Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Design Bites: Where Can We Talk?

To speak correctly into the microphone below, where do you aim your voice?

Many of our guests clearly believe the answer is "toward it." Which, unfortunately, is only partially true.

You must speak into the blue foam at a point indicated by the small arrow taped on the metal cylinder. Here, it's below the "Y" in WNYC. This a) you must be told and b) is easy to forget in the stress of being on the air. (The manufacturer's logo is another landmark, but it is blocked by the mount.)

Speak toward any other point around the cylinder and you'll sound hollow and distant.

This week, in our main studio, we switched to microphones such as the one in the photograph below, which have a different sweet spot.

Suddenly, our guests stay "on mic" during entire interviews!

The shape tells them how to use it. No signs required.

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