V perspective. If you go back and read the first part, you will see what they had installed before,how it worked for them, and why I chose to start from scratch with the new installation
So before ripping down the old solution, I drew up a plan on the new system. What kind of speakers I would want and where they would be placed; where the new projector and screen would be located and how the whole thing would work together. One thing I was concentrating on was getting rid of as many visible wires as possible and making it simple to use if I were not here. So I got out some paper, took some measurements of the team room and started to getting planning with dimensions and placement of equipment.
For sound, I decided on ceiling mounted speakers. I thought this would be best due to the size of the room and the ease at which I could hide the wires. With people usually spread around the room, I didn’t think directional speakers towards the front would be the best idea especially if I couldn’t cover the whole room or if people were not in the optimal seats for sound. With the ceiling mounted speakers, I could hit all parts of the room with clean sound but also put enough distance between mic and speaker, so I wouldn’t get any interference if someone was more of a walker when it came to giving presentations. The model of speakers I went with were the JBL C62P-WH. They give great sound and never get noticed due to them being on the ceiling.
To power and control this sound, I went with a 200w 70 Volt rolls Amp hooked up to a Mackie PROFX8 Mixer. The mixer is then plugged into a Mac Mini in which I control for presentations that need to be accessible for remote viewers. We use a variety of programs here including join.me, GoToMeeting and Zoom. All of these programs pick up the mixer and thus deliver great sound to the remote viewers with no issues. Another plus of this is that all I have to do is un-mute the Mac Mini and I can have remote viewers participate in the call with active participation. This is also key when a remote employee needs to give a presentation to the company, I can do that all through the system that I built.
For the microphones that I use, I bought 3 Shure BLX24/PG58 that I have plugged into the mixer. I usually leave 1-2 of the mic/receivers off since during presentations we only need one. If I know there will be a question and answer session, I tend to leave them on so that remote viewers can hear the questions being asked rather than only hearing answers, which can be frustrating when trying to participate in a remote meeting. So I run around during the meetings to get all the questions on the microphone for our remote viewers. I wanted to go with ceiling mounted microphones but that system was a little too pricey for our budget and vision.
I have everything organized in a metal cabinet by the back of the room where I can control the meetings, levels for sound and be out of the way of everything. I like having everything organized in one place as well to hold all the microphones, keyboard and mouse for the Mac Mini and all my receivers for the mics, amp and power. It looks a lot more organized and professional, which was one of my goals with this project.
This was a very fun project to work on and to continue to improve week after week with feedback given all the time. We use it for meetings, for watching the big game on the screen, and for more fun activities like a movie night or karaoke.