1st Bank recently commissioned Ford AV of Oklahoma City, with satellite offices in OK, NV, TX, and CO, to install the new videoconferencing systems in the bank’s upgraded 225,000 square-foot headquarters in Lakewood, Colorado.
In the executive boardroom, there are multiple tables that seat 104 people for weekly teleconferences with their 30 branch offices. Ford AV installed 104 Earthworks IML12 microphones at each position so they could have increased clarity and quality audio from each of the participants.
According to Ed Hyong, Ford AV senior account manager, “We were very impressed with the performance and clarity of the Earthworks IML12 microphones and decided to include them in the design for the 1st Bank executive boardroom.”
“In their previous boardroom, they used a single microphone unit in the center of a table routed through a videoconference codec,” explains Hyong. “Consequently, audio quality at the far ends of the table was not consistent with the audio quality of those sitting closer to the microphone unit. However, when using the Earthworks IML12 microphones at each location, each person was able to experience the same high quality audio. In fact, the audio quality was so good that those participating in the teleconference at remote locations said it sounded like they were actually in the same room with those in the headquarters executive boardroom.”
Ford AV project engineer for the installation, Adam Kirson, describes the challenges in microphone selection and performance for the 1st Bank executive boardroom, which led them to select the Earthworks IML12.
“For this install, we needed microphones with capacitive touch light rings. The aesthetics of the light ring on the Earthworks IML12 microphones are excellent. The overall audio quality and the accurate polar pattern of these microphones were very important. To have over 100 mics in a room like this, we needed very accurate polar response and high rejection of sounds from the rear of the microphone. The accurate polar response and rear rejection was key to having multiple microphones open at the same time.
“Three ceiling mounted cameras in this room are controlled by the logic technology in the microphones which enable the cameras to zoom in on each person while they are speaking. Because of this, along with the idea of having multiple open mics simultaneously, we were limited on what gating features we could use on the DSP side. So, we needed microphones with a tight and accurate polar pattern that sounded great, and didn’t cause the participants to have to lean into the microphone to get a good and clear sound feed. The accuracy and consistency of the Earthworks IML12 microphones allowed us to do very minimal EQ on these mics.”
Beyond the audio performance, Kirson also notes ease of installation and aesthetics as benefits of the IML12 microphones.
“In addition, these microphones were ready to use right out of the box which saved us time on the back end, from a DSP standpoint. Overall, the aesthetic quality of the Earthworks IML12 microphones is exceptional. I like their low profile and the bend of the gooseneck. The LED ring is also excellent and the audio quality was spot on. I also appreciated having the RJ45 option to connect to the logic technology, which allowed us to prep for this ahead of time. Likewise, the Earthworks IML12 microphones were very easy to install, and in such a large room it was nice to have fewer concerns.”
Kirson notes that beyond their use for teleconferencing, the IML12 microphones are also utilized for sound reinforcement within the executive boardroom.
“It was great to get the SPL up in the room with over 100 pickup patterns and still get a lot of level out of the mics. Superior sound quality at the far end of the room was vital, and upon completion, everything worked well. The customer was very happy.”
From a project manager’s standpoint, Ford AV’s Chris Kinsella says he was responsible for the big picture on this install. He states, “Our company made the choice to use the Earthworks IML12 microphones because they are a good product and the customer wanted the best microphones available for the audio clarity they required. When the installation was completed, the results were fantastic, and 1st Bank was very happy.”
Hyong offered his final thoughts on the 1st Bank installation and working with Earthworks: “We were very pleased with the performance and final results of the Earthworks IML12 microphones. The clients were pleased as well with the improved microphone clarity for their weekly videoconferencing. Our experience in working with Earthworks and their staff has been very good. Earthworks is a small company with a personal touch, right up to the more senior staff, and they were very quick to come up with any remedy or solution. We have been very happy with the Earthworks products and our customers at 1st Bank are very happy as well.”