Webinar: The Advantages of Ceiling Microphones with Dynamic Beamforming Technology and Dante | Audinate

Webinar: The Advantages of Ceiling Microphones with Dynamic Beamforming Technology and Dante

More doesn’t always equal better: A single, dynamic microphone beam and a Dante Network is all that Sennheiser’s innovative ceiling microphone, TeamConnect Ceiling 2, needs to pick up superior audio in any conference room. Rather than using many static beam zones and multiple DSP channels, the audio specialist is championing an approach that uses a dynamic beam that automatically focuses on the active speaker and follows their voice no matter where they move in the room.

This webinar focused on Sennheiser’s innovative ceiling microphone which is Dante Domain Manager ready and addressed how Dante brings IT’s best practices to the AV world by making audio networking more secure, scalable and controllable than ever before.

Date:Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Time:08:00 PDT (Los Angeles)
11:00 EDT (New York)
16:00 BST (London)
17:00 CET (Berlin)
Cost:Free
Duration:1 hour

Webinar Q&A

Dante & Dante Domain Manager Q&A

Q) How many Dante streams are available from the mic? How does the microphone handle extraneous noise in the room (typing on a laptop, shuffling paper, etc.)?

A) This is probably best answered by Sennheiser, as we are not sure which chipset that is being used. Since each mic produces one beam, I'm assuming there would be only one source, but please contact Sennheiser.

Q) How does audinate traverse layer 3. If we need to explain this to IT personnel how would we explain this and the security questions surrounding this feature.

The problem with Layer 3 networks is that Multicast (which many media streaming technologies rely on) cannot cross a traditional router. So with Dante Domain Manager, we use Multicast within a subnet, and unicast to cross subnets. That addresses clocking, control and media streams. From there, to get discovery, we can use DNS-SD and Service (SRV) records to make devices discoverable across a subnet in Dante Domain Manager, or you can manually enroll them by IP address. Once Dante Domain Manager knows about the device, they'll show up in Dante Controller without a hitch. For network administrators, more information can be found here: https://dev.audinate.com/GA/ddm/technical-notes/network-admin/pdf/latest...

Q) If i use 2 or more Ceiling Mic, do i need a DSP? Where do I have to install Dante Domain Manager? I got one Project with 5 Rooms using Dante in September. But maybe I can controll and Secure the Room Configuration. Do i need a station PC?

A) Dante Domain Manager can exist anywhere on the network you control, so long as it has visibility to the Dante devices. Of course, common senses applies - there is value having it closer to the devices being managed, and we don't suggest using it across the public internet. Dante Domain Manager runs on a virtual machine. For audio folks, this concept is the same idea as running Windows on a Macintosh computer using Parallels or VMWare. You can use Hyper-V, VMWare, or Virtual Box. You can also get Dante Domain Manager as an ISO file which can install on a bare metal machine.

Q) Can you share this webinar?

A) This webinar is available on demand now, but if you just want our part of the presentation, this follows a similar format to this Dante Domain Manager video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCY3JNpCu_k

Q) what are the limitations and quantity of Dante devices on the network.?

A) It is hard to pin down the limits of Dante. Whenever we come up with a guideline, we find ways to exceed it when the need arises. However... We generally try to keep unmanaged devices around 300 devices or less. The limit here is about the number of devices that can clock together with a Brooklyn II module. However, Dante Domain Manager's ability to break these in to domains (groups of devices) is usually employed before the network gets this large. With Dante Domain Manager, the Platinum edition with add-on packs can accomodate 1050 devices at this time. We have helped make systems even larger, and we are working to make that a standard Dante Domain Manager feature in the future.

Q) Can a user see the dante network if they are logged in with a non authorized id? And how far way can the system be?

A) Only local or LDAP users that have been given permission to access the Dante network through the Dante Domain Manager server will be able to log in and see devices in the domains they've been given access to. Since the Dante Domain Manager server is only dealing with control traffic you don't need to worry as much about network latency and jitter as you would with the devices connecting to each out. It could be somewhere like a server closet or even in another building (perhaps even another city!) if the network (non public internet) is in place to support it.

Sennheiser TeamConnect Ceiling 2 Q&A

TCC2 and Other Products/Technology

Q) Does it support AES67?

A) Yes AES67 is supported via the Dante ports and can be enabled via Dante Controller.

