Monday, September 10, 2012

I Just Need New Speakers...

Here at AV Now Fitness Sound, we get a lot of calls asking us for just speakers to hook up to an existing group exercise sound system.  Great!  We love outfitting your studios with the latest audio gear.  That said, we always like to try to make sure your stereo system is up to a certain standard of excellence.

For us, that means making sure that the amplifier in a fitness studio provides between 1.5 and 2 times the power rating listed on your speaker (in watts).  So, if you have a 100 Watt speaker, your amp should be between 150 and 200 Watts.  If you have two speakers, your amplifier should be able to provide 150 to 200 Watts per speaker.

A little known fun fact: more speakers blow from too little power than from too much.  

Questions?  Give us a call at 800-491-6874.  That's what we're here for!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Why Use a Mic Belt?

Sometimes, the simple things make all the difference.  We've been selling sound gear exclusively to fitness facilities for a long time, and servicing equipment for almost as long.  We see a whole lot of sweat-damaged, nasty audio equipment, and we know that it doesn't always have to be that way.

A very simple and helpful solution to keep your wireless microphone equipment healthy is a mic belt.  (We also sometimes call them sports pouches; some people insist on calling them fanny packs...)  Well over 99% of wireless microphone systems that have a headset microphone still have belt-worn transmitter packs.  Those packs will get extremely sweaty during the course of a one-hour fitness class if they are clipped directly to the instructor's clothing.  Multiply that grime and moisture by several classes a day, and you've got a recipe for damaged electronics.

Simple fix: every instructor should wear their transmitter pack in a mic belt.  An investment of less than $40 can save a transmitter (some of which are nearly $300!).  

Friday, August 3, 2012

Surround Sound in a Group-Ex room? No, thanks.

Surround sound is great in a living room or a movie theater, but why do you want it in your group exercise studio?  We think you don't.

Our philosophy has always been that fitness instruction is a performance, and when you go see a performance, you'll usually notice that there aren't speakers behind you and they aren't in the corners of the room.  A group exercise sound system should provide forceful (some would say 'thumping') music with the voice just sitting on top.  If there are speakers in the back of the room competing with the ones at the front, speech intelligibility and the music's 'power' will usually be sacrificed.  Furthermore, surround sound only really works if there is program material that is supposed to surround the listener (think a car zooming by, or a spaceship, or any number of things that exist in movie sound, but never in a fitness class).

Check out these diagrams that we send out with every group exercise sound system we sell:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Feedback. What it is, what it isn't.

We get a lot of calls from fitness instructors and group exercise directors complaining about feedback on their wireless mic systems.  No problem, we love getting the calls, but we find that there is a lot of confusion about what feedback means in a sound system.

First of all, 'feedback' usually refers to the squealing or whale-like sound you get when a microphone picks itself up through the speakers, thus feeding the sound back into the speakers and making a loop.  Nobody likes to hear that right at the peak of an intense aerobics (or cycling (or any)) class.  There are a number of reasons that a microphone headset might feed back during use.  

The main remedies are to turn down the trim or gain control on your wireless microphone transmitter, rearrange the speakers in your group ex room so that they are not pointing back at the instructor (please don't put them in the four corners!), and adjust your equalizer controls to minimize the group of sounds (bass or treble) that is giving you issues.

Sound confusing?  It's really not that bad.  Give us a call at 800-491-6874 and we'll walk you through it step by step.  

P.S. if your wireless mic system is cutting in and out, making popping sounds, or you hear static, it's probably not 'feedback', but we can usually help with that, too.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Wireless Headset Mic System Selection Tips for Group Ex Instructors

AV Now Fitness Sound offers a variety of 'Fitness Rated' wireless headset mic systems specifically chosen to suit specific usage, brand preference and style choices.

The general rule about the wireless systems we offer is: the more expensive systems perform better and are more durable-especially in group ex/fitness usage, where movement and sweat create a tough environment for any headset microphone system.

In heavy use situations (multiple classes per day) medium to higher priced microphone systems will give you the best performance and be a better value in the long run. If you have budget constraints, rest assured that all mic systems offered by AV Now are professional quality and use an aerobics style headset designed for fitness use.

Note: these tips apply to the selection of wireless mic systems and replacement headset mics offered by AV Now Fitness Sound.

Our 20 years experience providing thousands of wireless mic systems to the fitness industry -and the feedback from our customers about what works well -and what doesn't- means we only offer products that will withstand the demands put on them in the rugged, sweaty group ex fitness environment.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We've gone Social!

Visit AV Now Fitness Sound on Facebook, Follow Us on Twitter and Stay Tuned to YouTube!

You can now find us on the most popular networking sites on the web. We’re chatting, answering questions, offering specials and giving away prizes on Facebook and Twitter and we have instructional videos available on YouTube.

We look forward to Socializing with you on the Net!

Group Ex Headset Microphone Care Tips (aka “Sweat Kills!” :)

Prolong the life of your fitness headset mic and avoid "the crackles" by keeping both the headset connector plug and the body pack transmitter connector jack clean and protected. Sweat is a natural part of exercise and letting it remain in your connectors causes corrosion that will eventually to crackling, then connection failure. Proper storage of your headset mic and transmitter will also extend its “life before service is needed” timeframe.

TIP 1: Clean and Protect

Use 'DeOxit' cleaner and ‘eGloop' corrosion protector both connectors at least twice a month. Simply spray DeOxit into the connectors and gently tap out or swab out the debris it loosens.

After the connectors are clean, dab a bit of eGloop marine-grade protectant gel into the connectors. eGloop will coat the prongs and holes, making both sides of the connection as sweat resistant as possible.

Sweat kills mic connectors. DeOxit and eGloop protect. Both products available from AV Now Fitness Sound

TIP 2: Let your headset mic dry out between uses

Whenever your microphone is not in use, store it someplace safe with plenty of air circulation – to promote drying. Having a hook near or inside your sound system rack makes hanging up to dry easy.

If you’re an individual instructor and your headset mic travels with you, a great way to protect it and let it dry is storing it in a tupperware-type container with holes punched in the lid for ventilation.

TIP 3: Don’t Do!

One of the worst ways to store your headset mic is by wrapping/winding its cable around the bodypack transmitter and putting both pieces in an unventilated drawer. Not only does this not let the headset dry as effectively as hanging or storing in a ventilated space, you’ll decrease the life of your headset mic’s cable by winding it around the bodypack. Repeated wrapping/winding will put kinks in the cable which will eventually cause shorts in it.

If you absolutely must use a drawer: gently loop the cable, making the loops as large as possible- and be careful not to close the drawer on the cable. We’ve repaired many headset cables that have been damaged by having a drawer closed on them.

TIP 4: Back things up.

Having a backup for critical equipment is one of the best ways to assure ‘the class will go on’ with little or no stress. We always recommend having a backup headset mic. A backup belt-pack transmitter is a good idea too, though most technical issues usually happen in the headset mic first. Even an inexpensive headset will do – as long as it has the proper connector type for your transmitter.

A backup headset ensures you will have a working mic – and save your voice- while your main headset is repaired or replaced.

Note: The above tips are for fitness headset mics which use a belt-pack transmitter. Some of these common sense type tips also apply to “cableless”/”transmitter-on-the-headset” mic systems too. Tips such as “let things dry between uses,” “handle with care when storing” and “always have a backup” are universal to all fitness mic systems.