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Bad Audio: What is this effect called? Why does it occur? And how can I avoid?

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Mark Gibson
Bad Audio: What is this effect called? Why does it occur? And how can I avoid?
on Jun 19, 2014 at 5:17:45 am

Recorded with a wireless mic and picked up this horrible scratchy squeal shadowing the audio. Trying to fix in post, if possible (not hopeful), but I don't even know what this effect is called in order to search for troubleshooting methods for it. Anyone know what causes it (used a Sennheiser G3 100 system with fresh batteries and it was the only wireless operating - shouldn't have been any other wireless interference). Any help would be greatly appreciated (and yes, better headphones is great advice :) .


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Peter Groom
Re: Bad Audio: What is this effect called? Why does it occur? And how can I avoid?
on Jun 19, 2014 at 8:16:59 am

have you posted a sample?
peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Mark Gibson
Re: Bad Audio: What is this effect called? Why does it occur? And how can I avoid?
on Jun 20, 2014 at 1:34:13 am

For some reason I can't upload the file, but here's a link I think I've got the problem isolated down to a glitchy lavalier mic cord (to the transmitter), but I still don't know why the problem, other than I guess wiring goes bad. Any thoughts?


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Mark Gibson
Re: Bad Audio: What is this effect called? Why does it occur? And how can I avoid?
on Jun 20, 2014 at 1:36:22 am

Dang. I guess maybe it'll have to be cut-and-paste : the URL is http://www.envisionarymedia.com/BDD.mp3


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Peter Groom
Re: Bad Audio: What is this effect called? Why does it occur? And how can I avoid?
on Jun 20, 2014 at 6:51:28 am

Did you use an unbalanced cable.
Sounds like rf getting in
You'll not get rid if it I'm afraid . It's not vonstant but fluctuations.
You should have heard it within 1 second and acted then.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Bruce Watson
Re: Bad Audio: What is this effect called? Why does it occur? And how can I avoid?
on Jun 21, 2014 at 4:49:37 pm

Definitely sounds like RF interference. Your mic is *never* the only wireless operating -- there are cell phones everywhere (walls don't stop them), and all kinds of electronic things are poorly behaved and generate lots of RF junk that they spread around the frequencies. Fixing it in post is difficult to impossible, because it's being reproduced using the same audible frequencies that you are trying to capture. Removing it is like trying to remove the salt from a cake after you've baked it. Not hap'nin'.

To prevent in the future, always run a scan of available frequencies with your G3 receiver. There's almost always a frequency or three that are completely open right were you are at the time. Use one of those, and monitor every second of your capture. If you hear anything like this again, stop, rescan, resync your transmitter and receiver, and proceed. It's the price you pay for wireless I'm afraid.

Of course, if you can, use wires instead of radios. It's nearly impossible to have this problem with balanced XLR cables running from a wired lav to your mixer, and your sound quality will be a bit better as a bonus.


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