Styx’ Ricky Phillips upgrades with Aura
Wednesday, 10 February 2021
ricky-phillips-1Ricky Phillips - self-confessed gearhead
USA - When the live music industry ground to a halt in early 2020, rock band Styx quickly pivoted away from their planned tour to focus on direct engagement with their more than one million fans who are members of the online Styx Lounge. As the band increasingly made remote collaboration and fan outreach a daily practice, bassist and self-described gearhead Ricky Phillips noticed that one component in his Austin, Texas home studio was limiting the experience: a barebones webcam.
“Music is my life, and video communication has brought artists and fans closer together than ever before” Phillips says. “From websites where we can share or post videos, music ‘magazines’ that host performances, online video fan clubs, the ability to record master classes and more, video has become a crucial tool for musicians to connect with fans and create new opportunities. My $100 store-bought webcam seemed good enough when we first began working from home, but when I recognised that video would be my main mode of visibility for the foreseeable future, I knew a more professional solution would make the experience far better.”
After speaking with fellow gearheads and industry partners, Phillips discovered the ClearOne family of Aura videoconferencing cameras and microphones. Now, using a UNITE 200 PTZ that features programmable movement pre-sets for automated filming, a UNITE 50 4K ePTZ camera that provides full room coverage, and a CHAT 150 speakerphone, Phillips has a truly professional-grade, multi-angle home office videoconferencing solution with endless possibilities.
“Once I saw the quality and special features ClearOne’s Aura cameras and microphones offer, my decision was basically made,” Phillips says. “Not only does the true HD image blow away my past cameras, but it’s a huge advantage to have point-tilt-zoom (PTZ) models that can be adjusted on-the-fly with a remote, or even be programmed to automatically move as video records. I’ve used this to film short clips where I’m talking or playing, but the camera can move or refocus to highlight records on my wall, the neck of my guitar, or anything else I want to focus on.”

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