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Clicks and Pops During Recording Related To Dry Air or Cabling?

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Steven Broido
Clicks and Pops During Recording Related To Dry Air or Cabling?
on Mar 4, 2009 at 4:18:30 pm

We’re having a problem with clicks and pops coming into our Tascam DM-3200 board and I'd love some advice.

Here is the issue:

- Intermittently, when people are near our phantom powered microphones (Four Neumann TLM-103s), we’ll get dramatic clicks and pops coming into the board.

Click here for audio example that occurred when talent stood up to leave the studio where the mic was on:

http://cdn4.libsyn.com/fool/Distortion.mp3?nvb=20090304154945&nva=200903051...

- These clicks and pops have nothing to do with our recording software or clock settings as they are always audible through monitors, even when not recording.

- The clicks and pops always occur when people are near the microphones, especially when moving away from the microphones.

- Clicks and pops are more common when multiple people are on microphone.

- Clicks and pops don’t seem to occur when the room is empty (and microphone faders are up.)

Our studio is VERY dry. That is, humidity is probably around 20% or so and I'm often shocked when touching metal objects.

I'd be thrilled to add a humidifier to our AC unit but the cost would be high and I'd like to know if this problem is definitely related to humidity.

My first thought was that we have a loose connection somewhere and that the phantom power is being disrupted... But I can’t replicate the problem by jiggling anything around.

I just can’t figure out is why the problem is so intermittent.

Would static electricity cause such dramtic clicks and pops, even when people aren't physically touching microphone or mic stands?

I am 99% confident that phantom power is involved and that something is interfering with it or that we’re having some sort of grounding issue but I can’t figure out the solution.

The other piece of information that may be useful is that our cabling for the headphone amplifiers runs via conduit underneath the floor alongside the XLR mic cables.

Any help anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated as I’m sure somebody has experienced something similar.

Thanks much in advance!

Steve


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Ty Ford
Re: Clicks and Pops During Recording Related To Dry Air or Cabling?
on Mar 4, 2009 at 7:44:22 pm

[Steven Broido] "Our studio is VERY dry. That is, humidity is probably around 20% or so and I'm often shocked when touching metal objects. "

Hello Steven and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

20% is very low. If you're pulling static discharges, it's probably that and has little to do with Phantom Power. Try laying some wet towels or pebble trays around and see if that helps. Also, silk blouses are a know cause of static discharge.

Regards,

Ty Ford

At Peabody Conservatory years ago the Sony MXP300 console was quite a ways from some of the performance stages. Far enough away for electricity to be induced into the tie lines. The result was that they were blowing out input stages. They had to go to transformer inputs to preserve the gear.

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Steven Broido
Re: Clicks and Pops During Recording Related To Dry Air or Cabling?
on Mar 18, 2010 at 9:27:28 pm

reposting


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Ty Ford
Re: Clicks and Pops During Recording Related To Dry Air or Cabling?
on Mar 19, 2010 at 2:56:54 am

Stephen,

Thanks for the samples. Those clicks sound like clock errors, not static discharge.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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George Robarts-Arnold
Re: Clicks and Pops During Recording Related To Dry Air or Cabling?
on Mar 26, 2014 at 10:50:06 pm

Did you ever find out what it is? I'm getting something very similar.


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Steven Broido
Re: Clicks and Pops During Recording Related To Dry Air or Cabling?
on Mar 27, 2014 at 1:00:40 am

We never solved it.

We eventually pulled the Neumann TLM-103s out and threw in some EV RE-20 microphones (Dynamic mics) and have never had that problem again.

A shame as The Neumanns are great microphones - the crackling was too much of a hassle.

We run really dry in the winter though. We're running a dedicated AC unit in our studio on top of our office being heating and cooled.

Humidity can run as low as 15% which is way too dry. Static electricity is a an issue for us.

And even after installing humidifiers (which never seem to work properly...), we can't seem to get humidity up.

I think it's related to our carpeting (polyester/nylon) - which is killing us.

When we remodel, I'm going to push for anti-static carpeting.

Good luck!

S


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