Commercial Integrator 2023 - 60

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C llab rati n
TODAY and TOMORROW
Audio-Technica on Simplicity,
High Quality in Collaboration
Collaboration Today and Tomorrow chats with Audio-Technica's
Mark Donovan on how the pandemic helped change the nature
of collaboration experiences and how A-T products are helping.
Collaboration Today and
Tomorrow: How do you see
collaboration evolving?
MARK DONOVAN: In the last
few years, " collaboration " has
become kind of a buzzword.
But it's really about getting
people to work together
seamlessly. And I think that
the whole COVID-19 thing
kind of forced everybody's
hands a little bit more.
Because we were all forced
to be physically apart, yet still
try to get that seamless communication...that
seamless
interaction. And so, whether
you're talking about audio,
such as Audio-Technica, or
video and things like that, it's
become more important to
simplify that.
If I go back 10 years, a
collaboration space tended
to be a fairly complex piece
of equipment. Not just for
installation but also for
the end users. You had to
have some fairly specialized
knowledge of how to use
this particular piece or that
particular piece. And, again,
what has happened now, as
we've moved forward, is all
the manufacturers have been
forced to remove a lot of
those barriers so that there's
less of a problem for these
end users. They can very
60
easily walk into a space, start
a meeting on time and make
things happen, instead of
burning time trying to figure
out the technology.
CT&T: Explain how A-T leans
into that drive for simplicity.
DONOVAN: We're approaching
it from two levels. The
first is the integrator. For
the integrator that's going
into Corporation XYZ, it's all
about how easy it's going to
be to put it in there [and] how
quickly they can do it. So
they can be more efficient,
do more rooms [and] be more
profitable. That's the one level
of simplicity, and we focus
very heavily on trying to save
the integrator time and effort
when putting our products in.
We also have those
customer-facing portions of
our products, whether it's a
software interface, browser
based or the actual physical
controls themselves. We try
to simplify that. Although
some of us tech people love
to have buttons everywhere,
it's not as good to have them
all over the place for an end
user who just doesn't have
the time or inclination to
figure out which of those
buttons to press. So, we make
it all very simple to deal with.
Commercial Integrator JUNE 2023
CT&T: What are your
thoughts on quality in collaboration
experiences?
DONOVAN: If we're going
back 10 or 15 years ago -
even 20 years ago - audio
quality was one of those
things where it's like, " Ehhh...
if I can hear a person, that's
fine. " People were used to cell
phones. People were used
to early, really highly compressed
MP3s. And that was
fine...then. But now, as we
move forward, and computers
are faster and storage
is cheaper and streaming
speeds are faster, we get that
better audio quality. People
are really focused on video
quality as we move in these
higher resolutions, and the
audio has to match that.
Audio-Technica, from its
very roots, 60 years ago, started
from the whole concept
of providing high-quality
audio to the masses, as it
were. Back in our beginning
days with turntables. And
it's something where we've
brought that ear to every
product since 1962. We're
going to put a critical ear
on all of this because we
want the best possible audio
quality. And then, as these
two have now merged, what
you end up with - and what
Mark Donovan, applications
engineering manager,
professional markets,
Audio-Technica.
I think puts us in the lead in a
lot of these aspects - is this:
The quality of the audio is
one of the things that I think
people sometimes overlook
in a collaboration space. Yes,
it's important for music and
recording and things like that.
But, at the end of the day, this
quality equals intelligibility.
You're sitting on the far
side of a call; you're trying to
collaborate with a really complicated
project; you've been
in this project meeting for the
last three hours. Poor-quality
audio will just crush your
senses to the point that you
can't focus anymore because
you're trying to focus through
this hash of noise. And our
approach has always been
give you the best quality of
audio possible. Preserve that
voice...preserve that sound...
so that you're not fighting to
hear through other things.
So, that's the key to making
collaboration spaces work.
Video has come a long way.
Now, we're fine-tuning the
audio, and I think AudioTechnica's
in the perfect place
to make that happen now.
commercialintegrator.com
http://www.commercialintegrator.com

Commercial Integrator 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator 2023

Commercial Integrator 2023 - Cover1
Commercial Integrator 2023 - Cover2
Commercial Integrator 2023 - 1
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