How to stop Microphone Feedback at your next meeting

Aventus Audio Visual

Microphone Feedback is one of the most common disruptors to a presentation. Many presentations have been derailed when the sharp noise of a squealing microphone suddenly stops the presenter’s train of thought. We have all sat through that meeting wondering if and when the dreaded feedback will strike again. So can feedback be prevented? And what steps need to be taken to ensure a pleasant listening experience for your audience?

The good news is that feedback can effectively be prevented. However, there are many factors that contribute to the problem, making the solution complex. As we dive into each aspect, it is important to note that a qualified AV technician will be knowledgeable in speaker placement when setting up as well as eq’ing on the fly which is why we always recommend having a technician present during the presentation.

Microphone feedback is created when the signal going into the microphone is played back though the speakers and gets picked up again by the microphone, thus creating a signal loop. It should be noted that the more microphones present, the higher the chances that one of them picks up an unwanted signal. Typically, it is not the whole frequency range of the signal that is being looped, but rather one specific frequency. The frequency at fault varies depending on the sound source, the type of microphone being used, and the speakers producing the sound. With the right technician at the sound console, these frequencies can quickly eliminated out of the signal.

So what microphones produce the least feedback?

Aventus Audio Visual

Typically, handheld microphones or podium microphones are the best solution as they are designed to be close to the source. Handheld microphones can be problematic when they are not held close to the mouth. This commonly occurs when audience members are using a microphone or when a table top microphone doesn’t get brought close enough to the next speaker. Lavaliers tend to be more problematic due to the fact that they are placed farther away from the mouth of the person speaking and designed to pick up a wider area of sound. When using lavaliers it is recommended that the placement is not too low and not off to one side on a person. When using multiple lavalier microphones simultaneously, we highly recommend having a technician present.

Aventus Audio VisualThe most effective way to prevent feedback is proper speaker placement. We recommend placing the speakers in line with the front of the stage or farther forward when possible to prevent them from projecting right back into the microphones. Speakers placed behind the stage tend to feedback more often. Microphone placement is very important as well. We know many presenters enjoy walking off the stage and into the audience area. This is perfectly fine, however, most of the time the microphone needs to be eq’ed differently for this scenario so we recommend checking the microphone from the audience area in advance of the event as well as informing the presenters not to walk directly in front of the speakers. Event with the best technicians, it is not always possible to stop feedback when the microphone is suddenly directly in front of the speaker.

Here at Aventus, we strive to provide quality audio for all of our presentations. We believe that the best technicians can be proactive to address these concerns before the audience even arrives. That is why we always recommend thorough sound checks as well as onsite technicians so that your presenters can focus on success.

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