Q) How well does the system work when integrated with a voice lift scenario ?

A) The mic is currently optimized for remote conferencing. We are analysing additional requirements for voice lift applications and will come up with an application note soon.

Q) How does it work with ceiling speakers--if you have, for example, 10 ceiling speakers, how do you control feedback? 

A) Feedback control is only necessary in voicelift applications, here you have to consider Loudspeaker and microphone placement. And most importantly speaker volume settings. All this needs to be handles by external DSP hardware. For this speaker zoning is recommended. TCC2 exclusion zones could additionally improve the voicelift application.

Q) You're working with Microsoft... What about Cisco?

A) Cisco interoperability is under evaluation. So far we already have good experiences using Cisco Web-Ex.

Q) does it work with cisco video conferencing equipment?

A) Cisco interoperability is under evaluation. So far we already have good experiences using Cisco Web-Ex.

Q) Will the ceiling mic work with Dante through the AVIO USB adapter?

A) TCC2 provides 1 Dante channel and you can route it to any dante reciever which also could be a AVIO USB adaptor.

A) (From Audinate) Yes, the ceiling mic would work with the AVIO USB adapter, Dante Virtual Soundcard or Dante Via. All are options to use the mic with conferencing on a computer like Zoom, Skype, or and other solutions.

Q) Has this mic array compatible with Zoom Rooms?

A) We are currently in the certification process with Zoom.

Q) Does the microphone provide control options for devices such PTZ cameras?

A) TCC2 provides elevation (vertical) and azimuth (horizontal) angle informationvia Sennheiser Sound control protocol to be used by external media and camera control; link to Sennheiser Sound control Protocoll: https://assets.sennheiser.com/global-downloads/file/12146/TI_1245_v1.3.4...

Q) Is there any way to output the microphone tracking coordinates to a third party, for instance keeping a ptz camera pointed at the audio source?

A) TCC2 provides elevation (vertical) and azimuth (horizontal) angle information via Sennheiser Sound control protocol to be used by external media and camera control.

Q) Has the TeamConnect2 been tested with Symetrix Radius?

A) they are on our test list not tested yet We are currently testing DSPs based on Symetrix

Q) You try with live music programs?

A) Frequency response is optimized for speech so remote meeting and conference applications. But we know there already some customers using it for different application like Broadcast studios(live cooking show in Brasil & family room of "The Voice" in Mexico) and universities (remote lessons)

Q) Do you have a list of recommended switches on your website we can use?

A) For Dante Sennheiser follows Audinates recommendation regarding supported network switches. Related to PoE the switch needs to support IEEE 802.af standard.

A) (From Audinate) Any gigabit (or higher) switch that either doesn't have green ethernet (IEEE 802.3az) or on which green ethernet can be turned off should work with Dante. Generally we reccommend Small to Medium Business level (SMB) switches or better due to the uptime and reliabily requirements of Dante networks. Every network and user has different requirements like GUI web based management vs. console management, PoE, QoS, IGMP, low fan noise,ethercon connections etc. so it's hard to reccommend a specific switch to fit all needs. We reccommend checking out this document to determine the needs for your network and searching for switches that accommadate your needs.

TeamConnect Ceiling 2 and Dante

Q) How many Dante streams are available from the mic?

A) There is just one Mic out channel provided by the TCC2 Microphone. Does not matter if analog or digital via Dante, furthermore for Dante the Mic provides a secondary port. Of course analog and digital can be used in parallel.

Q) What is the maximum number or microphones you can daisy chain via the dual Dante ports? how many Team Connect can cascade? How many TCC can be install in daisy chain?

A) You can daisy chain via the Danteports as many TCC2 as the Dante standard supports. They work all independently from each other and can be assigned via the Dante Controller. For each Microphone you need a dedicated AEC stripe in your DSP.

System Design, TeamConnect Ceiling 2 Specs & Recommendations

Q) Hi, what tool provides control of feedback?

A) For Control TCC2 supports Sennheiser Sound Control Protocol which let you control the Mic also via 3rd party media Control units. From Sennheiser we offer free available Sennheiser Control Cockpit to control and configure the mic. Both can be found on our website. If you mean feedbackloop from audio perspective we kindly ask you to get in touch with us to discuss further. link to Sennheiser Sound control Protocol: https://assets.sennheiser.com/global-downloads/file/12146/TI_1245_v1.3.4...

