Red is the new black

At one of my last hybrid assignments I had the pleasure of using a simultaneous interpreting console equipped with a so-called gooseneck microphone (as opposed to a headset with integrated mic). And why was I so pleased about it? Well, the advantage of a gooseneck microphone is quite simple: when the red light is on, you know that the mic is on, too! This is true both for the interpreting console inside the booth and for desktop mics at conferences and meetings. So everybody knows: If your light’s on, you have the floor.
In the event that several speakers have their microphones switched on at the same time, interference may occur. Or we will be disturbed by too much (background) noise while interpreting (stirring coffee, whispering, clicking of pens or keyboards, etc.). I guess ever since Covid-19 hit and telephone or video conferences have become commonplace, you are all too familiar with these interferences. If you hear any disturbing noise, your first thought should be: Are all microphones muted, i.e. only the microphone of the person who is speaking should light up in red (or, in case of video calls, can you see the crossed-out microphone icon for all virtual participants?). This way, the sound is more pleasant for all participants, and we can fully concentrate on the individual's speech while interpreting!