Mic feedback

At present I am using a Zoom h2n usb mic to record audio. (I have M-Audio AV-40 speakers) This is a temporary setup but it is good enough to experiment with for now. Anyway, I get a tremendous amount of feedback from the mic when using the monitor option. Otherwise everything is great when not using it. (It’s nice though to be able to rehearse the vocals with the monitor feature before actually laying down a track.) I have to adjust the mic gain and mixer volume levels so low that it renders using the monitor button in Cubase useless.

Is there any other way to reduce feedback besides buying more cable a recording from the bathroom?
J/K

Any info helps,
David

Using headphones would be a possibility.

Using headphones solves the problem until I can get a better setup.

Thanks,
David

Whatever your setup, if the mic can “hear” the loudspeakers, you’re likely to be fighting against getting feedback.

Sometimes EQ-ing the signal to the loudspeakers (to cut around the frequency of the feedback) can help, though then you’re not hearing what you really want to. Moving the mic a little might work, or might just change the pitch of the feedback. The best thing is to try to prevent the loudspeakers’s sound being picked up by the mic - eg using a very directional mic and with a barrier between the speakers and mic, and perhaps another barrier to block sound reflected from walls – but that, too, might not be successful.

A completely different approach that I’m aware of but never actually tried was a setting on the Eventide H910 Harmoniser, which was supposed to be able to reduce feedback significantly by introducing some kind of variable pitch shift.

Here’s a relevant reference:

When I was researching the Eventide H910 Harmonizer, I found it curious that the box had controls for both feedback and something called “anti-feedback.” The service manual explains the anti-feedback control as follows:

Increasing clockwise rotation of the ANTI-FEEDBACK control progressively adds a small up and down frequency shift to the output signal, which serves to decrease the effect of room resonance peaks on the signal which ultimately re-arrives at the microphone.

In modern terms, I would call this a chorus effect, with a triangle wave modulator. Pretty simple. However, it is interesting to see how such a simple process can have a significant effect in a PA system – by turning on the Anti-Feedback control, you can increase the gain of a microphone being fed into the H910.

The idea of using a time-varying system, such as pitch shifting, delay modulation, or frequency shifting, to increase the maximum gain of a system before oscillation occurs, dates back many decades. {…]

http://valhalladsp.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/feedback-anti-feedback-and-complexity-in-time-varying-systems/

Perhaps there’s a modern equivalent? - perhaps something that could be done in software, eg as an insert on the Cubase output feeding the monitors?

I don’t think the author of that quote was quite right in describing the process as “a chorus effect, with a triangle wave modulator” - IIRC, that’s not how it sounded when you engaged that switch on the H910. But perhaps, in the absence of a method based on pitch-shifting in software, you could see whether a chorus effect or some kind of rapidly varying delay effect might kill the feedback without changing the quality of the sound too much? I haven’t set out to try anything like that - just suggesting something that might be worth trying if you do continue to get feedback after getting new equipment.

I think the (non-)directionality of this mic may be the biggest problem. Make sure X-Y stereo or Mid-Side is selected, but even then it’s not quite cardioid…