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If you own a wireless microphone, you need to read this.

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Last week, the FCC released the date and details of both the start of spectrum incentive auctions and changes to the RF spectrum that will remain available for wireless microphones.  

With the ever-greater use of mobile broadband and the internet-of-things, the demand for RF bandwidth is immense, so television broadcasters are being asked to relocate and vacate, and secondary users like wireless microphones, wireless intercoms, and in-ear monitoring systems will be forced out, too.  

The start of the auctions will be May 31, 2016.  While details are not yet fully known, it appears that wireless microphone users will have 126MHz less RF spectrum available and that use of frequencies above 566MHz will become obsolete (and illegal) at some point.  

When users will be required to vacate the use of frequencies above 566MHz is not yet known, but in previous announcements, the time period of 42 months has been mentioned.  From this point forward, you will begin to see a transition to new technology, the reuse of the VHF spectrum and placement of microphones in the 900MHz and 2.4GHz portions of the RF spectrum.  

The primary takeaway from this announcement is that you should avoid purchasing wireless systems with operating ranges between 566-700MHz, if you plan to use them for more than a few years.  

If you have questions about how this impacts your set-up, or if we can help with planning during this time of transition, please be in touch.  And of course, we will keep you informed as we learn more. 

 

Berklee Standardizes on Point Source CR-8D Earset Microphone

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SERIES8 mics expected to support up to 300 student-run productions each year

berklee singers 563

Student actors of Berklee College of Music perform wearing Point Source Audio's SERIES8 cardioid headset
(Photo Credit: Berklee College of Music)

Berklee College of Music - home to more than 4,000 students and a list of successful alumni who have collectively won more than 300 GRAMMYs and Emmy Awards - has standardized on Point Source Audio's SERIES8 cardioid headsets as their musical production microphone.

The Point Source mics debuted for the school's Berklee Performance Center Anniversary Concert: 100 Years of Musical Theater with a cast of 20 wearing the CR-8D headset.

"After doing our tests, we found the CR-8D to give the least coloration and the highest gain before feedback. I've used many other headset brands but by the time I completed tuning all of the rings out, the signal would be completely unrecognizable as a human voice. With the CR-8D headsets, the sound is much more natural after feedback corrections," reported Alejo Planchart, production manager in concert operations for Berklee. "The exact placement near the mouth of the singer was the most forgiving out of all the headsets I've used before and the noise handling was very minimal, which are two very crucial factors when working with student singers."

Responsible for over 2,200 events each year in six different performance venues, the production and theater staff at Berklee sought to find a robust headset microphone that could also deliver a highly directional pattern because many of their productions require floor monitors where feedback tends to be a major issue.

Berklee has many student-run productions and beginner students are still learning proper microphone placement so it was very important for Berklee to find a headset that would stay in place throughout numerous costume changes.

We find Point Source microphones to be an excellent choice for live speaking, singing and drama use, especially where floor monitors are in use.  Find more information and/or order your own CR-8D headsets here.  From $499. 

   

Can you help us with our sound system?

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"Dave, can you come to Sioux Falls to help us with our sound system?"

Prior to that call, we had worked together with the Ransom Church for some add-on products and accessories, but the new tech director wanted to talk with us about systems, so that we'd have a better understand of their needs as the church grew.

A couple weeks later, I boarded a plane to Sioux Falls, SD. From the cool vibe of the concrete-floored welcome area, I walked into the back door of the worship space where the tech director explained that weekend attendance was growing (from 300 to 1400 in under a year) and that the tech systems were straining under the load.

As he walked me around, I saw a lighting system that was well done, along with the audio and the video systems – both of which were recently installed.

Frankly, I wondered why I was there.

After a few minutes, I asked what types of issues they had and if I could hear the system. In a nutshell, the church had plenty of equipment, but the audio system did not sound good.

The space was loft-like in nature, having been an old auto parts warehouse. The wood trusses acted like a low ceiling, and the worship space was very wide, so acoustic volume was high near the platform, but didn't carry well toward the back, corner and side seating areas.  See "before" coverage map below.  The difference between yellow and purple areas is about 10dB, an apparent halving of acoustic volume. 

Ransom AC Before

As we discovered, the previous choice of main speakers was not poor equipment, but simply the wrong equipment.

Read more: Can you help us with our sound system?

   

CMC Magnetics purchases Taiyo Yuden Technology

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We are happy to announce that late last summer CMC Magnetics purchased the technology and manufacturing license for Taiyo Yuden optical media products.

This past June, JVC/Taiyo Yuden made the announcement that it would be stopping production of all optical media products at the end of 2015 and making a complete withdrawal from the market. JVC/TY's withdrawal left a huge void in the professional media market and CMC quickly seized the opportunity to purchase the technology to meet that need. CMC has committed to produce all current JVC skus and maintain the unmatched quality and consistency the professional market demands. With the help of Taiyo Yuden engineers, CMC has built dedicated production lines using the exact same processes, raw materials and strict quality control measures to ensure the TY quality is maintained.

Please be assured that we will be distributing the full line of new CMC made products. In an effort to make the conversion to the CMC products as seamless as possible, our US distributor had purchased significant amount of the current JVC product (made in Japan) to ensure availability well into 2016.

The CMC made products will be branded as "CMC Pro" and all cartons will be labeled "Powered by TY Technology". Part numbers for the CMC Pro products will be very similar to the existing JVC part numbers. All current JVC part numbers start with "J" and the new skus will be exactly the same except they will start with "T".

Example:
JVC Sku - JCDR-ZZ-SB
CMC Pro Sku - TCDR-ZZ-SB

Our US distributor has purchased two of Taiyo Yuden's high-end optical media analyzers and constant QC checks will take place in both the Japan and US locations ensuring there will be no fluctuation in quality.

As you can imagine, after many years of distributing the TY/JVC product line, we are extremely pleased (if not a little relieved) that CMC has firmly indicated their desire to maintain the channel strategy currently in place. We will continue to be in contact as we receive news and details about the progress of the transition.

   

Half off Panasonic Lenses through March 31, 2016

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Buy a lens-less projector and get half off the lens.  With the purchase of an eligible projector between January 1 and March 31, 2016, Panasonic is offering ‘1/2 Off Lenses’ with any of these projectors below.  These models do not have a standard lens included, and all lens models are included in this promotion.  Please contact us directly for pricing and purchase since we need to have the half-off lens special approved by our Panasonic regional sales manager, especially for you.  Call us with questions and your requests.

Eligible models are the following:  PT-RQ13KU, PT-DZ21K2U, PT-DS20K2U, PT-DW17K2U, PT-DZ16K2U, PT-RZ12KU, PT-RS11KU, PT-DZ13KU, PT-DS12KU, PT-DW11KU, PT-DZ10KU, PT-DX100ULK, PT-DZ870ULK, PT-DW830ULK, PT-DX820LWU, PT-DZ780LWU, PT-DW750LWU, PT-DX820LBU, PT-DZ780LBU, PT-DW750LBU, PT-RZ670LBU, PT-RZ670LWU, PT-RW630LBU, PT-RW630LWU, PT-EX800ZLU, PT-EW730ZLU, PT-EZ770ZLU, PT-EX610LU, PT-EW640LU, PT-EZ580LU, PT-EX510LU, PT-EW540LU, PT-EX16KU & PT-EX12KU

   

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What others say

Just wanted to encourage you in what you do, I stumbled across you (excuse the pun) somehow via the net a few years ago. I only have purchased one item from you as I am in Australia a while back, but I do enjoy reading all about your products and the way you present them. I look forward to the next one.

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Trevor Simmons
Coastlands City Campus Adelaide