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Q. How can I conquer PA feedback when rehearsing?

I am singer in a band just starting out, and we practise at rehearsal rooms with cheap PA equipment. I use Behringer XM2000 microphones through the PA and I get a lot of feedback even at modest levels. The situation gets even worse if I try to put any effects on my vocals from my Zoom 1204 multi‑effects.

If you could recommend any way of eliminating this feedback, I would really appreciate it.

Tom Owen

Editor Paul White replies: Feedback is generally caused by a combination of mics with the wrong directional characteristics and loudspeakers with a frequency response that isn't flat enough, so a graphic EQ might help here by notching out troublesome frequencies. Also, try angling or moving the PA speakers further away from you.

A better cure is to use a dedicated feedback suppressor which will identify the frequencies that are feeding back and then automatically introduce a notch filter to remove them. The industry standard units by Sabine don't come cheap (ranging from several hundred quid up to over a thousand), but Behringer do make a budget unit called the Feedback Destroyer, which currently retails at £132 including VAT.