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Putting Students’ Imaginations to Work with ListenPoint 2.0

Let’s face it. Other than parents, teachers have the greatest influence over children, so it is essential that students hear well in the classroom. That’s why we released ListenPoint 2.0, our latest Soundfield solution—we wanted to make learning limitless.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if Shakespeare had never learned to read? What if Einstein hadn’t had the opportunity to learn calculus? How different would our lives be if Steve Jobs couldn’t hear his kindergarten teacher? Without Jobs, we’d all still be using those crazy brick cell phones from the 1980’s! #lame #nomobileapps #howwouldiplaycandycrushsaga

Students learn best in environments where they can focus on what their teachers are saying. Unfortunately, several factors can get in the way. Some students have trouble focusing because they have hearing loss or are too far away from the teacher. Meanwhile, the classroom itself might have poor acoustics, or the teacher could have a strained voice from talking too loudly or too long.

In today’s classrooms, students have a lot of creative and innovative thinking to do. ListenPoint 2.0 helps them put their imaginations to work. It can also have a positive effect on their grades and test scores.* #bettergradesareawesome #A+ #listenpointisgenius

ListenPoint 2.0 delivers the following key benefits:

  • With mission critical deployments, it is the most advanced, flexible, scalable Soundfield system delivered by a trusted authority in the pro-AV market.
  • It incorporates AV technology and assistive listening systems to create enhanced and enriched learning environments for all students.
  • It is easy to install, operate, maintain, and adds more functionality over time.
  • It couples competitive pricing with advanced features.

We are truly excited to be part of a noble mission—educating students to become extraordinary people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*The Marrs Report, 2006

Providing Sound In Historical Funeral Home

Sound Advice of Lafayette, Indiana, was recently faced with a rather formidable challenge. The Butler Funeral Home in Rockville, Indiana, contacted Rodney J. Cowden and Michael J. Howe to help upgrade their sound system. Ordinarily, this is an easy task for the custom installation company, however Cowden and Howe discovered that this particular funeral home was in a converted mid 1800’s Victorian two-story mansion.
It boasted “tornado-proof” solid brick walls at least 18” thick. To make matters worse (from an installation standpoint) the owner had waited until remodeling of the structure was almost completed. Final paint, wallpaper and carpet were already in place. Cutting wire channels in the plaster was not an option; neither was surface mounted raceways. It was decided that a wireless audio system would be the best method of sound delivery, but the system would need to be utterly reliable, totally interference free, capable of adequate SPL [sound pressure level], not visually objectionable, and user friendly to operate.
 
Enter Listen Technologies Corp. With the help of Ken Voss (Online Marketing), Sound Advice received a demo unit in their shop for some rigorous testing. Cowden, Howe and their team’s initial tests of the product showed it to be interference free. They were also impressed with the knowledge that if there was a frequency noise problem at the funeral home, they could simply change the units to one of the other 57 available channels. In fact, they were so thrilled with the in-shop demo that they made a 1 ? hour trip to the funeral home with the product to show it off.
 
Sound coverage at Butler was excellent. And just as important, the owner liked the appearance of the products. Like many of Sound Advice’s clients, Butler Trustee Rodger Davies was initially very concerned with how the system would visually impact the surrounding environment; nevertheless, Davies placed his trust in Sound Advice to handle the aesthetics and to make sure the system performed.
 
Impressed by the demo, ten LR-600 Wireless Speaker / Receivers, one LT-800 Stationary Transmitter, two LA-316 Expansion Speakers and an LA-122 Universal Antenna Kit was ordered and installed with the Butler Funeral Homeis Yamaha tuner and a Superscope PAC750 combination cassette/CD and mixer. An Audio- Technica UHF wireless handheld microphone and lavaliere and Hammond organ were also connected to the mixer. The output of the Superscope PAC750 is fed to the input of the LT- 800 transmitter.
 
The LR-600 Wireless Speaker / Receivers were strategically placed throughout both stories of the funeral home and in a nearby unattached garage. With only minor adjustments for tone and volume made, the overall performance of the entire system proved to be exceptional, with no glitches. One of the LA-316 Expansion Speakers was placed on the front porch, the other on the rear porch – areas that are occasionally used for overflow with large funerals.
 
