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Echo Cancellation and Multi-caller Remote Production

IEBA Imagineer Anthony Burokas explains how to handle audio when doing live production with multiple remote-in participants in this clip from his presentation at Streaming Media West Connect 2020.

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Read the complete transcript of this video:

Anthony Burokas: There is echo cancellation in vMix. And it works maybe a little bit too well, which is why I always recommend headphones. I can hear it in Zoom too, when I'm in Zoom groups and multiple people are talking. What happens is, the audio of multiple people comes out of the speaker, goes into the microphone, and Zoom--or whatever the software is--tries to cancel that audio from going back into the system and creating a loop in. It cancels your audio, which is going into the microphone, so you get lost in the mix of cancellation.

The same thing happens with vMix. If I just have one or two people talking, I don't have to worry about it. They don't have to wear headsets. But if I've got a panel with four people and they might laugh and talk over each other, or I have a host who needs to interrupt--unlike a political debate--it's hard for the system to know which is his voice and which is the sound coming out of the speakers to cancel it. It doesn't know my voice versus the sound coming out of the laptop. It just knows sound. And it tries to cancel the sound coming out of the laptop through inverting it or whatever processing it's doing, but it also catches some of my audio in that. And I will end up sounding garbled.

If I wear headphones, then there's no other audio going into the microphone or the system to try and cancel, and the audio coming from my microphone always sounds good. And that's why I always recommend headphones. I'm using them now, even though I don't have to, but it was good when we were like dialoguing before the program for me to hear them this way and they could hear me cleanly as well.