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Archive of the Education Category

Extron Now Shipping Three Input Switcher with Integrated DTP Transmitter

Extron Electronics is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the DTP T USW 233, a three input switcher for sending HDMI or analog video, audio, and control up to 230 feet (70 meters) over a single CATx cable to an Extron DTP 230 receiver. It is HDCP compliant and provides two HDMI inputs, one RGBHV or component video input, and one DTP 230 twisted pair output. Analog video input signals are digitized to ensure a high quality digital video signal is transmitted to the DTP 230 receiver. The switcher also offers many integrator-friendly features, such as EDID Minder, Key Minder, auto-switching between inputs, audio input assignment, and remote powering. These features, plus the low profile enclosure, make the DTP T USW 233 ideal for discreet placement in lecterns, beneath tables, or in other environments requiring input switching and signal transmission. more

DPA Microphones At The Top Of The Class

Children are lovely, but they do have a habit of breaking things, which is why any piece of equipment used in a school environment needs to be very tough.

According to Matthew Talks, founder of educational equipment specialists Podboffin, DPA’s versatile d:fine™ Headset Microphones certainly fit the bill because they are virtually unbreakable, even in the hands of kids.

“Usually, radio mics in schools have a short lifespan due to cables breaking,” Talks says. “However, I have yet to use the spare DPA mics that I bought recently because the first set I acquired are still going strong. Even if the cable were to break, the modular construction of DPA’s d:fine Headset Microphones means I can replace just the cable at a fraction of the cost of the initial outlay.”

Established in 2010, Podboffin provides recording, sound installation and live production services to schools and also offers advice on choosing the right audio equipment, setting it up and operating it. The company recently invested in a dozen omnidirectional single-ear DPA d:fine Headset Microphones, supplied by DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network, which are now being hired out to UK schools.

“I was familiar with DPA microphones having previously sub-hired d:fine units, so I decided to purchase my own,” Talks says. “In schools, the number one requirement is always for radio mics because the biggest sound problem school productions have is hearing students singing over a live band. The d:fine Headset Microphones completely solve this because I can get the capsule in really close to the singer with no plosive issues and with crystal clear sound.”

Talks admits that, in the educational market, cost is inevitably an issue.

“However, once schools hear the difference that pro mics make when compared to budget mics – and see how little effort is required to get superb results – they never go back,” he says. “I have yet to hire out d:fines and not get repeat business.”

DPA’s popular d:fine Headset Microphones are specifically designed for actors, public speakers, broadcast hosts, musicians and singers who want a lightweight, easy to wear headset microphone that leave them free to move around without compromising vocal quality. With their impressive gain before feedback and very stable construction, these unobtrusive microphones provide a discreet solution that can hardly be seen on the face. The range, which is renowned for its audio accuracy, is available in both directional and omnidirectional options and in single- or dual-ear designs with a choice of three lengths of microphone booms. They are also compatible with just about any wireless system.

Talks envisages his DPA d:fine Headset Microphones will be hired by “any school with a good business model for school productions”. Schools, he believes, can justify an increase in ticket prices and advertising when the production is good and is not let down by bad sound.

To date schools that have used DPA d:fine Headset Microphones for their concerts and drama performances include Dr. Challoner’s Grammar School, The Beacon School and Gerrards Cross Junior School.

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

AV, Big Data Optical Product by FiberPlex Singled Out for Award

FiberPlex CEO Buddy Oliver, center, accepts the Neutrik premierePARTNER award on behalf of the FiberPlex WDM-16 product team.

Optical fiber products are no longer toiling in obscurity. Among the heavyweights in the world of audio, video and big data transport is FiberPlex Technologies’ active wave division multiplexer, which was recognized last month for a coveted 2013 premierePARTNER Award by connectivity company Neutrik USA.

Of more than 50,000 Neutrik U.S. customers FiberPlex was singled out along with ten other professional AV equipment manufacturers for its product contribution to the growing fiber optic transport industry.  Among FiberPlex’s wide array of fiber optic products is its WDM-16 active wave division multiplexer used to convert audio, video and data signals to optical waveforms for transporting information and content over large, secure networks.

Increasingly, organizations with big data needs are networking systems through optical cable and products like WDM-16 because of fiber optics’ enormous bandwidth capacity, range, Fort Knox-like security and economies of scale. Neutrik USA makes optical connectors; FiberPlex and Neutrik USA offer optical solutions for a broad range of uses, from industrial to broadcast applications. 

