At a Glance

  • Enhanced flexibility of assembly room
  • Improved functionality of audio system
  • Eliminated audio feedback
  • Enabled effective system for large audiences

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From Complex to Convenient: Refreshing Sound Solutions at 7-Eleven® Store Support Center

7 Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience-retailing industry. Based in Irving, Texas, 7 Eleven® operates, franchises or licenses more than 61,000 stores in 17 countries, including 10,900 in North America. Known for its iconic brands such as Slurpee®, Big Bite® and Big Gulp®, 7-Eleven has expanded into high-quality salads, side dishes, cut fruit and protein boxes, as well as pizza, chicken wings, cheeseburgers and hot chicken sandwiches. 7-Eleven offers customers industry-leading private brand products under the 7-Select® brand including healthy options, decadent treats and everyday favorites, at an outstanding value. Customers also count on 7-Eleven for payment services, self-service lockers and other convenient services. JT Elliott, 7-Eleven AV manager, champions innovative sound solutions as he manages video conferencing and audio visual solutions at 7-Eleven Store Support Center in Irving, Texas.

Much like bustling 7-Eleven stores, the assembly room gets lots of traffic. It’s heavily used for company meetings and social gatherings. At approximately 6,000 square feet, with 10-foot ceilings, this versatile room is frequently divided into three smaller rooms or opened up to accommodate 400 people—or more if standing room only.

An elaborate sound system is required to manage the many configurations for which the room is used: 16 Polycom ceiling microphones (which contains 48 microphones in total), 4 wired microphones, 6 wireless handheld microphones, 6 wireless lapel microphones, 16 wireless boundary microphones, and 16 wireless gooseneck microphones. On the output side, 7-Eleven has 42 ceiling speakers, 6 six-foot tower speakers, 3 subwoofers, and more.

Testing, testing….

The room was originally designed to be a voice lift microphone system with mix-minus, which worked fine for small audiences. But for large audiences in the hundreds, Elliott needed a solution to provide volume for the entire space and eliminate feedback. The AV team also needed to add 12 additional audio channels for tasks like controlling the audio to and from the cafeteria plus the 7-Eleven store in the building, as well as the ability to video conference with a RealPresence Group 700 codec. That’s when Polycom SoundStructure C-Series and Howling Killer DSP came into play.

Howling Killer, state-of-the-art software developed by Polycom Principal Software Engineer Kwan Truong, increases the volume in the room while eliminating the feedback loop. Howling Killer, which works automatically with no human intervention, allows 8 decibels or more of additional gain before feedback with transparent audio quality (compared to current alternatives that may allow 3 decibels before feedback, introduce distortion, and require many manual adjustments by a trained technician.)

No more tip-toeing around the point of feedback

“We essentially turned this room into a PA system. Regardless of where we place the boundary or gooseneck microphones, the presenter takes off with the handheld microphone to the back of the room or to the far side of the room, and we get loud, clear audio that fills the entire room,” Elliott explains, “The audience has no issues hearing anymore. This has made audio mixing for this room so much easier. There’s no more tip-toeing that line of where I’m going to get feedback from.”

“It’s really like nothing I’ve seen before,” Elliott says, “It has improved not only the functionality and the flexibility of this room, but ultimately and most importantly, the audience’s experience.”

Oh, thank heaven for 7-Eleven…and Howling Killer!