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  • Press Release

    Powerhouse Audio Team Creates Custom Mic Solutions

    November 30, 2020, 8:36 pm
    As longtime audio solutions providers for the Canadian government, GerrAudio and Engineering Harmonics have a steady grasp on the needs of its officials. When the companies’ principals were presented with the challenge of creating a custom podium microphone solution for the interim House of Commons, they reached out to DPA Microphones. The custom solution is based off DPA’s 4081 mics along with a DPA TSM 4001 shock-mount, which fit into the cutouts of the Parliament’s existing podium units.

    GerrAudio, Engineering Harmonics and DPA Microphones Develop One-of-a-Kind Podium Microphone to Retrofit into 50-Year-Old Stands

    ONTARIO, CANADA, NOVEMBER 30, 2020 – As longtime audio solutions providers for the Canadian government, GerrAudio and Engineering Harmonics have a steady grasp on the needs of its officials. When the companies’ principals were presented with the challenge of creating a custom podium microphone solution for the interim House of Commons, they reached out to DPA Microphones. The custom solution is based off DPA’s 4081 mics along with a DPA TSM 4001 shock-mount, which fit into the cutouts of the Parliament’s existing podium units.

    “When you’re working with such a high-level client, there are no compromises,” explains Martin Van Dijk, Senior Consultant/Partner at Engineering Harmonics, Inc. “There were really specific requirements for how the microphones worked, how they picked up the sources and, obviously, for their sound quality. Given the need for a clean aesthetic and simple solution, body-worn and standard gooseneck podium microphones were both out of the question.” 

    Additional challenges were presented by the space itself; a glass-roofed structure built into a courtyard in the Parliament’s West Block was not ideal for capturing speech. Also, the mics were to be used not only so the members of Parliament (MP) could hear each other, but also to capture Parliamentary proceedings for interpretation, broadcast and archival purposes. Adding to the complexity of the project, the podiums had already been constructed and had existing cutouts for the mics made in their millwork.

    “There also couldn’t be anything sticking up from the podiums and MPs don’t (and won’t) wear lavalier mics,” adds Geoff Maurice, Technical Sales Manager of GerrAudio. “Given the need for clarity and intelligibility, and for a product invisible to cameras in the House, Martin was searching for a very specific type of microphone in a form factor that wasn’t publicly available; and he wanted it to be a DPA solution.”

    Van Dijk knew his specific mic needs required a high degree of cooperation from the manufacturer to create a truly custom solution that met the performance requirements. “That prompted me go to a brand with a proven ability to build something that provided studio-grade performance in terms of noise floor,” he says. “I knew DPA also wouldn’t just put one of its existing products in a different housing. The company really put effort into engineering this microphone, and GerrAudio helped facilitate that.”

    The initial stages of the custom mic began with Maurice creating a prototype. “We started with a DPA TSM 4001 shock mount, which fits the existing cutouts in the millwork,” he explains. “I took one apart, cut some bits and pieces out of it, hot glued an existing DPA 4081 microphone inside of it, and added foam for dampening. The 4081 reduces the noise floor and increases rejection, which helped get the pattern we were looking for. Initially, I was concerned about changing the cardioid pattern by placing that element against a boundary element. But, after significant testing, we discovered that, rather than break apart, the pattern shifted upward off the surface, which worked to our advantage.”

    To ensure all the Commons’ requirements were met, GerrAudio built a rough mock-up of the podiums to test the prototypes. “MPs typically speak from between the podiums, not from directly behind their own,” continues Maurice. “For redundancy, we mounted two microphones at the outer corners of each podium and turned them towards the outside of the podium to catch the speaker in the middle. After mounting the prototypes in the appropriate configuration, we ran the signal to a mixing console and recorded speech from different angles and heights before sending the recordings to Engineering Harmonics for further review.”

    Once Maurice and Van Dijk were satisfied with the prototype, they reached out to DPA directly, to work with the brand’s product development team. With DPA’s direct involvement, Van Dijk “had confidence that we’d end up with a solution that met all of the requirements; and that’s what happened. Once they developed the solution, they sent technical details and recordings for us to review, until they refined it to a perfect prototype.” 

    Van Dijk and Maurice then flew to DPA’s headquarters in Denmark to establish final proof-of-concept. There, DPA Product Manager René Mørch and his team continued testing in the company’s studio and other internal test areas. “The team built a mock-up of the podiums and had some competitors’ microphones there so we could do some comparisons in situ and really listen critically to the results,” Van Dijk notes.

    For this project, DPA delivered over 400 new custom elements for installation in the Commons. The installation was handled by Ottawa-based engineering firm, Applied Electronics. “They used a standard DPA capsule, integrated it with a better acoustic guide, and made a beautiful new model of microphone for the House of Commons,” Maurice says. “Inevitably, they made it more robust, controlled, quiet, and much sleeker looking, too. We’re extremely happy with the result. The government has been using the system for months now and, even though the interim space is acoustically challenging, they have a high-quality microphone with great speech pickup.”

