TFWM: Lectrosonics has been around for almost 40 years. What major innovations has your company developed over this time period?
Gordeon Moor: Crystal-filtered high-band VHF wireless (CR185, H185) in 1988, which became the industry standard products for ENG, the plug-on style transmitter, antenna phase diversity for portable receivers, in 1995, tracking filters for receivers in 1997, Digital Hybrid Wireless™ in 2002 (patent granted in 2007), encrypted digital wireless in 2003.
TFWM: What is Lectrosonics’ policy when it comes to product education for their end users?
GM: We feel that educated users are our best customers so we offer a variety of methods for training and education. About two times per quarter, we offer in-house training at our factory, covering our basic technologies, core issues in audio and sound reinforcement, and advanced applications. These courses are endorsed by ICIA. We also place in-depth information on our web site including product manuals, training materials. FAQ’s, applications guides and white papers. We also write articles for various publications and are active on a number of forums related to audio, such as the Church Sound Check listserv and the Syn-Aud-Con listserv. I teach generic audio courses for INFOCOMM covering a range of audio subjects (5 seminars this year at INFOCOMM 2008) . We support NSCA and INFOCOMM educational programs with occasional grants. Perhaps most important, however, is the access we provide to the factory. It’s a toll free number answered by real people.
TFWM: What is the general theory behind Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless™ technology?
GM: For analog FM wireless systems (the majority of systems on the market today), a compandor is used to achieve a respectable signal-to-noise ratio for music and vocal reproduction. This method works well but has drawbacks, such as increased distortion, particularly with high-frequency transients like vocal sibilants, acoustic guitar, and percussion. The Digital Hybrid Wireless platform uses an in-house developed method involving DSP to digitally handle the audio stream, so that compandor artifacts are eliminated. Basically, the incoming audio stream is digitized with an 88.2kHz sample rate and 24-bit conversion. This digitized signal is then processed in the DSP to prepare it for transmission over an analog FM link. At the receiver end, it is reconstructed digitally, converted back to analog, and output from the receiver. The advantages include very low distortion, wide dynamic range and frequency response. It’s the best combination of the range from an FM system and the audio quality of a digital system.
TFWM: What should houses of worship be on the lookout for in the future from Lectrosonics?
GM: We are just now introducing a new handheld transmitter with a Heil Sound dynamic capsule, called the UTPR20. We have had a lot of requests to develop an IEM system so we are looking in to that. And then digital wireless will see a lot of development within the next few years. Keep an eye on us – we’re going to do some very cool things that will assure continued high quality, no compromise use of wireless even in the upcoming age of DTV.