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What can cause a mic to hiss?

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Eric Staswick
What can cause a mic to hiss?
on Jul 28, 2010 at 9:17:49 pm

I took out my sanken cos 11 (batter powered) today for a shoot and when I plugged it into the h4 I had incredible hiss coming through no matter what I did with the mic. No crossed cables or other interference. I ended up shooting with another mic but I'm a bit nervous that the sanken needs to go in for repair. Just wondering what might have happened. The mic has always been well cared for and only used a handful of times over 4 months since I bought it. Never wrapped the cable or anything. Any thoughts appreciated.
-Eric


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Ty Ford
Re: What can cause a mic to hiss?
on Jul 29, 2010 at 1:09:22 pm

Hello Eric and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Audio is not plug-and-play, although sometimes you get lucky. Try plugging your mic into whatever you last plugged it into successfully. If it hisses, NOW, you may have a problem.

The intricacies of audio "gozinta/gozoutas" are too many to go into full detail here, but it's possible that it's something as simple as needing a cable wired specifically for that job. COS-11 to H4.

You don't provide any info on how you connected the two, so I'm at a dead end there. XLR to XLR?

Fresh battery?

Does the H4 provide phantom power? Is it antagonistic to the battery power of the COS-11?

Dunno, dunno, dunno.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Ty Ford
Re: What can cause a mic to hiss?
on Jul 29, 2010 at 1:10:05 pm

Hello Eric and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Audio is not plug-and-play, although sometimes you get lucky. Try plugging your mic into whatever you last plugged it into successfully. If it hisses, NOW, you may have a problem.

The intricacies of audio "gozinta/gozoutas" are too many to go into full detail here, but it's possible that it's something as simple as needing a cable wired specifically for that job. COS-11 to H4.

You don't provide any info on how you connected the two, so I'm at a dead end there. XLR to XLR?

Fresh battery?

Does the H4 provide phantom power? Is it antagonistic to the battery power of the COS-11?

Dunno, dunno, dunno.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Eric Staswick
Re: What can cause a mic to hiss?
on Jul 29, 2010 at 2:32:37 pm

Sorry for not being clearer on this. It is defenitly a mic problem as the mic has worked previously on the h4 with no problems and exhibits the same problem when going through the juiced link to the 5dmkII a combination that also used to work fine. The h4 has xlr inputs and the sanken is an xlr connector. Yes the battery is fresh. Basiclly I am wondering what might cause the problem with the mic. You say audio isn't plug and play, but the fact is, with this set up it should be (IOW it has always been in the past) so clearly something with the mic is not right. Thanks.


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Bill Davis
Re: What can cause a mic to hiss?
on Jul 29, 2010 at 10:45:01 pm

One VERY common source of excessive HISS with mics is when a mic expecting Phantom power does NOT get that power. In that case, the signal the mic puts out will be so low that boosting it's amplitude will also boost the noise floor and hiss will be significant.

The test is simple. Turn OFF the phantom power on your H4n. Plug a mic and listen. Then turn ON the phantom power. If the mic sounds the same, something is interfering with the delivery of the appropriate phantom power to the mic circuits.

That might be an improper ground, a bad battery connection, phantom applied OR wired to the wrong pins - but if you don't get a HUGE change in the hiss level between phantom ON and phantom OFF setting on the same Phantom powered microphone - then one of the above is the issue.

Period.

Good luck.



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Ty Ford
Re: What can cause a mic to hiss?
on Jul 29, 2010 at 11:04:33 pm

[Eric Staswick] " am wondering what might cause the problem with the mic. "

Well, given your trouble-shooting, I'd say the mic is broken. These are not field-repairable. Contact the mfgr about repair.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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