MQU’s Pandemic Fix: Yamaha Adecia to the Rescue — AV.technology
Yamaha ceiling mics help turn Macquarie Uni spaces into hybrid teaching rooms.
The pandemic forced the education sector to ‘pivot’ in a hurry. Remote and hybrid learning weren’t just concepts spoken in airy terms by edu-futurists… schools and unis needed to refit classrooms ‘now’, to accommodate in-person teaching and far-end students.
These were the days when it was impossible to find even a USB mic for love or money, and AV managers were forced to consider left-of-field options.
This goes a way to explain Macquarie Uni’s predicament. It had a number of ‘activity-based’ classrooms that needed the ability for remote students on Zoom to participate in sessions. MQU AV Project Manager, Pete Attard, explains: “Initially I was thinking of simply grabbing a USB camera and microphone, hang those off the ceiling to get our guys out of a jam. There didn’t seem to be an alternative.”
In less ‘unprecedented’ times, the uni would install a ceiling tile mic array from Shure or Sennheiser to pick up the conversation in the room for the VC call. But no one had stock and no one was likely to have stock for some time.
The AV contractor, MNGD, recommended the AV team look at the Yamaha Adecia ceiling microphone as an alternative. In a ‘why the heck not?!’ procurement process, the Adecia UC system was installed.
The Dante output of two Adecia tiles in each space plumb into a switch, then into a companion DSP unit. The USB output of the DSP heads straight into the room’s VC PC. A PTZ cam in the room takes care of the video.
“The audio is a mix of the lecturer’s voice via lav mic and the in-room speech,” explains Pete Attard. “But if the lecturer has a strong enough voice, the Adecia ceiling tiles will pick up all the speech.”
Pete Attard was surprised to learn that the price of the Yamaha Adecia came in far cheaper than the alternatives — “We effectively got two for the price of one!” — which allowed the department the budget to install two ceiling tiles in the space rather than just one — “we’ve got great coverage in the rooms”.
Thanks to Yamaha’s long-time deployment of Dante in its products, Adecia is easy to install — plug ’n’ play, really.
“It doesn’t feel like we’re using the Adecia system in a super-sophisticated way but it’s just worked for us without any hassle. The results are great and the lecturers have adapted to the hybrid classroom quite painlessly, in no small part, thanks to Adecia.”