Top of the class
JAPAN: A Shure MXA910 ceiling array microphone has been installed in the colloquium at the Osaka Ibaraki Campus of Ritsumeikan University. The microphone, from the manufacturer’s Microflex Advance range, was required to reinforce classes, as well as a variety of other types of conference that the colloquium stages.
‘The Colloquium is not only used for our usual classroom sessions, we sometimes rent it to people outside the university for events such as academic meetings and conferences,’ said Kengo Kurashina of the Office of Information Infrastructure, Information System Department at Ritsumeikan University. ‘We have a wireless handheld microphone available, but operating the large touch panel display in the room is not easy when you have a microphone in your hand. We considered a lavalier microphone as alternative, but they sometimes pick up noise if they are not attached properly and they can easily cause feedback.’
Mr Kurashina explained that he had been interested in the possibility of using a ceiling microphone since taking responsibility for the systems design for the university’s learning spaces. ‘I tried many different products,’ he recalled. ‘With Microflex Advance I’ve finally found a microphone I can be satisfied with.’
The MXA910 has been mounted in the ceiling at the front of the room above the whiteboard and touch panel display used by the teachers. Shure’s Steerable Coverage technology enables the system to capture vocals by aiming eight discreet lobes at the presenter area. The lobes automatically activate as needed when the speaker moves. In the colloquium, the ceiling is 4m high and the microphone covers a 9m area between the whiteboard and the students’ seats.
‘When a speaker turns his back to the microphone to write something on the whiteboard, the sound changes accordingly and you are still able to hear,’ said Mr Kurashina. ‘In the coverage area, spoken voices are amplified just as they are and sound very natural.
‘Another reason for choosing the MXA310 was also the high degree of freedom associated with the installation, as it connects via a single Cat-5e Ethernet cable and uses Dante audio networking,’ he added. ‘Especially for video conferencing systems, more and more audio devices will be networked. I think ease of operation and system stability are very important.’
Impressed by the performance of the MXA310, the university now plans to introduce MXA310 table array mics in the video conferencing rooms of Ritsumeikan Primary School.