Industry Sound-off: Audio Industry Pros on Campus Use of Audio
What single key thing must campus administrators keep in mind when considering audio options?
“The one thing that needs to be understood for an audio solution across a campus is how to implement a simple solution for all environments that will need audio. The different classroom settings make it very difficult for an administrator to come up with a one-size-fits all type of solution.” —Tim Root, CTO and executive VP of new business development, Revolabs
“Administrators must keep in mind the acoustics of the space the audio system is being installed into. If the acoustics are bad, then the audio will be bad. No sound system can overcome bad acoustics.” — Gary Hudson, sales rep, Acoustical Solutions Inc.
“Choose a system with the highest degree of reliability, intelligibility and fault supervision. This needs to be the core to any strategic and purchase planning for emergency communications. According to emergency communications guidelines, audio is considered the primary mechanism for disseminating emergency information.” —TJ Adams, paging product manager, Biamp Systems
What is the biggest misconception about audio and its use on campus?
“People think it’s harder than it is to implement audio—that it takes too much money, too much bandwidth, takes too long to install, and it’s not reliable. I think those are the reasons people haven’t pulled the trigger when it comes to audio.” —Andy Stadheim, CEO, Barix Technology U.S.
“That sound systems can be used to fix poor room acoustics. Although sound systems can help somewhat in those conditions, the appropriate approach to improving a space with poor speech intelligibility or high background noise is to first improve the room acoustics via addition of sound absorbing materials and/or quieting the HVAC system, and then installing or replacing sound
system components.” —Joe Keefe, senior engineer, Ostergaard Acoustical Associates
“A common misconception among academics is that their voices need to be heard echoing off the walls of teaching spaces to ensure that students pay attention and understand them clearly. In reality, this results in exactly the opposite outcome.” —Tim Root, Revolabs
“That all audio systems sound the same, and the cheapest is just as good as the higher-priced one. If audio systems are designed and installed correctly, the result can be fantastic. If not, the result can be disastrous. As in everything, you get what you pay for.”
—Gary Hudson, Acoustical Solutions Inc.
“The most uninformed IT and facilities staff believe that using mobile communications, texting, and social media has them covered for emergency communications. While these tools can play an important part and have a place in an emergency communication system, they are not guaranteed delivery methods.”
—TJ Adams, Biamp Systems