When was the last time you settled for ” good enough “, ” that’ll do or it’s okay”?
We’ve all done it, but why should we? What’s wrong with wanting the very best?
In some cases, good enough is actually not good enough- ask anyone with a disability.
In our world of Audio Visual, something that doesn’t do its’ job properly can even be potentially life threatening, so let’s start to challenge and change the way we look at an AV project.
Whilst a lovely large HD screen with minimal bevel may look a super centre piece in a boardroom, ask the CEO how he feels when he can’t hear his colleagues across the world on a video conference call. Without good quality audio, communications will fail and decisions may be made that really make no sense – all because the two parties couldn’t hear each other properly. Sure they can see each other and make gestures but charades is not a great way to settle that deal breaker nor run the world.
How do you know what is the best ? Well firstly, interview potential integrators well. Look for industry references such as ISO9001 and CTS-D. Any additional manufacturer accreditations will also prove beneficial. Any company that invests in its’ staff and the quality of those staff, will also invest in getting the job done right.
Ask potential integrators for similar project references, these will prove they are capable of working in environments such as you are proposing.
The time invested now will save you money, stress and inconvenience further down the line.
Once you have one or two suitors, invite them in for a meeting to discuss your project. Talk about your vision and what you want it to achieve for the user. Let them go away and devise a proposal, they are the experts. Trust them!
Never let any other advisory (such as architects or designers) have input on your AV solution, you wouldn’t let the AV company design your décor, so don’t let it happen the other way around. A quality integrator will be able to work in conjunction with these groups to develop a solution that looks and sounds good.
When it comes to product choice -many audio manufacturers will tell you that they can make things invisible, minimalistic even, to help fit in with your design. Beam-forming mics, adaptive arrays, the list goes on. Truly innovative, but sadly it is at the cost of audio quality and no matter what people say, the physics remain the same… rubbish in – rubbish out.
The rule of thumb is one microphone per person, we all want our point to be heard – right? Also think carefully about your speaker choice, your integrator can provide drawings to show coverage patterns, ensuring no one struggles to listen. Pay attention to your audio as much as you would the video.
Audio is the most effective form of communication which is why it is called AV… Audio before Video!!
Simon Druce, CUK Audio