Ring Out – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Sound Engineering Glossary

I. What is Ring Out?

Ring out refers to the phenomenon where a sound system produces a sustained feedback loop, resulting in a loud, high-pitched noise. This feedback loop occurs when the sound from the speakers is picked up by the microphone, amplified, and then fed back into the system, creating a continuous loop of sound. Ring out can be disruptive and unpleasant, affecting the overall sound quality of a performance.

II. How does Ring Out affect sound quality?

Ring out can significantly impact the sound quality of a performance. The sustained feedback loop can drown out the original sound, making it difficult for the audience to hear the intended audio. This can distort the sound, making it harsh and unpleasant to listen to. Ring out can also cause damage to the speakers and other audio equipment if left unchecked.

III. What causes Ring Out in audio systems?

Ring out is typically caused by the proximity of the microphone to the speakers. When the microphone picks up the sound from the speakers and amplifies it, the sound is then fed back into the system, creating a loop. This loop continues to amplify the sound until it reaches a point where it becomes a loud, sustained noise. Other factors that can contribute to ring out include the acoustics of the room, the positioning of the speakers and microphones, and the overall gain structure of the audio system.

IV. How can Ring Out be prevented in live sound settings?

There are several ways to prevent ring out in live sound settings. One of the most effective methods is to properly position the speakers and microphones to minimize the chances of feedback. This can be done by placing the speakers in front of the microphones and ensuring that they are not too close to each other. Using a graphic equalizer to adjust the frequency response of the system can also help prevent ring out. Additionally, sound engineers can use feedback suppressors or notch filters to automatically detect and eliminate feedback frequencies.

V. How can Ring Out be corrected during a live performance?

If ring out occurs during a live performance, there are several ways to correct it. One method is to quickly lower the volume of the affected microphone or instrument to break the feedback loop. Sound engineers can also use a graphic equalizer to notch out the offending frequencies causing the feedback. In some cases, physically moving the microphone or instrument away from the speakers can also help eliminate the feedback. It is important to act quickly to prevent ring out from disrupting the performance.

VI. What are some common misconceptions about Ring Out in sound engineering?

One common misconception about ring out is that it is always caused by high volume levels. While loud sound can certainly contribute to feedback, ring out can also occur at lower volume levels if the conditions are right. Another misconception is that ring out is always the fault of the sound engineer. In reality, ring out can be caused by a variety of factors, including the acoustics of the room and the positioning of the equipment. Sound engineers must be knowledgeable about these factors and take proactive steps to prevent and correct ring out in live sound settings.