February 28, 2012

Options In Production Communication Systems


"Though the standard analog party-line beltpack-and-headset intercom is alive and well in thousands of venues worldwide, technology has continued to advance with the availability of faster processors, robust VOIP algorithms, DSP, networking, and other computer and telecommunications techniques.


Going beyond the large digital matrix intercom card frames and stations used almost exclusively in television broadcast applications just a few years ago, multi-channel digital matrix intercoms in 1 RU and 2 RU chassis are now readily available and can be found at the core of some live show and touring communications networks.


The transition to digital is now underway in wireless intercoms - allowing more flexible point-to-point as well as party-line communications on more than one channel without being tied to a cable. Digital wired party-line systems are now offered, with two or more channels per user and the ability for each user to choose and switch among various party-line or point-to-point conversations at the beltpack.

Virtual intercoms have also become a reality, where a laptop or desktop computer can become a fully functional multi-channel intercom station, with party-lines, point-to-point links, and program monitoring at the click of a mouse - plus the ability via IP connectivity to bring remote individuals and teams into the same production communications in real time.

All of these devices can be interfaced together, so a matrix or virtual intercom core can seamlessly add digital party-line and wireless for a flexible communications network that meet the needs of director through stage tech. Let’s have a look at available intercom technologies," says Gary Parks in the ProSoundWeb article, Current Options In Production Communication Systems.

Learn more about these various options in the full article >> Current Options In Production Communication Systems

February 24, 2012

Friday Fun: Happy Birthday Mr. Hertz!

Did you notice this neat Google Doodle this past Wednesday?

Photo Source: www.thehuffingtonpost.com

Well, it was in honor of the 155th birthday of German physicist Heinrich Rudolf Hertz. You know, that guy that proved that electromagnetic waves exist, otherwise known as Hertz. A very pivotal discovery for us living in audio-land.

The Huffington Post wrote a brief article about Hertz and Google's homage to the man. Here's some excerpts:

"Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, born in Hamburg on February 22, 1857, was the first person to prove electromagnetic waves exist...and that electricity can be carried through them."

"While this Google doodle is pretty simple, it's not without its hidden features.....The wavelength's repeating pattern outlines the shape of Google's usual logo."

"Great as has been the influence of his work in the short period which has elapsed since its promulgation, the importance of its ultimate results can scarcely be overestimated. [from the physicist's obituary]"

Read the entire Huffington Post article here.

February 17, 2012

Friday Fun: Fun Facts About Sound

Not all facts are boring. Here's an interesting list of actual information that has to do with sound. So....listen up!
Photo source: www.warrelatedillness.gov
  • The word "noise" comes from the Latin word "nausea" meaning sickness.
  •  Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys is deaf in one ear from when his dad hit him on the head with a surfboard at an early age.
  • Cicadas' hearing organs are in their stomachs.
  • The entire area of the middle ear is no bigger than an M&M.
  • At 115dB, a baby's cry is louder than a car horn.
  • The song of a whale can travel a distance of nearly 500 miles.
  • If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days straight, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat up one cup of coffee.
  • The musical piece "4 minutes 33 seconds" by John Cage has no sound at all.
  • Flies are deaf.
  • There are 20,000 hair cells in the Corti (organ in the inner ear).

February 16, 2012

About Cat-5

Photo Credit: wikipedia.org
All about Cat-5
  • Cat-5 is short for Category 5 cable
  • Also called an Ethernet cable
  • Four pairs of 24-gauge twisted copper pairs
  • Ecah pair has precise number of twists per metre to minimize crosstalk
  • Has an RJ-45 jack
  • Outside color is bright blue
  • Inside, the twisted pairs are green, orange, brown and blue
  • Intercom stations can be connected using Cat-5
  • Carries signals, including telephony and video
Read more about Cat-5 in What is Cat-5 Cable?

There are three different configurations for the wiring of the RJ-45 connections. They are straight-through, crossover, and roll-over. Learn more about Straight-through, Crossover, and Rollover Wiring.

Photo Credit: computercablestore.com

Photo Credit: computercablestore.com

Photo Credit: computercablestore.com

February 15, 2012

Intercom-Over-IP (IoIP) Communications

Clear-Com brings to market the industry’s first native IP Communications solutions based on the ground-breaking I.V.Core technology.

What is I.V. Core technology?
Instant Voice Core (I.V.Core) is a suite of Internet Protocol (IP) technologies.
I.V. Core delivers:
• Low latency

• Superb audio quality
• Encryption, noise-reduction, and error-recovery

Why is Intercom-Over-IP better than Voice-Over-IP solutions?
Voice-Over-IP mix and encode audio at the server, consuming valuable IT network resources, reducing audio quality, and adding latency. In contrast, the I.V.Core routes only packets that contain actual voice data, mixing and encoding them just once at the client, thereby delivering a higher quality voice communications.
I.V.Core Technology Features•    Intelligent audio-routing decision engine
•    High quality voice with low latency
•    Voice data redundancy packet loss reconstruction and recovery algorithms
•    Secure and private with AES 128-bit encryption
•    Runs on standard IT networks
•    Low bandwidth: as low as 6kbps to 44 kbps per connection
•    Highly scalable for high volume participants and multi-session conferences

To learn more about how I.V. Core technology is the defining technology for Intercom-Over-IP (IoIP) Communications, read this white paper: 
I.V.Core Technology White Paper.

February 10, 2012

Friday Fun: Create Your Own Intercom

Have you ever wondered if you could build your own intercom system? Guess what....YOU CAN!!

Here's what you need:
  • 2 analog telephones
  • 1 100-foot phone cord
  • 1 9-volt battery
  • 1 300 Ohm resistor
Here's what you do:

The intercom system connection consists of two copper wires. Typically, the wires are colored red and green. The green wire is common, while the red wire supplies your phone with 6 to 12 DC volts at about 30 miliamps.

The easiest way to wire a private intercom is to start with the 100-foot phone cord. Cut it, strip the wires, and hook in the battery and resistor (as shown below). When two people pick up their phone receiver, they can talk to each other! This configuration will work at distanced of up to several miles apart.

However, there is one thing this little intercom system can't do: It cannot ring the phone to tell the person at the other end that they have a call. The "ring" signal in the US is a 90-volt AV wave at 20Hz; Europe's is a 60 - 90-volt AC at 25Hz.

Photo Source: Clear-Com Intercom Expert