“FiberPlex is an important piece of the puzzle for fiber optics delivery because of its bandwidth-enhancing products, specifically the WDM-16,” says Neutrik USA Product Manager Fred Morgenstern, stating that only the most innovative companies are eligible for the premierePARTNER Award. “We consider this a very prestigious award. It is presented to less than 1% of the company’s USA customer base,” he added. 

In addition to FiberPlex, Neutrik presented a 2013 premierePARTNER award (www.experience-neutrik.com) to Shure, EAW, Leprecon, Slate Media, Ashly Audio, BAE Audio, A-Designs Audio, Benchmark Media and TMB. 

Unique among the winners is FiberPlex’s WDM-16, which is capable of multiplexing up to 16 3GB/s channels onto existing fiber build-outs in order to increase capacity on an OC-48 platform over just two strands of optical fiber.By multiplexing new bandwidth capability onto existing fiber infrastructure, WDM-16 effectively reduces acquisition costs to pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of installing new fiber optic runs with associated labor and conduit expenses to yield the same capacity gain.

“We feel very honored to get this award. It says to us – and to our customers – that quality and innovation matter,” says FiberPlex Technologies CEO Buddy Oliver. 

FiberPlex makes a full line of fiber optic products for government agencies as well as for houses of worship, corporate facilities, broadcast applications, and K-12 and higher education. In addition to its popular WDM-16, FiberPlex offers its new FOI-6010 introduced earlier in 2013 as a universal SFP/SFP+ (small form-factor pluggable) frame that can interchange SFP modules for a variety of formats and uses, including interfacing singlemode fiber cable into existing multimode fiber build-outs.

 

METRIC HALO GEAR SCORES HIGH IN PROFESSOR WHALEY’S RAP-MATICS STEM-EDUCATION PROGRAM

WASHINGTON D.C./ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 2013: As a founding member of the pioneering San Francisco hip-hop group Bored Stiff, Pablo Sierra Whaley (aka “Professor Whaley”) has been writing raps and producing music since 1988. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Between the two degrees, Whaley spent several years as a middle school math teacher and department chair in the Bay Area, where he first developed his innovative “Rap-Matics” program for boosting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) competency using elements of hip-hop, poetry, and technology. Today, Whaley continues to curate the Rap-Matics curriculum and operate his production studio, Sonic Legacy Music with the help of Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip 3.

“Music is in my DNA,” asserted Whaley. “I was born into a musical family. My mom, grandma, and great-grandma all played piano. I played the trumpet in middle school, and then started a hip-hop group with my friend ‘Equipto,’ a now-legendary Frisco MC. As a teacher, one of the problems I noticed early on was that students were not connecting with the subject matter in the math books we were using. So I decided to take a new approach. I knew that my students loved the hip-hop culture. As an MC, I knew that rapping was a tool that could be used to connect people with concepts and information. I had ‘math-raps’ and ‘chemistry-raps’ to prove it. So I decided to create a literacy program that fused rap with mathematics. This was in the spring of 2000. To my knowledge, I am the first educator in the United States to have created a hip-hop-based math literacy program.”

Whaley founded Sonic Legacy Music in 2005. “I’ve used hundreds of different plug-ins from the freeware to the top-of-the-line stuff,” he said. “But nowadays, whenever I make music, I use Metric Halo ChannelStrip 3. It’s an extremely versatile plug-in. I’m using it for mixing and mastering several of my own projects right now, including unreleased Rap-Matics tracks and client projects. I have also used its de-noising, equalization, and compression to clean up audio from Rap-Matics video footage. The EQ is amazing, especially on drums and vocals. The scalable GUI is awesome. The presets are truly useful and the EQ curves are easy to grab and manipulate. The compressor is clean, but I can tweak it to get a more grimy sound when I need it. Overall, the ChannelStrip 3 is my go-to plug-in for all things requiring gating, compression, or equalization… which is pretty much everything!”

