The University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Science attracts top engineering students and faculty from across the globe who come to the school to conduct high-impact original research in science and engineering. Upon graduation many go on to become leaders in a wide range of engineering disciplines and related fields.
When the university began expanding its distance learning programmes it was critical to select a solution that provided students and faculty, of both the real and virtual classrooms, with a high-quality AV collaboration system with crystal clear audio capabilities. It turned to ClearOne and its Converge Pro 2 professional audio DSP platform and ceiling microphone array.
“We’ve worked with the University at Buffalo and their distance learning programme for a couple of years now,” said Brian O’Leary, account executive at Veraview, the AV systems integrator that installed the ClearOne solution. “And when it comes to distance learning we knew they needed a high-quality collaboration and communication system, so going with ClearOne was an easy decision.”
Veraview has installed several ClearOne Converge Pro 2 audio conferencing solutions at the university’s School of Engineering and Applied Science over the last two years, and for this most recent install O’Leary was tasked with outfitting two more rooms within the growing distance learning programme.
The students that are accepted to the School of Engineering and Applied Science are met with a demanding curriculum that explores the tough challenges society and the environment face today. To address these challenges on a more global scale, the school’s distance learning programme has opened up students to more diverse teams to collaborate with and share research and findings. The right audio conferencing solution has been of critical importance to the programme’s success.
“Within a distance learning environment, particularly one of this nature, high quality audio recording is essential,” O’Leary said. “No one wants a poor-quality audio recording. That just won’t fly. Students may tune out of the video part of the equation but the audio is central to a successful distance learning experience.”
Among the features the ClearOne Converge Pro 2 offers that both O’Leary and the university find crucial for the distance learning programme are the platform’s Acoustic Echo Cancellation on every microphone input and Noise Cancellation with Adaptive-Ambience. The ClearOne Ceiling Microphone Array also brings crystal clear conferencing sound to the solution. Three wide-range microphones are mounted together into a single unit array, providing the rich sound of three individual unidirectional microphones while maintaining full 360° coverage.
O’Leary installed the ClearOne solutions in rooms measuring 20ft x 40ft (seating 30-40 students) and 20ft x 20ft (seating 20-25 students). The school’s recording software was easily integrated with the Converge Pro 2, which O’Leary added was another important plus in the school’s decision to go with ClearOne, as this makes it easy for the students to access the lessons when completed.