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Klotz Digital at the White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room reopened after major renovations.

Anybody watching a press conference broadcasted from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the White House may have noted the diversity of media in attendance. Each of these press entities requires a clean audio feed in brilliant quality from the Presidential Podium to interface with their recording or broadcast equipment providing a perfect broadcast for their audience. To fulfill this task and handle the complex audio routing, VARIZONE the digital audio distribution solution from KLOTZ DIGITAL was installed in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, which was recently reopened after closing temporarily for major renovations.

A VARIZONE matrix controller, the core of KLOTZ DIGITAL’s PA system, has been installed to provide a digital audio distribution solution. It is computer controlled and configured to handle all analog and digital audio inputs and outputs, as well as DSP and mix functionality requirements. It accommodates all required audio sources, including the audio feed from the presidential podium, ceiling microphones for journalist questions. It also facilitates an outdoor press location just outside the West Wing of the White House, an event feed from an off-site presidential event and the central control at the rear of the press briefing room receiving external audio feeds from all over the world. Pick-up microphones and new loudspeakers over the press seats balance the sound and eliminate the need for boom microphones.  All incoming audio sources are processed, if applicable, mixed and routed to various destinations, e.g. speakers inside the press briefing room.

Primarily, the White House VARIZONE infrastructure was designed to interface with destinations relevant for media and broadcasting, such as satellite uplinks, recording feeds and press booths. Each press control room operator can select an audio source from the VARIZONE eight-button wall mounted controller to assign source destination, format and level while monitoring audio through a VARIZONE addressable digital amplifier module (PAM) driving an Atlas Sound loudspeaker. Via an integrated press call, the White House spokesman can inform journalists in the press booths when a press conference will start. Installation was simplified by the VARIZONE digital bus architecture. It allows 8 channels of simultaneous 16 bit 44.1K digital audio along with power for local amplification and a data stream for system monitoring and control all on the same CAT5 cable infrastructure.

VARIZONE system is exclusively distributed and supported in North America by Atlas Sound, a division of Mitek Corporation. “Initial reports back from press staff and White House Press Corps have been all positive, as the audio path is cleaner and system operation is much easier, now,” says Dan Murphy, Atlas Sound’s digital product specialist who assisted in the design and installation of the project and was on the site for final system commissioning.

The VARIZONE system became operational in the summer of 2007, when the White House Press Briefing Room was reopened after one year of closure in which it has undergone major renovation. “Major aim of the refurbishment was to provide journalists a save and comfortable working environment equipped with most modern, visionary technology to ease their daily business”, states Thomas Klotz, CEO of KLOTZ DIGITAL AG in Munich, Germany. “It is a great honor and excellent reputation for us to see our VARIZONE technology installed in a facility as famous as the White House.”

KLOTZ DIGITAL AG of Munich, Germany is the world leader in AudioMedia Platform Technology. KLOTZ DIGITAL manufactures a variety of digital audio mixing consoles, the VADIS AudioMedia Platform, and VARIZONE systems for music distribution, paging and safety announcement installations. KLOTZ DIGITAL has 15 years experience in manufacturing and installing digital radio consoles and audio infrastructures. In fact, KLOTZ DIGITAL has over 1250 digital radio consoles and more than 2000 VADIS frames in service today.

Since 1934, Atlas Sound has enjoyed the reputation as a leader in the manufacture of communications products for the commercial, broadcast, industrial, institutional, security, custom installation (home) and professional music markets. The company’s product groupings include: sound reinforcement systems; emergency communication systems; intercom/telecom products; residential infrared electronics; sound masking systems; electronic equipment cabinetry; indoor/outdoor loudspeaker systems; microphone stands, speaker stands and accessories