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FORD MOTOR COMPANY: “IT’S LIKE I CAN HEAR AGAIN!”

These words were used by the General Manager of Ford Engineering, after ProAV Solutions-Vic transformed the Campbellfield

Engineering Boardroom into arguably one of the most pristine conferencing environments in the world.

Equipment –

· Audix Condenser, Studio Grade Microphones
· EAW LS432, Loudspeakers
· ClearOne 880TA DSP

Six Days a week, 8 hours a day, is the average time the leading Engineers at Ford Motors spend in that Boardroom designing some of Australia’s most popular vehicles, such as the Falcon sedan and utility, as well as the highly popular Territory SUV

Crucially, much of their time is consumed participating in conference calls with various other local and international assembly plants such as Geelong (VIC), Argentina, China, Germany, India and the United States.

With having so many of these varying accents and languages all contributing within the same conference call, it is quite reasonable to expect that an interpreter be present to allow coherent conversation flow during these extensive and arduous meetings…

What is not acceptable however is for an interpreter to be present during conference calls between Campbellfield and Geelong!  This was an all-too-frequent requirement however, due to the poor-quality and unforgiving conferencing environment which had challenged these Engineers for years.  The old system simply wasn’t capable of allowing an English-to-English conversation flow.

ProAV-Vic advised Ford to go back to basic Microphone design…while shifting up a gear and delivering an unsurpassed and innovative Loudspeaker design concept.

When talking about loudspeakers that can adequately control 1khz wavelength, then the device must be at least 1ft in dimension to maintain that control. With such an oddly designed ceiling with obvious mounting restraints, ProAV needed to be wary about the energy that may hit the walls and the table, but still allow for the highest possible intelligibility of far-end audio coming in to the room.

Acoustic modeling determined that the EAW LS432i loudspeaker would give the best performance and achieve our coverage goals. The LS432i is a two-way, full range line-array with Four 4” LF cones, and three 1-in soft dome tweeters.

This remarkable Loudspeaker maintains a nominal vertical coverage pattern of 20° to below 1000 Hz. Even at 500 Hz, the vertical pattern is still 80°. Then, with the horizontal pattern providing 140°, this line source, “off-the-shelf”, cabinet truly claims to be the go-to-box for speech-only installations for highly reverberant spaces.

With the accompanying Clearone Digital Signal Processors, the only DSP system on the market designed purely for controlling and managing microphones in the conferencing environment, this combination proved again to be the leading “go-to” brands for conferencing rooms in Australia.

EAW, Audix & Clearone’s success is based on their ability to deliver system components that allow designs with real world performance, using reliable and straightforward off-the-shelf products that do not require enormous labour times in either installation, programming or commissioning – but still offer high fidelity sound quality for both the local and far end of the conference session.