ABOUT METRIC HALO
Now based in the sunny city of Safety Harbor, Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware.

www.mhlabs.com

Extron Now Shipping PlenumVault Systems That Offer Secure Mounting in a Suspended Ceiling

Extron Electronics is pleased to announce the immediate availability of PlenumVault Systems, a family of complete, centralized AV switching and control systems designed for classrooms with a suspended ceiling. These easy-to-use, easy-to-install, economical classroom AV systems use twisted pair technology for transmitting signals and include network connectivity for Web-based asset management, monitoring, and control. PlenumVault Systems take their name from the unique PlenumVault Mounting Kit that securely mounts and conceals system components in the plenum space above a suspended ceiling. more

White Mark Ltd Wins A Major Design Competition

Studio and design consultancy White Mark Ltd has won a major international concept design competition to reconstruct and modernise the recording studios and control rooms at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Poland.

Since 1963, this prestigious university has been headquartered in a five storey building in Warsaw. Originally designed to take into account the requirements of the Sound Engineering department, the building has studios in the basement as well as a concert hall and teaching facilities on the other floors. However, 50 years after its completion, the entire complex now needs significantly updating to bring its functionality in line with current technical and educational requirements.

To ensure that the best team was chosen for the project, the Fryderyk Chopin University held an international competition and encouraged entries from acoustic and architectural companies from around the world. The brief was complex as there were a large number of rooms to take into consideration including two recording studios, an orchestral studio, various editing suites, lecture theatres and a master control room linking all of these facilities together. There was also a requirement to design an Atmos mixing studio, the first of its kind in Poland.

Alan Cundell, Director of White Mark, says: “We approached the competition brief in the same way that we would approach any design brief – with a view to giving the client the best facility possible within the constraints of the budget and the available space. The main issues we faced were optimally configuring the large number of rooms that needed to be included in our submission and ensuring that our technical proposals were both appropriate to the University’s educational requirements and reflected current industry practice. The time frame was very short and we had to pull out all the stops to meet the deadline.”

White Mark’s main competition came from a design consortium consisting of team members from Canada, Poland and Germany. To ensure that the competition was entirely fair, all designs had to be submitted anonymously, identified only by reference numbers, so that no names were visible to the judges.

“The requirement for confidentiality was very stringent,” Alan Cundell adds. “We even had to make sure that everything we sent by FedEx only had reference numbers and no company name, just in case one of the judges saw it.”

Judging was carried out on a percentage basis, with marks allocated in three sections – compliance with guidelines, innovation and feasibility. White Mark’s overall rating was 92% –11% higher than the competition.

The Fryderyk Chopin University is now discussing the on-going project with White Mark as it hopes to start the design and building of its new Sound Engineering department at the beginning of next year.

“Winning the competition was a great achievement and one we are very proud of, but the bigger challenge will come when we start designing for construction,” Alan Cundell adds. “That’s when the hard work really starts!”

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About White Mark:

Established in 1997 by David Bell, John Dunnill, Derek Buckingham and Alan Cundell, White Mark Ltd specialises in production facilities for music recording and the film and television industries. Over the last fifteen years it has designed and supervised the construction of over 500 production suites worldwide. The company’s impressive client list encompasses some of the world’s most famous music recording facilities including Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in the UK, Germano Studios in New York, Hit Factory/Criteria Recording Studios in Miami, Strongroom in London and private studios for producers and musicians such as William Orbit and Damon Albarn. In the area of audio post production, White Mark has completed over 140 audio studios and many broadcast and video editing facilities for more than 60 companies in Soho alone. The list of clients includes Grand Central, Hackenbacker, Envy, De Lane Lea, Scramble, Lipsync, Molinare, DeLuxe, 750mph, NBC/Universal, Wave, Unit and Boom. Advertising agency clients include worldwide facilities for Hogarth International and AMV/BBDO on four continents. www.whitemark.com

SYMETRIX SYMNET EDGE AND RADIUS DSPs HANDLE PERFORMING ARTS CENTERS IN HOUSTON’S KATY SCHOOL DISTRICT

HOUSTON, TEXAS: The rapidly growing Katy Independent School District serves over 65,000 students in the greater Houston area. To meet their growing audio and visual media demands, school officials recently earmarked funds to update the performing arts center A/V systems in four of its seven high schools. Broadcast Works of Tyler, Texas was contracted to do the installation and used SymNet Edge and Radius AEC open architecture Dante network audio DSPs.

“The old A/V systems were 1990s vintage and entirely analog,” explained Aaron Comer, project manager with Broadcast Works. “The system designer, Erich Friend of Teqniqal Systems assessed their existing systems and determined that they could transform the performing arts centers from outdated to cutting-edge by revamping only the front end and control systems. The existing QSC amplifiers and Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers were basically in excellent shape.”