“This particular installation could not have been accomplished without Listen’s exceptional products,” said Cowden. Sound Advice, Inc. is a custom installation company offering many services, including custom design, installation and integration of music and video distribution, system automation, home theatre lighting, furniture and equipment, HDTV, DSS satellite, phone systems, networking, security and commercial sound. Sound Advice has enjoyed more than 13 years of business and has developed close working relationships with many local builders and cabinet-makers. Though small, their staff has close to 100 years of collectiveexpertise helping clients through the process of aesthetically integrating audio and video into their home or business in a user-friendly fashion, something especially important with the new technologies that are available but are frequently misunderstood. Listen designs and manufactures wireless devices to help people hear better. Originally primarily known for assistive listening devices for the hard-of-hearing, Listen products are now used around the world for language interpretation, tour guide systems and sound field applications.
 
Listen’s transmitters send a clear, clean audio signal to individual receivers equipped with earphones. Or for sound field applications, Listen has multiple stationary receiver products to meet the needs of end-users. Listen is dedicated to providing products to help people hear and understand, and thereby have their lives enriched. For details on Listen products, visit https://www.listentech.com on the web. Or for more information about Sound Advice, Inc. go to http://www.soundadviceinc.com
This blog post has been re-purposed from a “Listen User Profile” of actual Listen customers detailing their experience with Listen Solutions.

Great Falls Improves Downtown With Wireless Audio

As a time-honored summer tradition, the Great Falls Business Improvement District (B.I.D.), auto dealer Bennett Motors, and KLFM 92.9 oldies radio sponsor Cruisin’ the Drag, a popular classic auto show. The show spans about nine blocks right in the heart of downtown Great Falls on Central Avenue. It features classic restored automobiles on display from all over the nation. The event, which has steadily grown from 300 – 600+ cars in its 4-year history, drew about 9000 people in 2004. This one-day event, like many others in the area, brings much needed business the downtown shops and eateries.

 

The Challenge

The Great Falls B.I.D. had been renting a cabled audio system to broadcast sound around the downtown blocks for their events, which cost thousands of dollars each time. While the system adequately distributed the sound, it required tripods and a multitude of cables on each block. All that cabling also required considerable time to install. With all the many events the B.I.D. hosts throughout the year, this audio solution was cumbersome and costly on an annual basis. Great Falls B.I.D. was looking for an easier and more affordable way to spread sound around downtown.

 

The Solution

Great Falls B.I.D. brought in local audio guru Mark Pritchard of Mountain Sound Project to take on this challenge. Using his technical knowledge of audio products and his own mechanical skills he devised a weather-proof wireless audio distribution system that has quick to set up and was affordable enough for the client to purchase outright.

 

The key technology that made Pritchard’s solution possible was wireless FM transmission available from Listen Technologies Corporation. In the central control box, Pritchard had various audio sources plugged into Listen’s LT-800 Stationary FM Transmitter, rack mounted with the other equipment. The transmitter would send sound out to LR-100 Stationary Receiver/Power Amplifiers located in speaker clusters which mounted to the old-fashioned lampposts around the downtown area.

 

In addition to the LT-800 Transmitter, the central control box also included a sound mixer, a CD player, a wireless microphone, an AM/FM tuner, and a cassette deck offering virtually any media to the users. Volume for the whole system is controlled from this box, which is usually located right in the middle of Central Avenue for downtown events, but can be set up anywhere.

 

The speaker clusters, which can be installed in less than a minute and a half, include the LR-100 Receiver/Amplifier, two JBL speakers, a Stuart 2-channel power amplifier, a fan, and an on/off switch. He fabricated steel brackets and weather proof boxes for these clusters. During the winter holidays, the system was left up for four solid weeks, without any problems. A single power cable plugged into an outlet on the lamppost provides power for each of the components. Two clusters per block are staggered in the six-block downtown area. Dismantling each cluster takes less than a minute – and B.I.D. volunteers can do it all themselves, no special labor is needed.

 

The system as a whole is ideally suited for a wide variety of community events. Because it is so easy to install and is so portable, the system can be used virtually anywhere, such as the parks and civic center, and anytime. The versatility of the central control box enables the B.I.D. to broadcast background music, radio remotes, announcements, commercials, and more. In fact, during radio remotes the AM/FM tuner broadcasts the remote as it comes across the radio station. In addition, the radio personalities will cut over to the microphone for the central control box to make special announcements just for those in the downtown area.

 

Client Satisfaction

Great Falls B.I.D. Director Greg Madsen reported that this innovative audio solution has worked beautifully since its birth at the Cruisin’ the Drag event. The clusters have worked flawlessly despite temperatures of nearly -30 degrees in the winters and 105 degrees in the summers. Purchasing a system saves them a lot of money over time. Plus it has helped increase revenues to downtown business.

