How Earthworks Microphones Saved The City of Pittsburgh Time & Money

With Earthworks podium microphones, the City of Pittsburgh was able to overhaul their public access TV station, finishing ahead of schedule and under budget. David Finer explains how.

Photo by: Isabelle Smith

I’m David Finer, and I serve as the Communication Technology Manager in the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Innovation & Performance. My primary responsibility revolves around managing the government-access television channel, known as City Channel Pittsburgh.

Today, I’m excited to share my journey and discuss a recent transformative project that has significantly improved our broadcasting capabilities.

I started volunteering for my hometown’s public access station when I was a teenager. I sat behind a camera for school board meetings, committee meetings, and commission meetings. I did a lot of volunteering and part-time work, and someone saw something in me. I am proud to say I have now been a public-, education-, and government-access television, full-time employee since 1998.

When I joined the City of Pittsburgh in 2013, I was met with outdated equipment dating back to 1982. That is not a misprint. In late 2014, following my promotion, I embarked on a two-year journey to completely overhaul our broadcasting setup, ushering it into the modern era. This overhaul was pivotal in upgrading our capabilities and enhancing the viewer experience.

Our most recent project, however, was designed to build on the existing infrastructure while keeping an eye on future expansion possibilities. We invested in a state-of-the-art video switcher, introduced robotic cameras, and upgraded our microphone system. The primary goal was to establish a solid foundation that would accommodate further enhancements in the years to come. Our 2015/2016 project was focused on leaving the 1980s behind, but this time around, we were ensuring we were well-equipped for the 2020s and beyond.

Photo by: Isabelle Smith

It’s no secret that audio quality is paramount in any broadcast, especially government meetings. Imagine attempting to follow a crucial government meeting without clear audio – it’s far from enjoyable. Good audio is essential, but striving for greatness in audio quality is our constant objective. We want our viewers to notice and appreciate the improvements we’ve made this summer.

One of the game-changers in our recent project was the adoption of Earthworks podium microphones. When covering government meetings where multiple voices can often overlap, microphones become the backbone of production. The Earthworks podium microphones we chose have distinct advantages that expedited our project completion and helped us stay under budget.

These podium microphones feature longer lengths and wider pickup patterns than our previous ones. This expanded range allows speakers to turn their heads while still being heard clearly by everyone in the room and viewers tuning in remotely. The Earthworks podium microphones eliminated the need to source new microphone bases, conduct extensive testing, and troubleshoot compatibility issues. Instead, we focused on the microphones themselves, tested them individually and collectively, ensured their length didn’t disrupt the proceedings, and the results were nothing short of spectacular.

I cannot emphasize enough how delighted I am with the Earthworks podium microphones. I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone in the industry looking to elevate their audio quality and streamline their projects. These microphones have been a game-changer for City Channel Pittsburgh, and I have no doubt they would be for others too.

Learn more about City Channel Pittsburgh on their YouTube channel and their X page.

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