You are at an important live event, and you are sharing a microphone with a buddy onstage. You speak into it, and then pass it to your friend to speak next. When the microphone transfers from your mouth to his, the screeching sound of audio feedback occurs.
Then, you decide that you should each have your own individual microphone. So you begin to talk into yours, but the same thing happens – the rings and squeaks of audio feedback.
Has this ever happened to you?
If you’ve been around microphones long enough, odds are that you have experienced this. Audio feedback can be an unpleasant sound, one that might scare potential guests or audience members away.
So, how do you get rid of it?
There are a few ways to get rid of microphone feedback, since not all feedback comes from the same place, or can be reduced in the same ways. There are a few solutions to the most common types of audio feedback that may occur.
Is the Microphone Too Close to a Monitor?
A lot of unknowing individuals will cause audio feedback because the microphone itself happens to be too close to the monitor that is connected to it. When standing too close to the monitor, it can cause a lot of looping between inputs and outputs – thus creating the feedback sound that we’re all-too-familiar with.
Try moving the microphone further away from the monitor, or vice versa. Since this is one of the key contributors to audio feedback, it may solve the problem.
If not, there are other ways of fixing the issue.
Use the Equalizer
Adjusting the EQ of the microphone may not seem relevant to auditory feedback, but it may be able to solve some serious sound looping issues. Try equalizing the signal of the microphone channel itself. You can do this by lowering each frequency until the sound of feedback is no longer heard.
Here’s a quick guide to which equalizer frequencies can cause which feedback sounds. You can learn to identify the sounds, and adjust the frequencies as follows:
- Screeching or Whistling: Your frequency is above 2 kHz.
- Howling and Hooting: Your frequency may be between 250 and 500 Hz.
- Singing Sounds: You’re at about 1 kHz. Adjust accordingly.
Try cutting that range by just a small amount, adjusting it gradually to see if your feedback becomes reduced. It may be a timely process, but by eliminating the conditions for feedback, you can learn how to eliminate it altogether and save yourself from that pesky problem.
Find the Right Kind of Microphone
If none of the above solutions work, you may just need to invest in a new microphone. The most recommended type of microphone for voice projection and recording is the cardioid microphone, which gives you a directional sound while eliminating pickup from the surrounding area.
The directional pattern of a cardioid microphone is built to keep your voice loud and clear, while reducing the potential for feedback. It’s a worthy investment to get rid of that ear-shattering sound that can come from distorted frequencies or mic-to-monitor proximities.