Although the original design called for another DSP manufacturer, Comer and his team lobbied hard for SymNet Edge and Radius DSP. “We had worked with this other manufacturer’s products in the past, and it was always a challenge,” he said. “In contrast, we’ve done a lot of Symetrix jobs, and they always go well. Ryan Curtright, Symetrix’ senior technical sales engineer, worked with us to put a nice package together centered on SymNet solutions. Based on our past experience, we knew it would work well and reliably… and would save the district some money.” The new systems make use of the Dante network’s stability and flexibility to send signal long distances without copper and provide digital patch bays that allow users (including first-year students) to select among each stage’s 70+ inputs for allocation to a 48-channel Avid SC48 console.

Stage inputs include a multitude of wired input plates together with a portable rack feeding a SymNet Edge and SymNet xIn12 expander. Rather than home running all of the stage inputs back to the sound booth, as in the old design, the new system uses a stage-located SymNet Radius AEC to collect them for transfer to the sound booth via Dante. That same Radius AEC, together with a SymNet xOut12 expander, receives the final house mix from the sound booth (again via Dante) for output to the stage-located amp rack. The portable SymNet Edge rack pairs up with a sixteen-count wireless microphone system or an additional twelve-count hardwired microphone collection and can connect to the system via any one of four Dante ports located around the stage.

Each sound booth contains three SymNet Radius AEC units with additional input cards, three SymNet xIn12s, and three SymNet xOut12s. Broadcast Works designed a custom computer interface using Symetrix’ SymVue software that allows users to connect any input source to any channel on the Avid SC48 console. In turn, the console outputs thirty-two channels that feed back into the SymNet system for transfer to the amp rack via Dante. “The students love it,” said Comer. “We trained a group of freshmen who had zero experience with a system like this. Within a couple of hours, they were completely comfortable and playing with the whole thing. Despite its complexity from our perspective, SymVue makes it simple from their perspective. They get it.”

For less elaborate events, Broadcast Works gave each school an iPad outfitted with Crestron control that would allow them to turn the system on with a minimal number of commonly-used microphones and input sources. The iPad gives them control over which commonly-used inputs are active, their individual volumes, and the overall volume.

The new systems’ easy learning curve made it possible for the theater and music departments in all four schools to start production on fall programs without delay. A few of the highlights include The Wizard of Oz, a Masquerade Serenade concert, and a play called The Cherry Orchard.

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix is dedicated to making life sound better. As a world leader in the development and manufacturing of digital audio signal processing (DSP) systems and accessories, Symetrix provides best in class audio management solutions to businesses, schools, non-profits and government organizations.

For more information on Symetrix products visit www.symetrix.co

Singing Wells Records, Archives and Shares Traditional African Music with HARMAN’s AKG Microphones

Working to raise awareness and manage traditional East African music for future generations to listen, refer to and take pride in, not-for-profit group Singing Wells travels throughout the continent to capture beautiful melodies of the people of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and others. With a studio pair of HARMAN’s AKG C414 XLS reference recording microphones, Singing Wells captures the sounds of local musicians and offers young artists an opportunity to collaborate and incorporate traditional music into their own work.

Beginning in 2011, with a successful pilot recording in the coastal province of Kenya, Singing Wells (a collaboration between UK-based charity Abubilla Music Foundation and Ketebul Music) delivers engineers to help with audio and video recording during performances.

“The time we spend in the field must be used productively, so being able to set up quickly and capture as many high-quality recordings as possible was an important factor when considering microphones,” stated Andy Patterson, Singing Wells. “I’ve used AKG throughout my entire career for vocals, guitars, overheads and ambients in various studios and they have never disappointed.”

A matched pair of AKG C414 XLS is used on a stand to record in the field and have been featured on every recording Singing Wells has developed. From the vocals to the percussion and even the performers’ stomping feet, C414 beautifully captures the rhythm, soul and heart of the performers.

“The C414’s produce a reliable image and balance of the sound, which we complement with extra lapel and spot mics.” Patterson continued. “We are confident that in the event of failure of the other microphones, we will have an accurate stereo recording from the main pair of AKG C414 mics as a fallback if necessary. In such differing outdoor environments, I was worried we might suffer equipment failures, but the C414’s have never let us down.”