Q) how many fields can be excluded (one, two, more?)

A) You can define 1 vertical and up to 3 horizontal exclusion zones for each TCC2.

Q) Does the cockpit control app allow connections to direct IP addresses? We have 2 buildings connected with a VLAN, but it is not multicast enabled, so no auto-discovery works and I must directly use IP addresses to connect nodes between the buildings...

A) Yes it is possible to add a device just adding the IP address, all the rest your IT department needs to take care, like firewall & routing settings in the network.

Q) Is the control API for the ceiling mic open and available for partners to integrate into their preferred managed services platform?

 A) Sennheiser provides the documenattion of Sennheiser Sound Control Protocol on the website of the related product. Furthermore we are preparing APIs together with several media control manufactures e.g. Crestron, QSC, … link to Sennheiser Sound control Protocoll: https://assets.sennheiser.com/global-downloads/file/12146/TI_1245_v1.3.4...

Q) Does the team have any experience or suggestions using the microphone in applications outside of conference rooms, like live stages or outdoor settings?

A) We know from a Brazilian TV studio which uses it for a cooking show. But it is originaly designed for meeting and conferencing applications. In case of live application a feedback loop could occur.

Q) Will Sennheiser be making a DSP to work with this system, so we can keep all products in the Sennheiser family?

A) So far we are focussing on our microphone competence and recommend external DSPs.

Q) How does the microphone handle extraneous noise in the room (typing on a laptop, shuffling paper, etc.)?

A) Our TCC2 Microphone will always focus on the loudest source in the room, side noises will be attenuated by the high directivity of the beam. There will be no noise cancellation by the Mic itself. Due to physics (sound wave propagation) the pic up of other sound sources can not be prevented.

Q) If i use 2 or more Ceiling Mic, do I need a DSP?

A) Yes, a DSP with automixing function is highly recommended. We also recommend to switch the number of open Mics to one Microphone.

Q) Have you experienced Interruptions from external signals like Bluetooth, IR and what not?

A) No, there is no interference from bluetooth or infrared.

Q) How many square feet can one microphone cover?

A) The operation area of the microphone is approx. 700 to 800 sqft.

Q) Does the mic require the DSP module as well or can it operate independently?

A) The internal DSP only takes care of beamforming. For everything else, like echo cancelation, you can use external DSP's, software codec's or other video conferencing tools.

Q) Can the mic be used for voice lift systems?

A) Due to the risk of acoustic feedback at the moment we do not recommend to use it for voicelift applications.

Q) May I use the ceiling mic for a local PA system, just replace the need of handheld mic?

A) Due to the risk of acoustic feedback at the moment we do not recommend to use it for PA applications

Q) What is the requirement on the room acoustics in order to deploy this ceiling mic?

A) Some informations related to reverberence is given in the spec sheet related to STiPA.

Q) Are the mics fullrange, would they work for picking up an instrument?

A) Pls find the detailed frequency response in our specsheet on our website. The Microphone is optimized for speech applications like conference and meeting scenarios.

Q) is it possible to use the technology if we have a presentation-meeting room (30-40 seats around the table) with ceiling speakers

A) In general yes,it works with ceiling speakers for far end signals. Be aware that for voice applications you have to consider Loudspeaker and microphone placement. And most importantly speaker volume settings. All this needs to be handles by external DSP hardware. For this speaker zoning is recommended. TCC2 exclusion zones could additionally improve the voicelift application.

Q) You've mentionned that it needs to be connected to a DSP at any time... DSP is not internal ? Analog out only work if Dante returns a ''processed'' channel... ?

A) The Microphone provides analog and digital output independently. For echo and noise cancelation we recommend an external DSP or Software codec.

Q) Taking your meeting room as an example with VC. If I can only afford to install one single mic, where will be the best location to install that mic?

A) ideally the microphone is placed centeraly at a position where all participants in the rooom are speaking towards the microphone.

Q) what if there are hanging lighting fixtures at different heights in a 20' room can I use 1 or 2

A) This is hard to say with out any detailed dimensions. As a rule of thumb we recommend to install the TCC2 minimum at or below light height level. The number of mics depend on the size of the room and participnat positions. Also teh speaking direction should be considerd for ideal performance. Your local Sennheiser contact will be able to support you for detailed planning.