 

“It’s worked flawlessly! For Cruisin’ the Drag and other events the system has worked so well to make the atmosphere comfortable and inviting. In fact, people who work downtown have proactively sent us message telling us how much they enjoy the background music.”

 

The Great Falls B.I.D. has continued using this easy and affordable solution for a host of other events to help rejuvenate the downtown area, including its Annual Downtown Summer Sidewalk Sale, the Christmas Stroll, and First Night festivities.

Eagle Audio & Lighting Delivers Event-Wide Sound System

Celebrating 15 years in Ft. Worth, Texas, the Race for the Cure® features more than 18,500 women, men, and children converging on the streets of Sundance Square to walk, run, or stroll to raise money for breast cancer research.
 
Sundance Square is a 20-block commercial, residential, entertainment and retail district. Sundance Square’s beautiful landscaping, red-brick streets and turn-of-the-century buildings make it a delightful setting for this special event celebrating survivors and loved ones involved in the battle against breast cancer.
 
The annual outdoor event offers more than the race as part of its schedule. Vendors set up booths for education outreach, food and entertainment. Prior to the race there is an aerobic warm up, a master of ceremonies starts the race and at the conclusion of the race there is a closing ceremony with awards. The entertainment features a musical performance by a local band. Developing an event-wide sound system — for an area that spans approximately 2,500 linear feet (762 m) – is no small feat. Particularly one that can deliver excellent audio quality for both spoken word and musical performance.
 
Enter Jerrell Evans, Audio Operations Manager for Eagle Audio & Lighting. Evans and his team have been providing the audio to the Ft. Worth Race for the Cure® for the last five years and have seen the audio system needs grow just as the event has grown. The solution came via a system that included a Shure microphone system with speakers and a Listen LT-800 Stationary FM Transmitter and a LA-107 Ground Plane Antenna on the main-stage. Two delay stations were equipped with a Listen LR-100 Stationary Receiver/Power Amplifier connected to a weather proof powered speaker.
 
Listen’s Wireless Audio Distribution System is ideal for events that don’t have existing hard-wire infrastructure available for audio distribution. Additionally, it saves rental staging companies significant time, money and hassle to deliver sound to their events.
 
The Listen equipment “blew me away” says Evans, who is certain he’ll be using it for other events. “We’re a full-service sound, stage, lighting and video rental company. I can see this equipment being used for many of our events, one that comes to mind is a Fourth of July event we do that has eight different stages and eight different sound systems. It will be easy to integrate the Listen system with the other systems we use.”
 
For more information on Listen products, check the website at https://www.listentech.com

Wireless Audio Distribution System Brings Ambiance to Historic Downtown

Located just a 35-minute drive or short train ride from downtown Chicago, The Village of Tinley Park is a community that has worked hard to attract prime business and hospitality industry development for the benefit of its residents and business owners.  In addition, village officials have partnered with the business community to revitalize its historic downtown, developing carefully planned incentives to encourage new construction and façade improvements. The construction of an architecturally outstanding train station and an inviting town square has made Tinley Park a popular venue for numerous community activities, attracting visitors from the entire area.

 
To further the ambiance of historic downtown, officials had wanted to provide audio programming to a rather remote location of the village for a number of years. The ultimate goal was to make Christmas music available during the holiday season, as well as audio reinforcement for various presentations by local dignitaries throughout the year. However, due to the isolated location of the courtyard, village personnel were just not able to find an economical solution. One possible approach discussed was the use of fiber-optic cabling over which to route the audio signal. However, the cost of running new fiber alone would have overwhelmed the available budget. Furthermore, the cost of additional equipment needed to perform the analog/digital conversion which allowed for transmission over fiber made the final estimated project cost look quite prohibitive.
 
Adding complexity to an already potentially expensive system, the courtyard was located across a set of busy commuter train tracks from the closest village owned building in which to house equipment. Thus it was not feasible to simply run a new distributed speaker system or fiber network from this building to the courtyard. The village needed a cost effective solution and they needed it quickly since the new holiday season was rapidly approaching.
 
