How to make a sound, video or lighting system easy to use


Easy Mix Sound Controller

I’ve been in the AV industry now for over 20 years and it never stops to amaze me how important the ease of use issue is for most customers.

WHY? The answer is very simple: Commercial Sound, Video & Lighting Systems are nothing more than a subset of the technology revolution. The technology revolution we are all living in and trying to acclimate to. Well at least some of us are trying to acclimate to it.

For the younger generation who seems to thrive on technology you’d think there would be no need to make a sound or conference system “easy to use” for example.

Here is the problem:  How many commercial spaces have only one user or users who use the system that are by skill or by trade all technical?

Answer:  Not many

Solution: Typically Excel AV Group designs a new sound, video or lighting system around the skill set of those who are using it and typically the skill sets vary a lot. In other words many times we design an average or normal user interface or control system and then we allow for a technical interface.

Example:   How to make a sound system easy to use in a church? Take say 4-6 of your commonly used inputs for smaller church sanctuary events like Pastor Mic, Altar Mic, Piano Mic, Piano Vocal Mic and now split those into an easy to use wall controller like the ARC-2e by Symetrix. Those inputs go directly into the digital audio processor, Excel sets a very narrow volume window say plus or minus 3-6 decibels. Now you can have a funeral during the week, or a wedding on a Friday night with no technical operator required. On Sundays those mics can be split if needed to the mixer board for the technical sound engineers but they don’t have to be. Typically Excel always recommends a mixer for more than say 2 music inputs but the Easy Mix idea really works.

Example: Conference Room AV System – Augustana Care Corp


iPad Launch Control Screen


Video Source Select


Video Conference Camera Control

Excel designed full control of Augustana Care Corp’s audio and video conference system  via the wireless iPad using a Crestron control processor.   By creating custom pages that are easy to understand the average user is simply walked through how to use the system page by page. Touch panels are a great way to make an AV system easier to use and they can be both wireless or installed in the form of a wall or table panel.

For a project video tour of Augustana Care Corp’s conference AV system click here

What is important with your AV system is that the control of it is matched to the technical ability of your users. In addition to the ease of use cost is also a big factor. Many times making the system easy to use brings down cost from a product standpoint.


One Screen

Our last example is one of the most exciting products to come along in a long time in the AV world. The Clary.Icon OneScreen is an all in one video, audio, web conferencing, whiteboarding, annotating collaboration tool. It literally takes 10-15 AV uses and components and puts them into one interactive whiteboard. Excel AV Group recently installed the OneScreen in a local conference room and the customer continues to be blown away by what it can do.

Watch here for a full video demo of the Clary OneScreen

Contact Excel AV Group today to learn how we can make your new sound, video or lighting system easier to use or make it an integral part of your next new system.

Kevin Crow
President of Excel AV Group


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