Terminology

Boom Stand

Boom Stand

Hardwired Microphone
The dynamic (close-range) microphone is used for a solo vocalist or instrumentalist or for a speech. A standard mic cable and boom stand is usually provided with each microphone.

Close-range Microphone

Close-Range Microphone

Microphone Cable

Microphone Cable

Gooseneck/Mid-range Microphone

Gooseneck/Mid-range Microphone

Gooseneck Microphone
This condenser (mid-range) microphone is used on a podium, lectern, pulpit, or ambo. It is optimized for speech reproduction. There are two adjustable portions of it so users can raise or lower the microphone element if necessary.

Hanging Microphone

Hanging Microphone

Hanging Microphone
This microphone is utilized for picking up large groups from overhead. Typical applications are for a choir, ambient mic for a church congregation, and over the stage in an auditorium.

Boundary Microphone

Boundary Microphone

Boundary Microphone
This is a unique microphone that works well for special applications. It sits on a flat surface and has a wide pick-up pattern. It works well on an altar, as a piano microphone, or as a microphone for a small choir.

Wireless Mic System

Wireless Mic System

Receiver

Receiver

Wireless Microphone
This is a wireless microphone system. The receiver plugs into the mixer portion of the main sound system. The transmitter is either a handheld or beltpack and is carried around by the person speaking. The beltpack can have either a lapel (as shown) or headworn microphone attached to it.

Handheld Transmitterbel

Close-Range Microphone

Beltpack Transmitter

Beltpack Transmitter

Mixer

Mixer

Mixer
This is a small rack-mount mixer, which takes all the inputs of the system (microphones, CD player, etc) and ‘mixes’ them down to one signal path to go to the amplifier. This mixer can also be used as a sub-mixer, where it takes the inputs from a certain area and mixes them down to one output to send to the main system mixer or processor.

Mixing Board

Mixing Board

Mixing Board
This is a larger-scale mixer, often used in school theaters or with a church praise band where there are a large number of inputs and there is a sound system operator who needs to control all of the inputs. The inputs will often come into the mixer through a mixer snake. This mixer can also have multiple outputs to feed the main speakers and monitor speakers, as well as possibly a personal monitor system.

Mixer/Processer

Mixer/Processer

1 and 2-Gang Controller

1 and 2-Gang Controller

Mixer/Processer
This is a combination mixer/digital processor, otherwise known as “the little black box.” These units come with a variety of inputs and outputs for a range of applications. This box handles the signal routing from input(s) to output(s) as well as all the equalization, delay, compression, and feedback suppression for the system. The control for this unit is through a 1- or 2-gang controller with a rotary dial.

Equalizer

Equalizer

Equalizer
This is a standard equalizer. For systems where the end-user requires a lot of control over the system, such as a live band or theater system, this is a perfect fit. Usually seen in the 31-band model, this allows the user to adjust an individual frequency in the system by either giving it more gain or less gain as needed for the room or the input.

Amplifier

Amplifier

Amplifier
This unit supplies power to the speaker or speakers. These come in a wide range of options, from small single-channel amps for powering a couple of hallway speakers to big multi-channel amps that can power a large multi-speaker sports arena system.

Paging-quality Ceiling Speaker

Paging-quality Ceiling Speaker

Paging-quality Ceiling Speaker
This is the type of speaker often seen in school intercom systems. It is very inexpensive and gives a reasonable sound with acceptable clarity of speech, but has no low frequency reproduction so is not recommended for music.

High-quality Ceiling Speaker

High-quality Ceiling Speaker

High-quality Ceiling Speaker
This speaker is often seen in boardrooms, banquet facilities, or low-ceiling areas in churches. This speaker produces a much more accurate sound and wider frequency range than the paging speaker, so music sounds fairly good through them. Speech clarity is also good through this speaker. Aesthetically, the speaker blends in with the ceiling tile (they are often paintable as well) and looks much less industrial than the paging speaker.

Line Array Speakers

Line Array Speakers

Line Array Speakers
This speaker is ideal for settings with long reverb times where the sound hangs in the air for three or more seconds. It has a very narrow profile, so is unobtrusive when aesthetics are a big concern. This speaker has excellent speech intelligibility and is designed to put the sound on the audience area, not on the sidewalls or ceiling.

Suspended Speakers

Suspended Speakers

Suspended Speakers
This is an example of the "typical" speaker that is found in auditoriums or church sanctuaries. Usually it is a two-way box, which means the high frequencies are produced by a small tweeter and the lower frequencies are produced by a large (usually 8” or 12”) driver. It is considered a full-range speaker, so will adequately reproduce sound for most speech and music applications. When a lot of instruments will be used or CD tracks will be played, we recommend adding a subwoofer for extended low-frequency response.

Subwoofer

Subwoofer

Subwoofer
This speaker is designed to reproduce low frequencies, generally under 150Hz. There are a range of options: first, setup as a single or dual driver and, second, the size of the driver. The picture at left shows a single 15” driver. The larger the driver, the lower the frequencies it can produce. A dual-driver setup can reproduce lower tones than a single driver, as well as having a higher overall volume level. Subwoofers are interesting in that they can go in a corner or back of a room and still fill the room with low frequencies; they do not have to be in front of the audience.

Touch Screen Control

Touch Screen Control

Touch Screen Control
Larger systems benefit from a separate control system. This enables the end-user to control all portions of the system, from the audio volume to the projector on/off and inputs to the projector screen up/down. The touch screen is available in many sizes and can be a stand-alone unit (like the picture at left) or built into the wall or cabinet. Another advantage is that multiple components can be controlled with one button push; for example, the start button could turn on the audio system, the projector, lower the screen, and dim the lights.

Projector

Projector

Projector
A projector can be used in a variety of applications, both portable and installed. The size of the room and the size of the screen as well as the overall light level in the room will dictate the size of projector needed. The higher the room’s light level, the higher the output brightness of the projector should be. Most projectors have two VGA inputs for a PC or laptop, as well as a component and/or composite input for a DVD/VCR or camera feed.

Switcher
This is a typical video switcher/scaler, which will take a variety of video inputs from a computer, DVD player, camera, etc. and convert them all to the same size and display format. Only one cable is needed between the switcher and the projector, instead of one cable for each input.

Switcher

HEARING ASSISTANCE (PPA)

Inductive Loop System
Utilizes an energized wire loop, which is installed to surround a room and serve as an RF broadcast antenna. Accessible directly by individuals using hearing aids equipped with a T-coil feature or an external receiver and earpiece.

Infrared System
An LED panel emits modulated infrared radiation within a single room. An infrared system requires the use of external receivers and earpieces. The user must be within line-of-sight of the emitter allowing for greater security and privacy.

RF Transmission System
The most common type of system in use today, a RF transmitter broadcasts modulated radio frequencies within an entire building. The transmitter may be mounted anywhere in the building and users can receive signal at any location within a few hundred feet of the transmitter, using a receiver and an earpiece.

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Audio Architects, Inc.
1776 Olson Drive
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
715.723.4900