Q) What design tools are available for determining appropriate layout of multiple teamconnect2 ceiling mics?

A) The automatic dynamic beamforming technology of TCC2 requires no specific design planing. Ideally the microphone is placed centeraly at a position where all participants in the rooom are speaking towards the microphone within a coverage area of approx. 700-800 sqft.

Q) What is the power consumption over PoE, please?

A) TCC2 needs PoE IEEE 802.3af Class 3 and consumes up to 9 W.

Q) Are the level of the mics being adjusted automatically when the sound sources are going further away?

A) Not in the microphone, this can be covered by external DSP with automatic gain control. From our experience AGC is not beneficial.

Q) How many microphone elements have in each tile?

A) 28 omnidirectional Sennheiser KE10 capsules, like used in many other Sennheiser products.

Q) Will there be an option of different colors (RAL) for various installation demands?

A) Yes RAL coloring is possible on request, we are happy to provide you a dedicated offer. Please get in touch with your local Sennheiser partner or subsidary.

Q) What's covering of one microphone? How many persons on the table? What about passive acoustic in the room?

A) The automatic dynamic beamforming technology of TCC2 requires no specific design planing. Ideally the microphone is placed centeraly at a position where all participants in the rooom are speaking towards the microphone within a coverage area of approx. 700-800 sqft. Acoustic treatment of the room is always helpfull but not mandatory.

Q) For an integrator, time is money. How long does it take for a typical room installation - like the room you are in, for example?

A) TCC is optimized for quick and easy install. Most effort and time is spend on the cableling and mechanical installation. TCC2 it self can instantly be used in its factory defaults.

Q) Would the TCC2 be suitable for in-room voice reinforcement?

A) Due to the risk of acoustic feedback at the moment we do not recommend to use it for voicelift applications.

Q) can this device be used to record a theater production?

A) It can be used for recording, A brazilian tv studio uses it for a cooking show. But it is originaly designed for meeting and conferencing applications

Q) Is it possible to use it in standalone for recording without DSP?

A) It can be used for recording, A Brazilian TV studio uses it for a cooking show. But it is originaly designed for meeting and conferencing applications.

Q) Were your two microphones that were installed in the room that you're in configured automatically or did you have to tweak the configuration?

A) Our DSP just did automixing with max. number of open mics = 1, we had no EQing active

Q) How do multiple microphones handle arrival delay?

A) Each Mics records the audio individually. The DSP automixer than selects the loudest/best signal. Nom (number of open mics) should be set to one.

Q) What are the recommended distances between beam forming microphones?

A) The recomended distance is 6 to 8 m / 20 to 26 ft between two TCC2 microphones to ensure ideal transition for the automixer of the DSP.

Q) Microphone ceiling height recommendations?

A) ceiling hight should be 2 1/2 to 3 m / 8 to 10ft further details regarding mounting options on height ceilings can be found in the manual.

Q) If you are using the mic in analog mode, how is the microphone powered?

A) For PoE and control yoe always need one Ethernet connection. For audio output you have a choice of analog or Dante connection.

Q) Does this use Dugan auto mixing algorithms?

A) No we are not using Dugans algorithm, we are using our own patented automatic beamforming technology algorithm.

Q) How many capsules or elements can be open at once? Not on the DSP, but the mic itself? Or are all 28 open and active.

A) All capsules are active at the same time, our patented automatic beamforming technology algorithm creates one single mic signal out of this.

Q) Can I recall presets to a room with various setup ? (i.e combine and split rooms)

A) In general it is possible via media control protocoll to set different configurations of the TCC2.

Q) If there are speakers in the room, how far from the microphone do they need to be?

A) We recommend to have a distance of one ceiling tile minimum. Which is approx 2 ft/60 cm.

Q) If I don't want to cover the entire area, what options do I have? For example, I have perimeter seating that I do not want to cover. Is this an option? What if I don't want to mic the entire space? I don't want the perimmeter seating to be in the meeting. What options do I have?

A) Yes via control cockpit or media control protocol you can set exclusion zones to ignore specific areas of the room.

