[Athen] Remote CART Microphones

Todd Schwanke todd.schwanke at wisc.edu
Tue Oct 20 06:56:05 PDT 2015


For us, large lecture classrooms generally means that there is an audio system in the classroom. In those classrooms, we request that a 3.5mm audio out be provided from the AV system. We then connect that to the computer to send the audio for remote CART. The benefits are that the audio quality tends to be quite good and all the audio inputs from the room (lavaliere mic, handheld mic, computer audio , DVD/VHS .... and in some rooms, area or student mics) get sent. Essentially, the CART provider gets whatever would be coming through the room speakers. Additionally, the instructor doesn't need to wear a second mic.

Given the variability in the audio inputs support for audio inputs on laptops (especially on Macs), we primarily use a USB audio adapter. It is not the least expensive, but we use the Andrea PureAudio USB-SA as it has a soft lead, which reduces the chances off breaking off the adapter or the USB port. Skype on Windows and Mac both pick up this device as a mic option. We usually tape over the speaker output (to prevent plugging into the wrong jack) and the LED (as the blue LED is very bright). Andrea currently only has the USB-SA listed on their website bundled with an array mic.

It also comes in a mic only version (the USB-MA), but they don't currently have that listed on their website.

Todd Schwanke

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Dell
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2015 2:49 PM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] Remote CART Microphones

We have used the XTag mics for the past few years for remote captioning and got really good results. Unfortunately the latest generation of the XTag mics have had battery life issues where the batteries needed to be replaced out of the box. I have also heard from other people that have used the XTag mics with replaceable batteries that they don't last anywhere near as long. I'm looking to replace my XTag mics but cannot find anything close to them in how they function or ease of use. I'm looking at some desktop options like the Blue Snowball mics. Desktop mics may not be as good as lapel mics in large lecture rooms.
Has anyone found options for lapel mics other than the XTab for use in remote captioning? Any other suggestions for microphones?
thank you,
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