Singing Wells pays a gratuity to all artists for their recording time and in the event any money is made from the recordings, royalties are also paid.

“We see ourselves not just as archivists and seed collectors, but as cultivators and seed planters, helping to conserve and grow this magical type of performance,“ said Patterson. “The next stage in our project is to try and raise the profile of Singing Wells and the musicians we have recorded. We’ve worked with amazing artists, and anyone in any culture can surely appreciate and respect their passion.”

For more information on the Singing Wells project, please visit http://ww.singingwells.org

For more information on the AKG C414 XLS, please visit http://www.akg.com/C414+XLS-788.html

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Yamaha Training Sessions Set for Pittsburgh and Beltsville, MD

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Yamaha Commercial Audio Training Seminars (YCATS) will hold training sessions in Pittsburgh, PA November 5, 6, and 7 and in Beltsville, MD on November 12, 13, and 14.

Pittsburgh and Beltsville sessions will include M7CL for Beginners, M7CL for Experience Engineers, CL Series Operational Training, and Digital Audio Networks for Engineers.

For more information, course description, seminar location, and registration visit: http://yamahacommercialaudiosystems.com/training.php?catID=11001.

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Belkin Releases Stage App with New Features to Boost Student Success

Apple Rates Stage App a “Best New App,” Highlighting Belkin’s Commitment to
Technology in Education
 

PLAYA VISTA, CA  – Belkin, a trusted leader of technology solutions for office, classroom, IT infrastructure, and mobile environments, today announced the latest version of the Stage App. The Belkin Stage App was rated by Apple as a Best New App in its first week of release. 

Belkin’s Stage App combines the convenience of a document camera with the power of an interactive whiteboard to bring lessons to life and boost student success. It enables educators to sketch and annotate over live video for engaging tutorials, and displays objects using the iPad camera with the ability to sketch, write, label or laser point to objects in real time. With a simple connection to a projector or second screen, iPad creations can be easily shared and viewed with an entire classroom.

Stage App provides users with new features that include an undo/redo function, a zoomable camera, and a text tool. Additional new functionalities include: 

  • New, efficient user interface, improved toolbars, and more colors
  • Improved label library and label design features
  • In-app purchases available that include Multiple Canvases, Academic Backgrounds Bundle, Shapes, and Multiple Pictures

The Stage App also features a video output function to allow all video and interactions to be output via a wired or wireless connection, and a recording function that allows users to record audio, video and created interactions. Recorded sessions are saved to the iPad photo library for simple access and uploading to collaborative sites such as YouTube EDU. The newest version of Stage App is optimized for iOS7.

In addition to the free Stage app, Belkin launched Stage Pro. Stage Pro unlocks all advanced features of the basic Stage app including Video Recording, Multiple Canvases, Academic Backgrounds Bundle, Shapes, and Multiple Pictures. A 50 percent discount is available for qualified educational purchases of Stage Pro through Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP).

“The exciting new features of Belkin’s newest Stage App release, along with the Best New App recognition from Apple, highlight our customer-driven approach to product development and dedication to technology in education,” said Jon Roepke, senior product manager, Business Division, Belkin International. “Our goal is to efficiently integrate the iPad into the classroom to help optimize the learning environment for students and teachers. Used with the Tablet Stage for iPad, the Stage App also represents an economical alternative to technologies such as interactive whiteboards and document cameras – delivering similar functionality without the price tag and hassle of integration.”

Tweet this: @belkinbusiness for education announces new version of Stage App, rated ‘Best New App’ by @TheAppleInc http://goo.gl/yMjjux

About Belkin Business

Belkin Business, a division of Belkin International, offers technology solutions for office, classroom, IT infrastructure, and mobile environments. A proven technology leader for more than 30 years, organizations worldwide trust Belkin for its unwavering commitment to product quality, and expertise in creating solutions designed to address customer requirements in business, government and education. With a global supply chain and broad provider network, Belkin commands a purchasing power that delivers greater value and unparalleled execution advantages to customers. The company’s line of commercial products are available through Belkin’s global network of distributors and resellers. Headquartered in Playa Vista, California, the company is represented in more than 25 countries and can be found on the Web at http://www.belkin.com/us/business/enterprise.

Tags: education technology, classroom technology, K-12 technology

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