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Microphone Considerations in Feedback-Prone Environments

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The concept of gain before feedback of a sound reinforcement system has recently received much attention, particularly with the advent of electronic equalization techniques. Relatively little attention has, however, been given to the role played by the microphone in determining this parameter. This paper considers the amplitude and phase characteristics of microphones, amplifiers, loudspeakers, and rooms in relation to gain before feedback. Particular emphasis is placed on the significance of the diffuse-field response of the microphone as it applies to many common feedback situations. A measurement technique is also described, which allows one to plot on a frequency basis the relative feedback potential of a sound reinforcement system prior to feedback.

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