Ottawa, Ontario, Canada â€“ June 2009â€¦ As one of the oldest universities in Canada with a student population of more than 35,000 from 150+ countries, the University of Ottawa is a bilingual, research-intensive, non-denominational institution where students study in their choice of English or French with the option of pursuing French immersion undergraduate programs. With 38 buildings, 625 research laboratories, and 278 teaching laboratories spread over three campuses that total 105 acres, the University has numerous lecture halls and presentation spaces to support its large and diverse student population. Sound reinforcement is critical in many of these spaces and to ensure the best possible performance, the University has deployed an extensive assortment of Lectrosonics equipment, including over 100 channels of wireless microphones and multiple digital audio processors throughout the campus.
One of the most notable facilities on the University of Ottawaâ€™s campus is the Desmarais Building (DMS). Completed in the fall of 2007, this impressive structure with more than 248,000 square feet, including twelve floors of classrooms and offices, is the home to the Universityâ€™s Telfer School of Management as well as the Faculty of Social Sciences. The complex houses several Lectrosonics-equipped presentation spaces, including room DMS1110, an 89-seat lecture/presentation hall so popular on campus that scheduling for the facility is centrally-allocated and controlled by the Registrarâ€™s Office, as well as the VIP multipurpose room.
Room DMS1110 is equipped with a Lectrosonics R400 UHF diversity receiver and an LMa UHF beltpack transmitter used in tandem with a Lectrosonics M152/5P lavaliere microphone. Audio mixing and processing tasks are handled by two Lectrosonics DM84 digital matrix processors that are daisy-chained together and integrated with a DMTH4 digital telephone hybrid to manage a variety of external audio sources. An AMXÂ® control system provides users with convenient access to the roomâ€™s many multimedia capabilities, including the DM Series processors.
The VIP multipurpose room is outfitted with a Lectrosonics Venue Series receiver systemâ€”currently stocked with four VMS receiver modules (expandable to six channels)â€”and four LMa transmitters. Should additional wireless microphone channels become necessary in either room, the University has a second, portable 4- channel Venue Series setup with LMa transmitters that can be integrated into either space. Most of the wireless equipment deployed campus-wide utilizes Lectrosonicsâ€™ highly acclaimed Digital Hybrid WirelessÂ® technology.
Mark Gareau, Manager of the Universityâ€™s Multimedia Distribution Service (MDS), which is part of the Universityâ€™s Teaching and Learning Support Service, oversees a myriad of responsibilities involving the multimedia equipment deployed campus wide. Managing a staff of 16 people, Gareau designs the Universityâ€™s teaching spaces and also specifies and installs the equipment selected for the various locations. He commented on his choice of Lectrosonics equipment.
â€œThe Desmarais Building is in close proximity to the Department of National Defense,â€? explained Gareau, â€œwhich is responsible for the Canadian Forces. As a result, this is a heavily congested RF area and numerous other manufacturers of wireless microphone equipment have not fared well here. We quickly realized that to provide efficient and effective service, we needed a product that would be more stable, reject outside interference, and be robust enough to last at least four years. With our Lectrosonics gear, we can easily identify available frequencies and lock them down. Further, the metal housings of the Lectrosonics equipment are far more robust than the plastic enclosures found on competing products.â€?
Gareau was equally complimentary of Lectrosonicsâ€™ DM Series audio processing equipment. â€œThe DM Series equipment used in DMS1110 is a terrific choice for that room,â€? notes Gareau. â€œThis space is used primarily as a classroom but due to its aesthetically pleasing look and first-rate multimedia capabilities, it is also used for VIP conferences and special events. Here, the DM84â€™s provide the best of both worlds in terms of usability. When technical intervention is required (most of the time, the AMX system provides simplified control of all functions), the technician or student can use one DM84 as a manual mixer for microphone settings while the other is automated for all other sources. Auto-mixing enables us to increase gain before feedback and increase intelligibility. The DM84â€™s simple design ensures reliability and efficiency.â€?
Because of its rugged build quality, stellar performance in crowded RF environments, and trouble-free nature, Gareau has deployed a wide assortment of Lectrosonics equipment throughout the entire University of Ottawa campus. â€œWe currently have 116 Lectrosonics LMa transmitters and R400 receivers, 44 DM84 processors, and 25 DMTH4 hybrids,â€? notes Gareau, â€œand weâ€™re adding more Lectrosonics equipment all the time. Our VIP room at Desmarais was the first to deploy Lectrosonicsâ€™ Venue system and the sound quality has been a crowning jewel in this beautiful and important space. Due to the success weâ€™ve experienced, the University is creating two more rooms similar to this one and Venues will be introduced to both of them.â€?
â€œAs a policy and procedure mandated by the University,â€? Gareau continued, â€œMDS is responsible for assigning frequencies to wireless microphones on campus. We have standardized on Lectrosonics since the early 1990â€™s. Lectrosonics customer and technical support services have been first rate, and this is yet another key factor that influences equipment procurement decisions. As we move forward, Lectrosonics will most assuredly be an integral part of this Universityâ€™s growth.â€?
For additional information about the University of Ottawa, visit www.uottawa.ca.
Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theater technical communities since 1971, Lectrosonics wireless microphone systems and audio processing products are used daily in mission-critical applications by audio engineers familiar with the company’s dedication to quality, customer service, and innovation. Lectrosonics is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
Photo info: Image of Mark Gareau at the University of Ottawa.