Singing is the result of sustained oscillation due to positive feedback in telephone amplifiers or amplifying circuits. The feedback is the result of excessive receive signal feeding back through the hybrid to the transmit side, which is then amplified setting up oscillations. Circuits that sing are unusable and promptly overload multichannel carrier (FDM) equipment.

Singing may be regarded as echo that is completely out of control. This can occur at the frequency at which the circuit is resonant. Under such conditions the circuit losses at the singing frequency are so low that oscillation will continue, even after cessation of its original impulse.

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