Fact: There’s unnecessary noise in every Interpretation Broadcast,… Universe Eliminates It!
One valuable lesson in Business and Marketing, that I’ve used a lot, is to look at what’s working well in one industry and then try to apply it to your industry. For example: Did you know that the “Drive Thru Window” was not first introduced by Fast-Food restaurants? Nope! Actually, the “Drive Thru” was first used by Pharmacies. That’s right! Drive Thru Pharmacies came first. The Fast Food industry saw this and easily adapted it to their own industry.
So why the story? Well, this is exactly how Universe came to include the Ambient Noise Suppressor in its inventory of Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment. Among other things I’ve done in the past, I have quite a background in running sound systems for live music. Yup! I’m a “Sound Guy”. So, I’m pretty familiar with most of the gizmos & gadgets used in live sound systems – like Compressors, Limiters, Parametric Equalizers, Effect Processors, and Yup, you guessed it,… “Ambient Noise Suppressors”!
Now set all that aside for a moment, and let me talk about the “Real World” of Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment – used in the Real World of “Live” Interpretation Events.
Here’s the typical Live Interpretation Scenario:
- The event’s presenter is speaking into a microphone which comes out of the room’s sound system.
- The Interpreters sit in a Sound Reducing Interpretation Booth somewhere in the same room.
- The Interpreters wear a Headset Microphone that they speak the “Interpreted” language into.
Well, the reality is – to one degree or another – the ambient noise in the room (opening/closing doors, people talking, coughing, air conditioner noise, etc,…) AND the presenter’s voice coming over the house sound system ALL finds its way into the Interpretation Booth and Into the Interpreter’s Headset Microphone!
What does all this mean? Here’s the point: All this ambient room noise (that we don’t want) gets into the Interpreter’s microphone and broadcast out to all the listeners as well as the Interpreter’s voice (which we do want). And given that the nature of Interpretation is that the Interpreter’s voice ALWAYS lags behind that of the presenter’s,… There is always plenty of space between the Interpreter’s words where all this NOISE is obvious to (and many times irritating to) the listeners!
Yup! That’s the way it is. And that’s the way it is with EVERY Type/Brand of Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment out there – regardless of the type of equipment used or who the Interpretation Service Provider is. This “Ambient Noise” issue is always there – like it or not!
Now back to my story: After I’d worked a good handful of Interpretation Events as the “Technician” and “Conference Manager”,… this noise issue started becoming pretty obvious to me. Actually, it really started “Bugging” me! See, my background as a Sound Guy – coupled with the fact that I’m a hopeless “Perfectionist” – prevented me from simply living with it. So to keep it from “Making Me Crazy”, I had no choice but to “Figure Something Out”.
Well once I’d put my finger on this issue, the solution was obvious. Viola! The “Ambient Noise Suppressor”! So I took what was commonly used in one industry (Live Sound) and applied it to another industry that had never heard of it (Simultaneous Interpretation).
Now I know you’re just dying to hear the technicality of how this gadget works,… so here ya go!
Actually, the concept is pretty simple (no need to get into “Ohm’s Law” or the physics of “Electro-Magnetism” to understand this thing – we’ll save all that for a future post :). Here’s the deal: Any sound louder than a preset volume level (threshold) is allowed to pass through the Interpreter’s Microphone and be broadcast out to the listeners (i.e. the Interpreter’s Voice). On the other hand, anything that is Quieter than this threshold (i.e. background noise) gets cutoff and is not broadcast out to the listeners. Simply said, you set this thing up so that the Interpreter’s voice gets through but all the background noise gets cut out. Pretty Cool Huh?
So here’s the end result: What the listeners hear is much cleaner and clearer – making it much easier to listen to and understand. They get an overall better experience because they don’t have to concentrate so hard just to hear the Interpreter’s voice above the clutter. They can just relax and listen naturally and focus on the presentation itself. Nice! We thought you’d like it. And you can only get it from Universe!
Questions? Comments? Have you ever heard anything like this from any other Simultaneous Interpretation Provider? Please leave your feedback below: