Boundary Mics & Auto Mic Mixers
Sep 13, 2013 3:18 PM, By Mike McIntyre, CTS-D, EST-L2+
In this showcase, we will explore interesting solutions to common problems facing AV integrators and live audio professionals. With the miniaturization of electronic components, some extremely smart and small devices are available for us to use. Some of the best boundary-type microphones are included in this section along with the most intelligent class of automatic mic mixers.
AKG’s MB series of mini-boundary, super-cardioid microphones feature an aesthetically pleasing low profile when installed. The MB4, designed for multiple microphone applications—such as teleconferencing, distance learning, boardrooms, courtrooms, and TV or theatrical application—has an attached 15ft. cable leading to an XLR-type output connector with built-in electronics and can be mounted under shelves, on walls, etc., using double-sided sticky tape, which is provided. It is powered by 12V-48V phantom power, and is low-impedance balanced.
Audio-Technica’s PRO 44 is a wide-range condenser microphone with a hemi-cardioid (half-space cardioid) polar pattern. It can be powered from any external 9V to 52V DC phantom power source and comes with a 25ft. cable with TA3F and XLRM-type connectors for use between the microphone and electronics input. With the Audio-Technica's fixed-charge “back plate” construction, a gold-vaporized diaphragm just two microns thick can be used, which reduces moving mass substantially, improving frequency response and transient response while reducing distortion. The microphone element is enclosed in a rugged housing with a black finish. The rubber non-slip bottom pad minimizes mechanical coupling of surface vibrations to the microphone. The high sensitivity of the PRO 44 ensures useful output to most mixer, tape recorder, and amplifier inputs. It will provide undistorted output even in sound fields as loud as 114dB SPL.
beyerdynamic’s Classis BM 32/33/34 condenser boundary microphones—ideal for tele/videoconferencing applications, and the recording and amplification of roundtable discussions—are designed for flush mounting into tabletops or ceilings. Featuring Scudio technology, the mics are insensitive to wireless communication devices, such as mobile phones. The Classis BM 32 has a half-cardioid polar pattern, which increases the gain-before-feedback and decreases the amount of diffuse ambience. The Classis BM 34 corresponds to the Classis BM 32, but is provided with a bass roll-off filter. The Classis BM 33 has a half-spherical polar pattern making it ideal for large rooms. The high sensitivity guarantees a constant output level even from long distance sources. Elastic bearing rings achieve mechanical isolation from the mounting surface, and therefore offer effective sound isolation of the microphone.
The 930VPL by CAD Audio is a continuously variable polar-pattern condenser boundary microphone with a programmable membrane switch, LED, and logic interface. Designed to resist interferences from cell phones and two-way communication devices, the 930VPL features a dual output-connector design that allows the cable to exit the rear or underside of the mic. When mounted on a flat surface, it will take advantage of the “boundary effect” signal-to-noise ratio increase. This microphone comes with 30ft. of detachable microphone cable that is terminated with a standard 3-pin XLRM-type connector, and features logic I/O functions that can be used with automatic mixers, teleconferencing systems, and control systems. The logic input can remotely control the LED, as well as the membrane-switch activation. The exact mode of operation can be set with the dipswitch on the underside of the microphone, while the continuously variable polar pattern can be precisely tailored for the best performance depending upon the application or environment.
The ARM 102-RF by Clockaudio features a low-profile boundary layer through-table design with a cardioid polar pattern. Able to automatically extend, retract, and lock the Capsule Module away to leave only 3mm protruding on top of the table, the ARM 102-RF has a built-in motor that is operated by a control box ARM – C and features a robust brass construction that includes 6.6ft. of audio cable and 6.6ft. of control cable. An integral phantom power module is provided requiring 9VDC to 48VDC.
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