Echo can be fun. Who hasn’t shouted into the mouth of a dark cave, or at the bottom of a steep canyon, to revel in glee as their own voice seems to answer right back? The boom of the returning sound matches the grand scale and majesty of these natural environments.
Unfortunately for some situations, large and majestic rooms often have an echo of their own. While echo can enhance an environment, it has also given many a headache to frustrated sound engineers. Echo can produce a sound that’s muddled and less intelligible, and it can be very difficult to fix.
While echo will always be an issue for audio professionals to deal with, there are a few things you can do to reduce the intensity of its effects.
Diagnose the Problem
To tackle problems with echo, it helps to diagnose the reasons why a particular room is plagued with it. The most obvious reason is that the room is large, specifically with very high ceilings. Walls, floors and ceilings that are particularly hard will also increase echo by bouncing the sound around instead of absorbing it. These are the two biggest echo-causing culprits.
Fix the Room as Much as You Can
Unfortunately, there aren’t many solutions for large rooms short of shrinking their size. Actually, if you’re able to lower the ceiling, this can be quite helpful in reducing echo. The best solution, however, is to “soften” each surface of the room. There’s a reason why many concert halls hang drapes along the walls. For floors, carpet is not only more comfortable under the feet; it can also absorb some of that echo. An expert in acoustics looks at a room much differently from everyone else, and they can be a huge help.
Get the Right Equipment
Your microphones and speakers might not be directly causing the echo, but they can make it so much worse. Using high quality equipment that is capable of filling the room is the best way to achieve clear sound. Carefully choose the ideal microphone for every purpose. It’s also important to position speakers in a way that produces the least amount of echo.
Employ Expert Tactics
The best audio technicians are those who can work with any given venue to correct as many of the room’s deficiencies as possible. While there is no magic button in the control room to produce the perfect sound, there are certain tactics that might compensate for echo. For example, speakers can be programmed to very precise delays to “sync up” with one another.
Echo is just another part of sound that we here at Lowrance Sound Company deal with every day. Save yourself the headache and trust the experts to help you get the clearest sound out of any room.