NORTH CHELMSFORD, MASSACHUSETTS: CourtSmart Digital Systems has installed nearly one hundred Lectrosonics DM1612 Digital Automatic Matrix Mixers at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The 16 input, 12 output DM1612 matrix mixers are a key component in the recording and sound reinforcement systems installed by CourtSmart, a leading supplier of fault tolerant, database-driven courtroom audio/video recording and archiving systems.
"The Lectrosonics DM1612 mixers form the cornerstone of the audio collection process in 94 courtrooms," explains Andrew Treinis, president and CEO of CourtSmart. Treinis, whose company installed all of the audio equipment in each of the 94 courtrooms, from the microphones to the digital recording systems, describes the basic signal flow. "All the microphones signals go into the Lectrosonics mixer. And out of that mixer comes the analog audio signals that go into the CourtSmart digital recording systems. So the DM1612 is a very critical piece of the digital recording process and keeping and maintaining the record." The mixers also support the sound reinforcement systems and assistive listening devices in the courtrooms.
The choice of manufacturer was the result of a thorough evaluation process, he reports. "We did an extensive search and compared three different mixers - Lectrosonics and two other products - which we installed in three courtrooms in DC. The evaluation showed that the Lectrosonics DM mixer was the best of the three products tested overall."
"When we looked at everything," he continues, "including reliability, function and price-performance, the Lectrosonics ended up on top of the list." Of those features, reliability is the most critical, he says. "Even though we have fault-tolerant computers and redundancy across the board, from dual servers, encoding paths and wiring, the single fail point is the mixer. If the mixer in the courtroom fails, there is no backup."
The evaluation process was exhaustive, he says. "We tested these products for a couple of months, very extensively, and we talked to users. We took the DM1612 apart to the board level. We inspected every component. We saw how it was put together. We made sure they were using the right components, and quality components. And we looked at the way they were manufactured, making sure that there was no loose solder or questionable manufacturing. Based on that, we decided that the Lectrosonics product was probably going to be more reliable than any of the others. So far, we haven't had a single failure."
In total there are 11 two-Terabyte primary servers, three archive servers, and five backup servers located in a central machine room for fault-tolerant, non-stop, voice-activated recording of all court proceedings. Two remote buildings also stream audio into that central location. The DM1612 mixers and the sound reinforcement systems are located in each individual courtroom.
Treinis marvels, "The economies are tremendous when you consider the amount of money that used to be spent, having a single person in every courtroom. Now, you have a central repository that's networked and any judge can access anything that's been recorded. Even though it's our technology I continue to be amazed at how efficient, reliable, and accurate it is!"
Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theater technical communities since 1971, Lectrosonics wireless microphone systems and audio processing products are used daily in mission-critical applications by audio engineers familiar with the company's dedication to quality, customer service, and innovation. Lectrosonics is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.