Correct way to speak into a lectern microphone

A microphone positioned above or near a reflective surface receives a direct signal from the sound source, and a reflected signal from the surface.

Because sound takes time to travel, the reflected signal arrives at the microphone later than the direct signal. The direct and delayed signals combine at the mic diaphragm. This causes an uneven frequency response called a ”comb filter effect,” which results in an unnatural sound quality.


The figure above shows a poor way to mic a person at a lectern. The microphone is too far away from the mouth resulting in pickup of reflected sound from the lectern’s surface. This will result in an audible comb-filter effect, which sounds hollow or tonally coloured.


This figure shows a better way to mic a person at a lectern. The microphone is close to the mouth (about 8 inches). The sound reflected from the lectern arrives toward the rear of the mic, where sound is rejected. This will greatly reduce the audible comb-filter effect.

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