Support or Provision

Do you need Tech Support or Tech Provision?

It may seem a small difference in language but it makes a big difference in costs.

Technical Provision is where a supplier provides an element of the technical capacity to host an event. ie they may supply the physical equipment, provide the on-line platform, help you create engaging content or provide broadcast facilities to reach your audience.

Technical Support is where you may already have all that you need in terms of equipment and on-line services, and you understand how to fully utilise what you already own but you just need an extra pair of hands to make things run smoothly. Essentially it is a staff only option.

Technical Provision usually comes with Technical Support. Provision with out support is termed as a ‘Dry Hire’. To be clear Technical Support does not include any equipment or access to additional services, it is staff only working with your existing equipment and facilities.

To use an analogy. If AVD provided dish washing services, washing Provision would see us bring a dish washer, power cables, hose connections, bowels, washing up liquid… everything to get the job done. washing Support would see us load your dishwasher, use your sink, water and detergent. We may however bring our own yellow gloves (as I can never find the right size)…

I hope this is helpful when sourcing your next quotation and ensures you get exactly what you need. If we can be of service please contact us to provide for, or support, your next event.

Socially Distanced Meetings

Acoustically active venues like sports halls can present problems for audio.

Personalised Audio Can Help Socially Distanced Meetings

As we return to Face to Face meetings we must maintain vigilance and keep socially distanced. Keeping socially distanced though requires more space.. meeting in bigger spaces can cause problems with your audio visual requiring innovative solutions. With bigger spaces you get bigger acoustics. Either the venue will be large and echoing (meaning you can’t hear properly) or large and dampened (meaning you have to be louder to be heard). A solution is to personalise the audio. What we me mean by personalising the audio is instead of amplifying the audio in the room, we use personal devices like IR receivers, or delegate smartphones utilising an app, to directly transmit the audio to the delegates. This gives participants the choice to set the own levels to what is comfortable to them with out needing to blast those closest to the traditional PA speaker.

We have a range of personal devices to help you depending on your meeting size, single channel, multichannel, even fully mobile solutions for outdoor tours. For hygiene participants may wish to use their own headphones as all can be used with standard corded headphones.

Our wireless microphone discussion systems can also help provide personal audio as each unit has headphone sockets for personal listening as well as a speaker for low level voice raising. Ideal for acoustically challenging venues like sports halls. This approach has many side benefits too. Non typical delegates who require hearing augmentation are automatically supported and if planning a hybrid meeting with remote attendees then this can be integrated as part of the whole event. Contact us to help you keep safe and socially distanced as you come back to face to face meetings this year.

The year that was…

It is now March 2021, as the Covid-19 vaccine rolls out, and we emerge from our forced isolation. AVD optimistically looks forward to a limited return to face – face meetings, with ‘Hybrid’ meetings likely to become the new normal. It has been quite a year and we thought it would be worth a look back over some of the highlights…

December 2020. We helped provide Remote Simultaneous Interpretation (RSI) training from our RSI Studio. 🙂 Ecosse Connection Ltd, ran the session. Feedback from the trainees was very positive with further sessions planned.

November 2020. Our 3rd studio came online and we want to let other tech companies know that our 3 studios are available for you to use as just space with an internet connection, like a venue, if your facilities are getting cramped. Get in contact if you want to know more.

Throughout 2020 we have been supporting organisations with our BSL streaming service. The Scottish Parliament, The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Festival of Politics 2020 all made use of the service.

During 2020 we all became masters of Zoom. AVD provide remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI) to Zoom meetings. A studio, or hub, facility provides the best sound and trouble free. A technician looks after every technical aspect so the interpreters can concentrate on your awesome content. We can also play out your presentations, so you don’t have a tech nightmare, leaving you to concentrate on your specialist subject.

October we supported the Church of Scotland’s virtual General Assembly. We have been involved with the GA since 1999 and to see a week long assembly, steeped in tradition and history, pivot in to a two day online event was amazing and expertly managed by John Williams at Oscus Media.

The pre recorded presentation became popular and we provided interpretation to the video content of a high profile online Conference.

September 2020. Our Taiden multimedia microphones and Microsoft Team’s worked together a treat for South Lanarkshire Council’s hybrid and socially distanced meeting.

