THE INTERPRETATION CONSOLE

The console functions as a sort of interpretation control unit, through which the interpreter manages sound input, sound output, and relay functions. We might think of the console as the electronic nerve center of the interpretation equipment assemblage. Simultaneous interpreters’ microphones plug into their consoles, which broadcast each interpreter’s voice to conference attendees in their respective languages. Again, each tongue gets carried on its own FM frequency to which attendees listen.

A console operates silently — no whirring sound like that from an overtaxed MacBook Pro — with switches and dials that have been designed for soundproof manipulation. No whirs, clicks, or other distractions.

Controls for listening, speaking, tone control, treble and bass adjustment, etc. should have clear markings for low-light visibility. Most interpretation consoles feature a kill button which, when pressed, mutes all sound from the interpreter to his listeners — especially handy in the event of a recalcitrant sneeze or cough.

The interpretation console contains separate input and output functions, both of which can adjust for optimal sound intensity, pitch and tone by the interpreter or the interpretation equipment technician.