Whistling Webcams

  Daveym 10:49 15 Jun 03

Me and 4 of my mates have all got Logitech Webcams and when we are in a video conversation in MSN messenger we all get a horrible feedback noise from our speakers. If I talk to someone who has another make of webcam the problem disappears. Also using headphones the problem seems to go away. I have contacted Logitech technical and they have no idea. We have tried to reposition speakers etc but nothing works. Any ideas please.
Davey M

  graham√ 11:05 15 Jun 03

You're right about it being feedback, the only solution is to reduce the mike gain or speaker level. It may be just one PC, trial and error is the only way to narrow it down.

The reason you don't get feedback with a different make of webcam could be because it operates on a slightly different sound frequency that does match your 'system resonance'.

  Daveym 11:15 15 Jun 03

It seems to happen on any pc. We have tried to turn settings down but it only goes away when we turn things so low we can't here things. It is very annoying. Thanks for your advice.
Dave M

  DieSse 14:17 15 Jun 03

Mute the microphone in the sound properties for playback - it will still work, but you should not get the feedback whistle any more.

  DieSse 14:20 15 Jun 03

PS - the feedback whistle occurs on all microphone/speaker set ups when both the speakers and microphone are active at the same time.

  Agent Smith 14:43 15 Jun 03

If your speakers are mounted on the side of your monitor try moving them onto the desktop as distance between the mic and speakers is also a contributory factor.

  rabadubdub 15:04 15 Jun 03

In the Helpfiles for NM it suggests going into Audio tuning and changing from Full-duplex audio to Half-duplex. This means, of course, having to take turns in speaking. Not exactly solving the problem, but doing away with it as it were.

The other advice it offers is the Silence setting.. if automatic setting doesn't work you'll have to play around with it. Is that what you've been trying anyway. If so, just ignore me.

If it's a hardware problem I don't think it's anything to do with the webcam, more likely to be mike quality or type. Do you use mike/headsets? That may be another option.

As for me I'm still trying to get logged on properly in NetMeeting. The post is here somewhere. I may end up with the same problem once I get that fixed, so don't forget to tick the 'Resolved' box if you get the problem sorted then I can check back here and deal with it properly myself.

Regards, Rab

  rabadubdub 15:07 15 Jun 03

I just noticed you mentioned using headsets. Sorry.


  wee eddie 19:31 15 Jun 03

How many of you are using multi speaker systems?

As DieSse says feedback occurs when the sound waves from a speaker interfere with the same waves entering the mike and are out of sync.

If you shield all the mikes or turn off all the speakers which are in the direct line of the mikes, also remembering any sound reflective surfaces in the vicinity. The problem should disappear.

This problem does not occur frequently as most systems only use two speakers and they are usually sited in the same plane as the mike or behind it.

Ex-disco King!!!!

  rabadubdub 00:00 16 Jun 03

I mistakenly suggested to adjust audio tuning for changing duplex, when I should have said in Tools/Options. Hope get it fixed anyway.

Regards, Rab

  graham√ 10:02 16 Jun 03

Just to clarify, sounds picked up by a microphone consist of a broad band of frequencies. The characteristics of the mike will make it more efficient at certain frequencies, in this case the 'whistle' you hear. This is then amplified, and the sound from the speaker is picked up by the mike and amplified again, so you have a 'vicious circle'.

This is the 'resonant frequency' of your system, which is enhanced by there being four of you with similar systems.

A technical solution would consist of a 'noise gate'in the 'loop' to filter out much of the resonant frequency (you have to tune it). You would need one each, the cheapest I can think of is the type used by guitarists, etc. The best would be a Drawmer, a few thousand pounds!

Headphones option sounding more attractive?

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