Q) How many open mics are available? Multiple people talking at the same time

A) TCC2 provides only one Microphone signal/channel. If you use more than one TCC2 in your room it is depending on your DSP setup. In our setup the number of open mics for the automatic mixing function is set to one. The automatic dynamic beamforming technology is always focussing on the loudest speaker in the room. parallel offside speakers will be audible attenuated.

Q) Is it possible to colour the mic in RAL colours? 

A) Yes RAL coloring is possible on request, we are happy to provide you a dedicated offer. Please get in touch with your local Sennheiser partner or subsidary.

Q) How does the mic handle noise within a room filled with 25 people - particularly, shuffling paper and keyboard clicks. Can the audio from the table top height be eliminated?

A) Background noise will be picked up attenuated. The beamforming will focus with high directivity on the loudest voice in the room. Exclusion zones can be configured to ignore other sound sources like HVAC or projectors.

Q) Does it play well with noise cancellation and noise reduction in external DSPs?

A) Yes, for example we had a great experience with the zoom platform for noise cancellation. Also hardware based noise cancellation in DSPs like Crestron / Biamp and QSC will work well.

Q) What is the ideal height for the ceiling microphones? Are there any limitations?

A) ceiling hight should be 2 1/2 to 3 m / 8 to 10ft further details regarding mounting options on higher ceilings can be found in the manual.

Q) If the captured signal is ampiifed back into a (large) room, is there some form of (active?) feedback control?

A) Active feedback control is not done by TCC2. For voice lift applications this would need to be externally in a DSP.

Q) is there latency automatically adjusted between local and off site location?

A) The latency in the microphone processing is only 4ms. But additional latency between local and far-ed will be added by the internet connection and codec in use.

Q) Is any automix function included in the system?

A) Automixing of multiple mics is done externally of TCC2 via a DSP or software codec.

Q) Hi, I want to know if I use an old ceiling speaker (version 1) I can upgrade to use the softwera of the version 2?

A) If you own already a Sennheiser SL Ceiling mIc generation 1 it is not possibel to upgrade it by firmware to generation two, sorry. But please get in contact with you local Sennheiser rep for an upgrade offer.

Q) Can I force a camera to follow the beam?

A) Sennheiser TCCv2 provides angle information via media protocol which can used to recall camera presets, link to Sennheiser Sound control Protocoll: https://assets.sennheiser.com/global-downloads/file/12146/TI_1245_v1.3.4...

Q) How do you manage Exclusion Zones with overlapping mics. Is is both horizontal angle and veritical? Or one or the other? Is the microphone doing any gain control or is that all in the DSP? Is there a limit to the number of exclusion zones per microphone?

A) Yes for each mic you can set a horizontal and vertical exlusion zone. There is no automatic gain control in TCC2. This can be done in the DSP. 1 Vertical exclusion zone, up to 3 horizontal exclusion zones via control cockpit.

Q) Is there active noise cancelation and does it have some way of tell between voice and noise?

A) There is no active noise cancelation in TCC2. This can be done externally via a DSP or software codec.

Q) Technical question: how is that microphone manufactured: it´s a cross of two mic series...are they all on the line of calculating the beam?

A) What we can share here is that we have 28 electric condenser KE10 capsules inside the TCC2.

Q) How very match large room service this system?

A) TCC2 covers approx. 700 - 800 sqft. If you have a larger space you can use multiple mics with an external automixer.

Q) You will need to pull a minimum of 2 Cat6 cables to a microphone? one for Dante and one for POE is this correct? Is there a optimum height of the mic from speakers? will the mic ever face a lawsuit from Clearone like Shure

A) If you have two mics placed like you do in that room do you need to disable the lobes that face each other. This is one out of several options Minimum 1 CAT5 cable for power and control, audio out is either analog or via Dante. We recommend between 2 1/2 and 3 m height, higher is always possible. Our lawyers are currently preparing a statement about Clearon´s patent. We are very confident that TCC2 is not affected by it. No, they can overlap and the automixer will decide which current signal is better to transmit remotely.

Q) TCC can send location information to video conference robot cameras?

A) Sennheiser TCCv2 provides angle information via media protocol which can used to recall camera presets, link to Sennheiser Sound control Protocoll: https://assets.sennheiser.com/global-downloads/file/12146/TI_1245_v1.3.4...

Q) If we are connecting the microphone directly to a PC with Microsoft teams, do we need an external AEC device to have a conference call?

