Having a meeting is an essential process for every organization. Planning, brainstorming, solving problems, and making decision on an important agenda all take place in a conference room. Hence, the conference room is one of the most significant places within any company’s property. Designing a proper meeting room will not only help increase the meeting effectiveness but also increase the potential of the work result as well.
Conference room type
To design a conference room, a designer should consider these three functions of the room as follows:
1. General meeting room
The general meeting room is mainly for casual meeting that emphasizes more on convenience and agility. It may require mobile video teleconference occasionally.
2. Formal conference room
A formal conference room is normally used for important matter consideration and confidential meetings. That means irrelevant people should not be in the room, so the room should be designed with attendee’s self-identification system supporting audiovisual equipment, lighting, sound, and video systems such as conference microphones, or high-performance tele-conference system.
3. War room
War room, operation center, or command control is a room for special situation management. This room should support multi-channel data, receiving from both within the network system and/or an external party. The system should be able to display multiple data dimensions with audio and video system that is agile and highly stable to support the mission, which mostly requires speed and accuracy.
Choosing an audio system for a conference room
Generally, the conference audio system will be mainly emphasized on mid-range frequencies for human speech clarity. The essential instruments for the conference audio system are as follows:
Conference microphone is the microphone in which the user can press a button to speak up in the meeting room. The microphone will mainly be seen in a formal conference room categorized into two main types according to the installation. There are built-in and floating microphone. Each type has different extra functions for specific purposes e.g. sound recording, voting, or connecting with the CCTV for auto speaker focus ability, etc.
In choosing a loudspeaker for a conference room, the room designer should consider the mid-range frequency response and the coverage area for an even sound clarity throughout the floor. Before choosing the loudspeaker, there should be an audio simulation that provides sound analysis to ensure that it follows the standards.
For the room which mainly requires mid-range frequency sound, there should be complementary equipment to the main loudspeaker to add more clarity in each area such as ceiling speaker, anti-feedback system (to prevent feedback noise generated from the microphone being too close to the loudspeaker), or equalizer to smooth out the sound output quality. In addition, the position of speakers is also significant. For instance, as mentioned above, feedback issue can be resolved by avoiding setting up the microphone within the coverage area of a loudspeaker, etc.
Nowadays, the recording system has become more important for both audio and video. In addition to recording to a CD/DVD, or a hard disk, streaming onto the internet should also be supported as well. The recording system should be synced with the audio equipment including the microphone in order to record clear sound. An example of recording microphone is a boundary microphone, that is placed or built-in to the table to improve the audio recording quality.
A Telephone conference is a telecommunication equipment that mainly employs the phone system because of its ease of use, convenience, and highly stable signal.
As technology has continuously been developing, video conference becomes more effective in terms of the clarity of both audio and video, data-efficiency, immediate data-transfer ability, and the borderless-ness. There are various tools that support this technology such as audio mixer, processor, power amplifier, etc.
Conference microphone installation
The quantity and sensitivity needed for the conference microphone are important factors in the equipment installation. Even though a high-sensitivity microphone is good for receiving sound, the higher the sensitivity of the microphone, the more the sound system is prone to audio feedback. Apart from the feedback issue, too close installation can also cause irregular sound output such as insufficient loudness, low tonality or clarity of the sound, etc. Hence, the distance between each microphone should be planned out and arranged properly.
Tip: The position which can reduce the irregular sound reproduction can be achieved through the 3:1 rule, meaning a speaker should be 1 foot (30CM) far from the microphone, while the second microphone should be 3 feet (90CM) far from the first microphone.
On top of the installation position, the cabling pathway of the conference microphone also matters. The wiring path should be divided into two paths, 10 microphones per group. This cabling pattern will prevent the entire system from being paralyzed altogether. That says, if one path has an issue, another can still be used.