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Concerns over "echo"


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Looking for some advice/input……

 

I just started working in a space where we webcast meetings. On occasion the meeting will have a remote talent via either phone or video conference call. Some concerns that have been brought to my attention is the chances of what some are calling “echo”. What they are referring to is the local mics picking up the audio of the remote talent via the room speakers and that caller would hear themselves back that way. The reason some are concerned about this is because they are more accustomed to essentially what could be called plug and play events where a DSP with automatic echo cancellation handles audio for a normal meeting that isn’t being webcasted.

 

My initial thoughts are that unless local talent is interacting with the remote talent the local mics would be down so there should be no need to worry about the remote hearing themselves in the room. Otherwise is it would be just riding the local mics and audio from the remote to prevent the “echo”. I know that there is also equipment like the Cedar DNS out there, but not sure if something like that could be used in a situation like this.

 

I just wanted to get opinions to see if anyone here has faced similar a similar situation and what your process was dealing with it.

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Where to start? 

 

If they've already got a DSP system with good echo cancellation, why not just take a feed from it?

 

Or if you have to mic and mix your own:

Earbuds (or IFB) on the local talent, feeding a mix minus of just the dx audio. Or a tiny cue speaker for the dx, low level in the main conference room, and automatic mixer to duck local when it goes below a threshold. Clarity -- and keeping the dx talent from going nuts with delay -- is more important than 'client comfort' at the shoot.

 

And, of course... while a large part of this kind of echo can be coding delay, it always helps to do something about the room acoustics.

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