The Carolina Panthers’ critically acclaimed in-house production team known as Panther Vision will standardize on Point Source Audio’s CM-i3 Comms Headset for its camera team to ensure consistency in audio levels between the camera operators and the production control room throughout the broadcasts. Berkley Dickens, head broadcast engineer for Panther Vision, made the strategic decision after conclusive on-the-field success and glowing reviews of the headset’s ability to improve hearing and reaction time for its production staff.
On any given game day, the franchise’s fast-paced in-house production environment captures the action between six camera operators—and leaves little to no room for communication gaps or errors in a challenging high noise environment. “If the operator is having trouble hearing because of inconsistent audio or crowd noise, and the director has to repeat something two or three times, it really bogs down the production,” said Dickens.
“One day, one of our operators came to me and said that his ears were ringing up to a full day after the game,” said Dickens. “No matter how good a single earmuff is at canceling noise in one ear, you’re still going to hear crowd noise in your other ear.” In this scenario, the headset was actually impeding communication between the camera operator and director, as well as causing the camera operator to over compensate the audio in one ear by turning up the volume to unsafe levels.
With this in mind, Dickens needed to address the communication challenges and after ample research, chose the CM-i3 coms headset. “The earbud design integrated with the CM-i3 headset addressed many of our concerns about noise and audio levels by blocking out crowd noise in both ears,” said Dickens. “This allowed my guys to monitor at lower levels during the game, while having the flexibility to have the earbuds on either side in or out at a moment’s notice.”
Dickens’ decision to make a corporate investment in the CM-i3 is a result of his own past experience where camera operators would show up with their own headsets. Generally in these situations, there was always a problem with the audio levels not balanced to match the rest of the system, or they had the wrong connectors. Standardizing on the CM-i3 headsets for his production team assures Dickens “…that everything is balanced and at the same level.”
“Berkley came to us with a clear sense of what he needed, which was to reduce communication problems that were being caused by a variety of headphones and earbuds being used,” said Chris Buckley, the Live Event sales engineer at Markertek. “After reviewing the options, it was clear that the CM-i3 had both the value and performance qualities he needed to address the challenges he faced.”
The CM-i3 dual in-ear Coms Headset has a patented modular design and is available with a variety of XLR connectors compatible with popular intercom systems such as Clear-Com, RTS, and Telex; as well as a 3.5mm phono plug for comm apps on iPhones and smartphones. At only 2oz., the lightweight, low-profile headset is also highly effective at reducing headaches and neck strain commonly associated with much heavier dual muff headsets.
Point Source Audio will launch additional models of its patented headsets—available for demonstration at the 2017 NAB Show (booth #C1110) in Las Vegas. More information on the CM-i3 headset and Point Source Audio’s other industry-leading audio solutions can be found by visiting www.point-sourceaudio.com.
Listen to a podcast interview with Panther Visions’ Berkley Dickens here.
About Point Source Audio
Point Source Audio (@PSA_audio) manufactures and distributes worldwide their SERIES8 and EMBRACE miniature microphones—a unique line of headset, earworn and earmounted microphones known for their robust bendable boom and waterproof features. The company also holds the patent for the world’s first modular in-ear comms headset that is improving the health and hearing for audio, lighting and camera techs using headsets everywhere from sports to space. As a result of PSA’s pro-audio expertise and its admired reputation for sales and service support, the company has also been named the North American distributor by audio networking companies Digigram and AuviTran. Founded in 2004, Point Source Audio is headquartered in Petaluma, Calif. For more information call (415) 226-1122 or visit www.point-sourceaudio.com. Follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PSA_audio
The earbud design integrated with the CM-i3 headset addressed many of our concerns about noise and audio levels by blocking out crowd noise in both ears