One of the biggest things we like to push at Lambda Audio Visual is using your equipment to its fullest. Almost every piece of equipment we work with and sell is positioned not only fill your needs but to grow with you. Our tech tip this week is non-other than the equipment user Manual!
We affectionately speak of this amazing tool on our crews as our most important and knowledgeable crew member ‘El Manuel’ (of course we say it with an accent). “Have you checked with Manuel”, is a common day to day saying for us. This is because while our training's do a great job of getting teams started and helping to solve problems, it’s only when you dig in to what the manufacturer has designed the equipment for that you can fully understand it.
So, you’re interested now, and you want to try our idea, but you threw away the box your equipment came in along with that precious little book of knowledge. Never fear, the internet is a treasure trove of manuals and information. Some of our favorites are
Black Magic Support with a constantly updated user manuals for all their products. We also love the Youtube resources for Obsidian control systems, formerly known as Martin Lighting. They have an expansive tutorial set online showing step by step how to become an expert with their products Obsidian Control Systems - YouTube. Yet another incredible catalog of resources is from Boxcast. The have a library of support and tutorials to help you troubleshoot in minutes.
Join us in educating yourselves on the products you own so you can use it to its fullest capability!
One of the things we get asked about a lot is how to get a Pro Presenter to output 2 different things at the same time. We love Pro Presenter, but the simple answer is…it can’t…unless you get tricky. This is where the multi display controllers enter the scene!
These devices have been used for years to display content across projector blends or multiple screens. The most common devices used were the triple ead 2 Go and the more robust Datapath 4. There was a trend, especially in church worship spaces, around 5-7 years ago to display ultra-wide content and use multiple projectors to display on a single very wide screen or 3 screens to fill up blank wall and create a more engaging stage. This trend has mostly disappeared, but the idea behind it, we can repurpose!
Notice in the pictures we setup Pro Presenter to display an ultra-wide screen with half showing full screen lyrics and half showing a Lower Third. These two sources are then fed into a video switcher and sent to the destinations they need to be at. Just like that you have the content you need for an in-room venue and a streaming venue being generated from a single operator and at the same time. Looking for other time and volunteer saving ways of utilizing equipment? Drop us a line and see if we can leverage some equipment to do the work for you!
Mix it up with Yamaha’s TF1 mixer! Yamaha has created a new mixing console to truly give you more freedom and creativity with your mixes. The TF1 is a rack mountable, digital audio mixing console expandable up to 40 input channels. TouchFlow Operation™ introduced in the TF series consoles allows the user to respond to the music and artists on stage with unprecedented speed, taking live sound reinforcement to a new level of refinement. With the TouchFlow optimized for touch panel control, experienced sound techs as well as newcomers to the field will find it easier than ever to achieve the ideal mix. This console also has advanced live recording features and seamless operation with high performance.
The TF series has also added the latest touch-screen technology to deliver an evolved experience in console operation. Smooth setup and operation, practical presets and refined design, along with software applications that integrate seamlessly with the entire system make the Yamaha worth talking about. They offer comfort and convenience in their consoles, for a wide range of users and applications. If you want to know more, don’t hesitate to ask!
A few weeks back we talked about the “Lambda process” for turning your dreams of a new audio, video or lighting system into a reality. Part of that process is all about the gear testing that happens before the equipment ever gets to your location. After the gear has been ordered and has arrived in our shop, we set up all the equipment and each component in the shop just as it will be for the install. This ensures that when we arrive for the install, there aren’t any surprises and there won’t be “that one missing part.” Plus, we have an assurance that each piece of the gear we install will work for you leaving no questions of whether your new parts are faulty.
Nothing can be more frustrating than when you have a piece of gear and it doesn’t seem to be working properly, or even working at all! Here at Lambda AV one of our goals is to not just to help get your current system up and running, or even to replace the gear you already have. It’s to help you to know your system to the best of your ability! Often when you encounter problems in an audio, video or lighting system it can be daunting to try and diagnose where the issue is actually coming from. Often a quick check of signal flow and making sure all the cables are plugged in correctly can save you a lot of time and frustration! There are multiple different ways to go about checking your signal flow. I personally like to start at one end of the system and begin verifying each piece of equipment and cable is working correctly. A piece of gear like this Elite Core Cable Tester, can help you verify that all the cables are working properly. If something like testing gear feels a bit overwhelming to you, not to worry! We would love to schedule a time to do a training on your specific system and gear to help you get to know it better and know the best way to diagnose when equipment isn’t working right! From there, you will be better informed to make the decision to fix something or to plan for a replacement. If you have any questions about what our training's look like, you can check out our Article Here or contact us anytime!
A few articles ago we talked about HDMI cables and the drawback of only being able to run them 25ft or so. We also talked about how you can use SDI to get HD video signal over a long distance. But that isn’t all we have to tell you! There is a third option for you to consider!
