BELGRADE, SERBIA - FEBRUARY 2011: A recently completed conference room in the municipality of Vracar in Belgrade, Serbia serves the local government with a state-of-the-art audio/visual system. In addition to supporting conferences and sophisticated multi-media presentations, the main stereo sound system (with a supporting subwoofer) also permits the user to hold special movie events. The system, which centers on a Symetrix Automix Matrix 780 digital signal processor chosen for its power, simplicity, and very competitive price, delivers speech reinforcement, both for delegates and for visiting speakers or members of the public, as well as signal distribution, both for ENG journalists and for a large plasma monitor in the foyer of the building.
Based in Belgrade, Lola Audio designed and installed the new conference room's A/V system. Zoran Kecojevic, former general manager and now owner of Lola Audio, led the effort, relying
on his nearly four decades of experience to deliver a system that sounds and looks amazing and is flexible enough to accommodate a huge range of events, such as meetings of different political parties, training of municipality government staff, presentation of new town planning solutions and architectural projects, popular scientific lectures, celebrations, etc. Despite its flexibility, Lola Audio designed a user interface that is intuitive and simple to use.
The inputs to the system are many. A well-chosen 48x2 bantam patch panel and two Extron stereo audio switchers feed and complement the twelve-input Symetrix Automix Matrix 780 in such a way that the routing controls supplied by the 780 deliver or suppress appropriate inputs for a variety of circumstances. In addition to six Clockaudio gooseneck microphones for delegates, Lola Audio outfitted the building with a pair of Clockaudio wireless microphone systems for lecturers or audience questions. The Extron switchers allow technicians to preview source material from a modern complement of audio and video input devices - iPod jack, DVD, BluRay, BR/HD recorder, PC, notebook, Flash Card audio recorder, etc.
The outputs consist of a speech-reinforcement system, a hi-fi media playback system, media output, and a recorder. For the speech-reinforcement component, a Symetrix 581E distribution amplifier sends signal to Lab.gruppen C-series amplifiers, which in turn feed a central HK Audio loudspeaker array. Two Symetrix 780 outputs supply signal and corresponding mixes to Extron in-wall loudspeakers at the lectern and at the president's desk for audience first row fill. Lab.gruppen C-series amplifiers also power a stereo pair of HK Audio twelve-inch two-way loudspeaker systems on either side of the projection screen. An HK Audio fifteen-inch subwoofer supplies the rumble, when needed. Finally, a Tascam HD-R1 flash card audio recorder makes it easy to archive committee meetings and the like, also providing very useful LAN access for audio file transfer to municipality administration for transcription!
The Symetrix Automix Matrix 780 forms the heart and brain of the multi-limbed system. Input processing includes equalization, filtering, and dynamics, along with Symetrix' well-regarded feedback suppression and auto-mixing algorithms, both in conference and presentation modes. Less glamorously but just as critically, the 780 easily accommodates a large number of pre-selected routing configurations, which turn off, turn on, and mix appropriate inputs for distribution to appropriate outputs. "The Symetrix Automix Matrix 780 is a perfect device for an installation like this," said Kecojevic. "The twelve inputs and eight outputs meet the system's needs, and all of the processing capabilities and routing logic are powerful and easy to implement. On top of that, the unit occupies just one rack space and comes in at a price point that is very competitive."
Users operate the system with a Crestron controller and/or an Axiomtek touch-panel PC. The Crestron six-inch touch-panel sits at the lecturer's desk and allows for event-related preset selection, direct mute, volume control, and other commonly required tasks. "It was very easy to use third-party controllers with the Automix Matrix 780," said Kecojevic. "The Ethernet connection and protocol is simple and robust." For more demanding events, such as presentations with many talkers or celebration recitals, the Symetrix 780 control software can be used from a separate control PC.
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PHOTO CAPTION Symetrix Automix Matrix 780 handles speech reinforcement for the busy conference room in the municipality of Vracar, Belgrade, Serbia.