A) The MS Teams software provides simple AEC as well, but for best double-talk performance we recommend to use an external DSP.

Q) Are there ceiling material conditions that could compromise the performance of the beamforming mics?

A) So far we had no bad experience with any specific ceiling material.

Q) How does TCC2 perform when more than one person talks at the same time?

A) TCC2 provides only one Microphone signal/channel. If you use more than one TCC2 in your room it is depending on your DSP setup. In our setup the number of open mics for the automatic mixing function is set to one. The automatic dynamic beamforming technology is always focussing on the loudest speaker in the room. parallel offside speakers will be audible attenuated.

Q) Can the TCC2 send information about positions of the talkers?

A) TCC2 provides elevation (vertical) and azimuth (horizontal) angle informationvia Sennheiser Sound control protocol to be used by external media and camera control.

Q) What is the highest the Sennheiser mic can be mounted and still capture good audio?

A) We recommend a radius distance of 4-5 m to ensure the best performance of TCC2.

Q) How many "channels" is needed to use the array? Shure says they need to use 8-16.

A) Only 1 per microphone: Analog or Dante.

Q) Is spatial placement possible for the listener? In other words, can the people speaking be placed left and or right in the output soundfield?

A) All capsules are active at the same time, our patented automatic beamforming technology algorithm creates one single mic signal out of this. The beam adapts its position automatically towards the loudest speaker in the room in real time.

Q) How would these mics deal with a room made out of glass?

A) This could be challenging due to high reverberance, but the microphone works also with reflections like when you talking in front of a whiteboard.

Q) what's the current ambient noise level in the room you're in now?

A) Sorry,we havent measured it but it is a fairly quiet room.

Q) If we have speakers in room, that echo can be nulled?

A) Internal DSP only takes care of beamforming. For everything else, like echo cancelation, you can use external DSP's, software codec's or other video conferencing tools.

Q) Does it have Tap setting? Does the ceiling speaker have tap setting?

A) TCC2 does not require any tap settings this is usually used for loudspeakers.

Q) can you remind us of the signal path TTC2 #1 and #2 to the codec? What DSP are you using and how are you auto mixing the output?

A) Both TCC2 are connected to a DSP (Sennheiser Teamconnect CU. The number of open Mics is configured to one, for the automixer of the DSP.

Q) Is it possible to get a direct out from one of the lobes?

A) ther is only one beam and one Mic signal we provide.

Q) How does it work if two or more people are talking at the same time? How many exclusion zones can be defined?

A) The automatic dynamic beamforming technology is always focussing on the loudest speaker in the room. parallel offside speakers will be audible attenuated.

Q) Does the Control Cockpit software require a host computer in addition to a laptop?

A) Sennheiser Control Cockpit can run on a host computer in a network or on your local PC for integration pupose. So if you are an AV/IT manager in your company you may choose the option to run it on a host inside your network. If you are an integrator we would recommend to have it installed on your computer to do the first set-up and configuration if your customer is not running Sennheiser Control Cockpit in his network.

Q) Does this use any tracking system according to kind of sensor put on the clothes of the person who is going to speak? or Only tracks whoever speaks?

A) We did not wear any kind of tracking devices. It is our patentend technology which is tacking care of the tracking the voices from participants.

Q) The person in the meeting who is speaking, does he/she has any kind of control in hand to control the mic?

A) You can either use Sennheiser´s Control Cockpit to get access to controls or you can program a media control using our Sennheiser Sound Control Protocol.

Pricing, Availability & More

Q) Pricing?

A) Price can be found on website. It is 4000€ MAP net.

Q) Will the form-factor and in-grid design create a conflict with the standing lawsuit between ClearOne and Shure? this seems to provide the same form-factor ClearOne is suing over

A) Our Lawyers are currently preparing an official statement. From our understanding TCC2 is not affected by ClearOne's patent.

Q) Are there any patent issues with the Sennheiser product affecting availability?

A) Our Lawyers are currently preparing an official statement. From our understanding TCC2 is not affected by ClearOnes patent.

Q) Is it shipping and available?

A) Yes we are shipping since April 2019 and stock is available world wide.

Q) Is TCC2 UL listed?

A) Yes it is UL 62368 certified, including UL 2043 plenum rating.