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Top of the class: Why Beyerdynamic and Biamp systems are ‘the way forward’ for NTU

Polar Integrated Solutions has supplied a comprehensive new audio system for NTU (Nottingham Trent University), which the university’s AV team leader, Stuart Loughran, has described as “the way forward for our larger venues”.

NTU has invested more than £350 million across its three campuses in a bid to ensure that its technical capabilities and facilities are “first class”. On the audio front, Polar worked closely with Loughran on a number of projects designed to meet the highest possible standards.

In order to ensure that lectures are captured with maximum clarity for students to revisit later on, NTU sought a solution to enable high quality audio recording, whilst allowing lecturers to deliver their content without any restriction of positioning or movement. As such, Polar sugested beyerdynamic’s patented Revoluto microphone array technology used in conjunction with Biamp Tesire Forte DSP.

Integrators Nottingham AV were hired to install the systems in six of the university’s lecture theatres. Each comprised 3 x beyerdynamic RM30 vertical microphone arrays suspended from the ceiling and 2 x MPR 210 horizontal microphone arrays on lecterns.

For DSP, a Biamp TesiraForte AI digital audio server was deployed in each theatre interfacing directly with a PC via its USB port. Each PC uses Panopto software designed specifically for lecture. The TesiraForte AI has up to eight channels of configurable USB audio and provides extensive audio processing, including signal routing and mixing, equalisation, filtering, dynamics and delay, as well as control, monitoring and diagnostic tools.

“For speakers who like to roam away from the lectern and in front of the screen, the combination of beyerdynamic Revoluto MPR 210 and RM 30 microphones creates a complete sound stage with great pickup,” Loughran explained. “The Biamp Tesira Forte DSP binds everything together to create a high quality audio experience, eliminating the ambient noise created by air handling, projection and general room noise, to leave students with a clear recording. The DSP outputs directly into the PC resulting in a much cleaner recording than if the PC itself processed the audio. Overall we are very pleased with the quality and success of both the microphone and DSP solution in what was potentially a very tricky project – for our larger venues it will definitely be the way forward.”

Stuart Leader, director at Polar, added: “This was a straightforward installation, the beauty of which lies in the combination of two exceptionally well-conceived technologies to achieve fantastic results. It is vital in educational applications such as this, that nothing is missed and every word can be heard without effort. The beyerdynamic array microphones ensure that the first part of that equation is achieved without compromising the comfort of the presenter and the Biamp DSP delivers that audio perfectly for recording.”