August 2020. We received praise as we supported webinars with French RSI interpretation from our studio with positive feedback from both the client and interpreters. “ was all perfect.”

May 2020 We signed up for a leased line to our building giving us a super fast upload speed for our studios.

April 2020. Feeling helpless at the start of lock down we realised we had useful kit so we donated 25 of our iPads to care homes so relatives could communicate with loved ones while in lockdown. We hope it helped.

March 2020. As lock down bit we were first asked to assist the Scottish Parliament in providing a BSL feed of First Ministers Question Time with less than 24 hours notice.

February 2020 (Pre Covid-19). At the start of the year we remote presented about remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI) to the Shure Conference Network in Amsterdam from our first RSI studio. We predicted, to a sceptical audience, that RSI would be the dominant format in 3 – 5 years…. then Covid-19 happened and that time line was compressed in to a month.

So much has changed in the last 12 months and we are still here and ready to help you with your future meeting be it online or in venue (or both).

Multiple Breakouts in a Single Room

Silent Conferencing is a way of hosting independent breakout sessions within a single space with out disturbing each other. This is achieved by personalising the audio via a dedicated multichannel receiver, or via a BYOD smart device running an app, allowing the delegate to tune into the session they wish to attend. Think of it as silent disco but for corporate.

This allows delegates to move from one presentation to the next very quickly and smoothly. Ideal for medical poster sessions and exhibition booths. A range of different device types are available depending on your group size and mobility. Silent Conferencing is also an ideal way to combat poor acoustics or noisy environments in spaces not normally utilised for meetings like factories and warehouses.

So if you have a troublesome venue or are tight for space but need multiple breakouts we have a solution for you. Contact us to solve your problem. These solutions are also perfect for your non typical delegates requiring hard of hearing and visual description support.

What is a discussion microphone? Part 2

What is a discussion microphone? How is it different from a conventional microphone?  Part 2. Mark Kisby continues his explanation… (missed Part 1? click here)

Conference, discussion or ‘push to talk’ microphones provide the best conference audio solution for speech reinforcement. Though sometimes not the best in absolute sound quality, it is the ability for the microphone to be controlled by both delegate and sound technician that ensures every word is heard.

Boardroom discussion microphones

Discussion microphones set for a boardroom style conference

For this reason conference microphones are particularly suited to the recording of meetings, councils and parliaments and the provision of the ‘original’ feed to a simultaneous interpretation system.

In these applications the aims is to have as few microphones ‘live’ or ‘on’ at any one time, each ‘live’ microphone adds more back ground noise to the audio feed.

The standard operation of a sound desk with just 6 conventional microphones on a top table is to leave all 6 microphones live (but set to a low volume) so if someone does speak the technician need only increase the level of a microphone. This allows at least some audio, albeit low level to begin with, to be heard which is better than nothing. This is because the technician does not know who is going to speak next and the speaker is unable to make their microphone live independently of the technician. There are two main reasons why this is not acceptable in a recording or for simultaneous interpretation.

Firstly the delay in a delegate speaking and in the microphone becoming live, as the technician recognises which microphone is in use and increases its level,  introduces a pause into which whole sentences can disappear and critical meaning can be lost. Conference microphones can be operated by the speaker directly so eliminating this delay in making the microphone live or louder. This allows a freer flow of dialogue to take place without a word being lost. This is critical in the recording of important meetings and in the original language feed for simultaneous interpreters.

Secondly by having so many partially live microphones live you are introducing unwanted and distracting background noise into the audio. This is often not recognised by the delegates or by the technician who generally listen to the audio via the PA in the room where these noises are already present. However other users, e.g. interpreters, listen to the proceedings via headphones so they are very ‘close’ to the audio and can clearly hear the rustle of paper or the pouring of water. This unwanted audio is very distracting and can mask important elements of the speech.

With a conference microphone system you have the capability to control and help eliminate these spurious sounds without losing the critical audio by only having one or two microphones live at any one time.

The other added advantage is that it is possible for a system to extend to include  10 – 100 – 1000 participants so making the discussion microphone ideal for use in council chambers, parliaments and general meeting rooms.

The advantages in using discussion microphones or discussion systems are very clear (especially the audio!).