Tech Blog

The Miss Manners of Intercom


When you’re on a partyline system, everyone is connected together. In order to not annoy everyone on the line, there are a few simple guidelines that should be followed. So, let’s take a moment to talk about basic intercom etiquette.


  1. Announce clearly that you are going “off headset”. That way it will let the Stage Manager know that you will be offline.
  2. Turn off your mic when you are “off headset” so that it won’t pick up ambient noise and cause interference with those still online.
  3. Turn you headset volume to a minimum when “off headset” so the headset feed will not distract the talent or audience.
  4. Keep you beltpack and headset away from hum-causing electromagnetic radiation as much as possible (ie computer monitors, electric motors, lighting patch panels, dimmer packs, etc.)
  5. Although designed to be rugged, system components can be damaged if tripped over or stepped on in the dark. Do not leave the headset or beltpack unattended on the floor. Place them on a chair or table when not in use.
  6. Background noise can be picked up by open mics. You mic switch should be turned “off”, except when you have something production-related to say.
  7. Just because intercom is a communication system, does not mean it’s a chat-line. Keep conversations limited to production-related talk. You never know who may be listening!!

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