Enter Pace Systems, a full service systems integrator focused on providing design and design/build for a wide range of services. After discussing the issues with one of its key suppliers, Pace personnel decided the best way to approach the situation was to utilize a wireless audio system from Listen Technologies Corporation. The supplier had seen the effectiveness of distributing audio via FM wireless firsthand. They were familiar with an installation at a local zoo which had utilized a Listen FM wireless system for the distribution of audio program material to each of the animal exhibits.
 
Utilizing this information, Pace was able to design a Wireless Audio Distribution System utilizing Listen’s LT-800 Stationary FM Transmitter and LR-100 Stationary FM Receiver/Power Amplifier.       
 
Getting the audio out to the courtyard was only the beginning of the process. The signal was then translated to sound via several Electro Voice loudspeakers. Electro Voice was able to supply speaker systems that were weatherproof enough to survive the harsh Chicago land winters while still providing pristine audio quality. The small 4.2” satellite speakers were also small and unobtrusive when installed. This was an important consideration since village management desired to keep the visual impact of audio equipment to a minimum. The LR-100 receiver/power amplifiers were installed in a weatherproof, heated enclosure which kept the audio equipment at a comfortable operating temperature.
 
Installation of the wireless system turned out to be a breeze. Once power was run to the new enclosure, Pace engineers merely installed amps, transmitter, receivers and speakers, and the would-be complex installation was nearly licked. The only adjustment needed was to lower the power of the remote transmitter residing in the local building since it tended to overpower the mic transmitter used for the village’s holiday celebrations.
 
Once the installation was completed, village employees were quickly able to pipe Christmas music over the tracks to the courtyard speakers. Citizen feedback toward the added audio programming was enthusiastic and positive. The village was so impressed with the solution that talk has even started regarding an expansion of the wireless network out to the local farmers market at some point in the future.

 
 

Sound Amplification Basics

Sound amplification needs to not only make sounds louder but more intelligible. A loud overhead sound system that no one can understand has no value. The effect of quality sound amplification for presentations and trainings is significant.  Studies have shown that sound amplification in small- to medium size rooms can increase people’s retention by as much as 30%.
For sound amplification to give everyone in the presentation or training room a full sound experience, it must deliver sound that is:
 
• Clean—free from noise and artifacts
• Intelligible—clearly recognizable and comprehensible
• Natural—full range of frequencies are properly reproduced
• Balanced—different audio sources produce the same level
• Evenly dispersed—loudspeaker coverage is such that everyone can hear
When you consider the cost of attendee time, particularly higher salaried employees, any downtime due to issues with the room is wasting company money. A recent study of IT managers who support presenters in company presentation rooms found that on average, each problem wastes up to 31.5 minutes of the meeting time—from the initial attempts by meeting participants to resolve the problem to the final resolution. Multiplied by the average number of meetings and the wasted time added up to 21.2 hours per attendee per year.1

Exploring Sound Amplification Options
For most small organizations, choosing a solution is a balance between the sound quality they are willing to tolerate and their budget. Here are three possibilities:
 
• Attaching external speakers to a laptop, for example, will amplify music and video audio that is played from a laptop as well as from Skype remote callers. But it won’t amplify the presenter’s voice, improve intelligibility, accommodate speakerphones, or make it easy to use.
• Purchasing a microphone, amplifier, and loudspeakers will make it easier to hear the presenter—particularly if the loudspeakers are properly placed in the room. But it won’t accommodate additional audio sources or remote callers.
• Installing a feature-rich solution that provides microphones, loudspeakers, digital-signal processing, numerous input and outputs for audio devices, and a variety of control options will deliver excellent sound quality. However, it will probably cost upwards of $4,500.
In reality, an installed system like this has far more horsepower than most organizations need for their multi-purpose rooms. But if you could strip an installed system down to only the most necessary components, you would have a complete sound system that includes:
 
• Wireless microphone for the presenter
• Ceiling speakers
• Device with a VoIP port, audio inputs, control interface, and wireless microphone receiver
• Equalization and filtering capabilities
• User-friendly controller

Components of a Complete Sound System

The illustration below depicts the basic components of a sound system for training rooms or presentation rooms. It is a system that is able to deliver rich, full sound. This system uses four loudspeakers to distribute audio throughout the room, creating a soundfield. It also includes a microphone with volume control, a control unit that interfaces with audio devices and provides volume control and device selection. Finally, the room module ties the system together and delivers audio signals from the various inputs to the loudspeakers.

 sound-system-components
1 The Meeting Room Marathon – A Waste of Corporate Time, Dynamic Markets research commissioned by Casio, July 2010.
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