    “The broadcast team on the Hill are also very happy with the consistency and quality,” Van Dijk adds, “but the best compliment I received was from one of our American counterparts working on the project – someone who’s also worked for the U.S. Government. He emailed me to ask how we got such pristine sound and was flabbergasted to find out we used a mic in the podium, rather than a lavalier.”

    While this ushers in a new era of high-end audio pickup in one of Canada’s most important government spaces, it also displays the lengths to which GerrAudio, Engineering Harmonics  and DPA Microphones will go to in order to meet their client’s needs.

    This attention to detail and collaboration has been even more critical throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. “It’s great to see that companies are willing to go that extra mile, but also that they understand what it means to do that,” Van Dijk says. “I’ve had dialogues with technicians working for different governments around the world, and they regard Canada’s Parliament as a benchmark. We had to get it right, and DPA and GerrAudio helped us do that.”

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  • Other Postings By Member

    • Press Release
      SOUND

      DPA and Rycote Announce Film Contest Winners

      January 21, 2021, 7:45 pm
      DPA Microphones and Rycote are pleased to announce the winners of the “Pay-It-Forward” Film Contest Giveaway. The brands joined forces to support the film industry during these unprecedented times by offering first-time and indie filmmakers the opportunity to win a customized DPA/Rycote filming kit. The winners of the contest are Jacob Deming of the United States, Lijie Cheng of Singapore and Sergey Martynyuk of Austria. The winners will receive three DPA mics – the brand new 4097 Micro Shotgun,

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    • Press Release
      SOUND

      NUGEN Audio to Release “Elements” Versions

      January 18, 2021, 5:07 pm
      In recognition of Believe in Music Week, NUGEN Audio announces that it will soon make available its “Focus Elements” solutions, which are ideally suited for small/home studios. Powered by NUGEN technology, these offerings are budget friendly, streamlined versions of the brand’s popular Focus bundle plug-ins. The first to be released to the public will be Stereoizer Elements, a stereo width plug-in that adds depth to stereo and mono mixes.

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    • Press Release
      SOUND

      Euroconcerts Audio Control Calls on DPA Microphone

      January 5, 2021, 7:55 pm
      For more than 25 years, Euroconcerts Audio Control has called on DPA Microphones to provide pristine and reliable sound reinforcement for a wide array of musical productions. Included among the Euroconcerts mic locker are the DPA 4015 Wide Cardioid, 2011 Twin Diaphragm Cardioid, 4023 Compact Cardioid, 4037 Compact Omnidirectional, 4099 Instrument Microphone, 4061 Miniature Omnidirectional and d:facto 4018V Vocal Microphones.

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    • Press Release
      SOUND

      Virtual "Christmas at DePaul" Calls on DPA

      December 23, 2020, 5:40 pm
      Array of Microphones Deliver Total Transparency and Unrivaled Natural Sound for Virtual Performances Featuring School’s Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni

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    • Press Release
      SOUND

      IBEW 1200 Kicks Off Presentation Series With TSL

      December 7, 2020, 5:12 pm
      Staying informed and networking within the media industry has never been more vital, or more difficult. Being aware of this challenge, IBEW Local 1200’s business manager Geoff Turner created an opportunity for broadcast engineers and product manufacturers to have the important conversations that typically happen at trade shows and in-person events.

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    • Press Release
      SOUND

      NEP Broadcast Solutions Singapore Turns to TSL

      November 23, 2020, 6:09 pm
      “In 2019, NEP purchased a large quantity of MDUs and MPA1 audio monitoring units, along with TallyMan Control for use in our fly packs. We always want to combine cutting-edge technology with practical applications.”

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    • Press Release
      EDITING

      JVC Professional Unveils Live Streaming-Focused Fi

      November 19, 2020, 7:34 pm
      Upgrade Also Adds New Camera Settings to the GY-HM170- and GY-HM180-Series 4KCAMs

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    • Press Release
      SOUND

      PLIANT® ANNOUNCES 30-DAY SATISFACTION GUARENTEE

      November 12, 2020, 8:15 pm
      In support of its customers easing back into production, Pliant Technologies announces a 30-day return satisfaction guarantee on all of its CrewCom 900MHz and MicroCom 900MHz professional wireless intercom products. With this initiative, Pliant is going the extra mile to ensure that its customers are completely satisfied with their Pliant products.

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    • Press Release
      SOUND

      TSL Brings its IP Expertise to the MPA1

      November 10, 2020, 7:00 pm
      As the latest addition to TSL Products’ range of entry-level MPA1 audio monitors, the new MPA1-SOLO-IP helps to make the transition to IP seamless, providing peace of mind and ease of use in even the most demanding environments at a competitive price.

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    • Press Release
      SOUND

      Gene Martin Calls on DPA 4097 Micro Shotgun

      November 10, 2020, 5:07 pm
      When Gene Martin, owner of Audio Department and Sound Guy Solutions, was presented with a “technical nightmare” for a commercial client in the early days of COVID, his sound mixer gears started turning. With scenes being shot in separate areas around the U.S., Martin had to juggle as many as 10 different drop kit audio packages at a time. As he was on-location with the main crew in California, he also had to account for remote workflows as well as social distancing protocols.

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