This signal is a new comer on the video scene and is called HDBaseT. This signal was first created in 2010 and can be used for the transmission of ultra-high-definition video, audio, Ethernet, control, USB and even up to 100W of power! All of this is over a single cable! It’s the Mary Poppins of cables!
HDBaseT uses Cat6a cable, but because of all the different functions it can be used for, it uses specialized connectors. These look identical to a standard RJ45 connector but be warned! Because HDBaseT carries power as well, if you plug it into a standard RJ45 jack you can severely damage that piece of equipment! If you are unsure, its always better to ask rather than risk your equipment.
HDBaseT can be run up to 328ft giving far more flexibility in running video signal. This cable is also extreamly convenient in instances when paired with a piece of HDBaseT equipped gear. The PTZ camera, for instance, would usually require up to 3-4 cables for signal, power, and control, but with an HDBaseT connection you only need one! Think about all the money that could be saved by only running one wire connection. Not to mention the amount of time running cable through walls and ceilings. If you have a hard to reach place or a tangle of cables attached to that old equipment, it could be worth your time and money looking for an HDBaseT piece of equipment as a replacement and running one cable instead.
AAFCU Case Study
Meeting rooms in recent years have made a major transition in space needs. Gone are the days of a central computer at a podium or lectern in the corner or a large rack of automation equipment. The purpose is no longer for a single executive to speak to a room of employees. Meeting rooms today are dynamic environments with a number of people presenting in a live and cooperative environment.
This is where we began with AAFCU a local credit union in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Their IT staff came to us with the challenge of cleaning up an aging mess of wires and updating technology to turn an often-used board room space into an environment for creativity and corporate inspiration.
The first goals set were to clean up the existing hardware that had been ad hoc over the years for conferencing. Next they wanted to update viewability around the conference table for better engagement of all employees. The staff at Lambda Audio Visual set out to understand the problems of the conference room and it's designated uses and put together a solution to make the room usable for a new generation of meetings.
Meetings in the proposed room contain anywhere from 5 to 25 people and with the configuration of chairs around an circular table, clear visibility of the screen was not always possible. The projection at the front was underpowered and the screen small, so that those at the front of the room were unable to see the screen at all. We were able to solve this in two ways: first by improving quality of projection at the front of the room with a new 1080P resolution, 5000 lumen Sony laser projector. This easily doubled the brightness and clarity at the front of the room. Second, coupled with a new IDEEA screen from Da-Lite it also allowed the space to be used as a white board. This white board has a matte finish creating a surface that minimizes projection hot spots and creates a great writing surface all at the same time. At the back of the room we added a 75” Television from Samsung mirroring the projection feed and allowing for everyone around the table to get a great view of the presentation without putting a kink in their necks.
Conference calling, important in many conference rooms was not left out in this space. The staff at AAFCU had a high need for this capability to be easy to use and clean. With board members across the country and goals of working with other businesses across the community, conference calling is a capability they used often and hoped to make simple for quick use.
We chose to implement a ceiling-based system for cleanliness. Adding boundary microphones from Shure into the ceiling created even coverage of the room to pick up quiet voices and adding inset speakers from SoundTube to present clear call audio back to the room. To tie it all together we brought in a top of the line audio processor from Symetrix. Symetrix allowed us to do several fun things simplifying the calling experience for the staff. The audio processor includes auto mixing functionalities to balance the audio coming from the room microphones without needing to adjust anything manually. It also includes an auto echo canceling to filter audio coming from the speakers so that it will not echo back in the call. The Symetrix processor also included the ability to add a VOIP card compatible with AAFCU’s Cisco phone calling system and an easy sheet to help the IT staff in tying it into their systems.
With all of this great technology in the room we then needed a system to make it easy to use for the average staff member and to allow ease of use with a variety of different laptops, phones, and tablets. Enter the Atlona Velocity system! We have talked about Atlona before and we loved how it turned out here! Our team couldn’t be more impressed with how easy to configure and affordable this “Automation” system is. In previous years, meeting room automation technology was bulky, expensive, and required expensive programmers to make modifications. It was not easy to explain or use. The Velocity system is web based, extremely affordable and scalable! It was easy for our team to add each device and have workflows automatically created on a touchscreen for easily turning the room technology on and off and dialing a call.
If you have meeting space with issues, outdated technology, or one that you are looking to increase usability in, give us a call or drop us a line on social media and let us make your meeting space a space of engagement and collaboration with people and technology. We want to help you to feel inspired and productive every time you sit down to meet.
Here’s something new for you to check out! The Superlux IS-103 is a complete wired intercom system that provides clean, clear communication for video, film, broadcasts, house of worship and schools! This Superlux is a great low cost solution for auditorium and church staff communication between positions. It uses simple XLR mic cable and can support up to ten belt packs so you can keep everyone in the loop!
Comfortable, lightweight and easy to use, this could make communication seamless for everyone involved in your project. We love finding and providing affordable options for our clients for all your needs. If you are looking for something in particular, don’t hesitate to ask!