For the complete building renovation of its Calgary office, Fluor Canada engaged design-build integrator Applied Electronics Limited to supply their audio-visual needs. Of particular importance was the new executive boardroom, used for both on-site meetings and global teleconferences. To provide high quality audio without compromising aesthetics, Applied Electronics suggested the Shure MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone.
Taking the form of a two-foot square ceiling panel, the MXA910 uses Steerable Coverage™ technology to capture sound from above, creating up to 8 controllable discrete pick-up – -lobes-, each of which can be easily aimed to cover the room. It also provides Shure IntelliMix® automatic mixing, echo reduction, and parametric EQ. For Fluor Canada, its most critical feature was the ability to deliver high quality audio without any microphones on the conference table.
“The new boardroom features a beautiful, 24-seat conference table, and they requested that we avoid table-mounted microphones for aesthetic reasons,” says Kevin Stewart, Technology Sales Account Manager for Applied Electronics. “We had experienced the MXA910 at a trade show last year, and Shure began shipping it right about the time this project came up. It turned out to be the perfect solution.”
The 8 pick-up lobes generated by the MXA910’s invisible microphone array are easily configured to cover virtually any room seating. Each lobe can be customized, both in terms of direction and the width of the pickup area, from quite wide to very narrow. The system’s browser-based software makes it easy to configure, and settings can be saved as presets for future use.
The MXA910 is a Dante network device, requiring only a single standard category Ethernet cable for audio, data, and power. Because Fluor’s conferencing system requires analog inputs, the Shure MXWANI8 Audio Network Interface was also used. This rack-mount device converts the ceiling array’s Dante output into eight separate analog channels for easy connection to any DSP.
Kevin Stewart of Applied Electronics reports that the MXA910 has been well received by the Fluor executive team. “Not only did we eliminate any visible microphones and cabling, but they were pleasantly surprised to get improved sound quality and ease of use in the process,” he reports. “I think it’s safe to say they are quite happy.”