Avoiding Microphone feedback may seem seem like the Holy Grail in live sound but these easy to follow tips should help you out.

Feedback or howl-round as it’s sometimes known, is caused when the sound being picked up by a microphone is amplified, played out of a speaker near to this same microphone, then picked up again and amplified again and played out of the same speaker again etc., etc., causing the tell tale nasty audio howl we’ve all heard and hate!

Often a sound operator will hear this sound suddenly start to creep in and panic, possibly reaching for any button or knob that might stop the unruly audio spectre.

Stay calm and follow these steps.

Firstly you need to turn down the microphone that’s causing the feedback – this may not be obvious straight away but if your sound desk/mixer has an overload LED on each channel, you’ll notice one will be on – it’s this one!!

Now then…the simple rules.

1) Ask the speaker or singer to be closer to the microphone when using it.

2) Change the location of the microphone so that it isn’t directly facing/or is too near to the speakers.

3) Use directional microphones where possible (omnidirectional mics pickup from all sides so are more prone).

4) If using multiple microphones in a production, turn off (or down) those not being used.

There are, of course, other things you can do to help. Adjusting equaliser settings for example, to help ‘ring out’ those frequencies that are more prone to being picked up. Also, adjusting the acoustic properties of the room in question. Please call or email us for further help.

Service Sound – Tips – Avoiding Microphone Feedback