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Author Topic: Clicks in audio path?!!  (Read 4285 times)

bobkatz

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2006, 08:21:02 pm »

rdolmat wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 18:12

Argghh...

Well, I did go ahead and get the Tripplite before I read your post Bob....(but the clicks were there before I installed it anyway).

But, it's the online double-conversion (which runs off battery 24hr a day) so I'm hoping it's better than their regular ups and conditioners.




That model might be ok. Can you get a Variac?  If you can get a variac, feed it into the Tripplite. If you hear physical clicks inside the Tripplite as the incoming voltage is varied, then the Tripplite is NOT good for audio.

Quote:



Anyhoo, the only clicks I get now are from the fridge (turning on and off). HUGE clicks, but that's once every few minutes. And when I'm tracking, I pull the fridge plug...




Sounds like RF from a spark inside the Fridge which is not transmitted through the power line, it goes in the "ether". There's likely an RC filter in the fridge that's gone bad. Now that's not much help, but it's a start.

BK
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scottoliphant

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2006, 10:05:50 pm »

Quote:

As a quick test, you might try powering the Multiface off the same UPS as the computer. If the UPS is the type that always runs power through the battery, about the only noise that can get through would be on the ground line, not on the power lines.



i have an rme multiface for a few things and it grabs it's power off the 'puter through the firewire cable, for what it's worth.

Quote:

I once did a session in someone's house and whenever the fucking refridgerator would cycle on we'd have to retake.


that's awesome, haha. after a while, you get kind of used to the little eccentricities of recording in a not so perfect environment (dogs barking in the distance, neighbor bass-ing his car down the street). if i ever get to where i can "upgrade", I think in a weird way i'll miss some of it =)

Joe Crawford

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2006, 11:13:45 am »

rdolmat wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 18:12


Anyhoo, the only clicks I get now are from the fridge (turning on and off). HUGE clicks, but that's once every few minutes. And when I'm tracking, I pull the fridge plug...

rich


Rich,
Sorry I haven't gotten back sooner. If you haven't already found a fix, here are a couple of more things to try.  Is there a way to move either your system or the frig onto a different branch circuit (i.e. different circuit breaker) of the power panel, possibly using a long extension cord as a temporary test?  This might help to issolate the problem a little more.  Also, how old is the building?  Are all the branch circuits three-wire (hot, neutral & ground), or are they trying to use the neutral or conduit for the ground?  You could also be getting a ground loop between the Tascam and the computer, try lifting the ground on the Tascam as a test.

Joe
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rdolmat

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2006, 03:53:29 pm »

Joe Crawford wrote on Tue, 07 February 2006 08:13

rdolmat wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 18:12


Anyhoo, the only clicks I get now are from the fridge (turning on and off). HUGE clicks, but that's once every few minutes. And when I'm tracking, I pull the fridge plug...

rich


Rich,
Sorry I haven't gotten back sooner. If you haven't already found a fix, here are a couple of more things to try.  Is there a way to move either your system or the frig onto a different branch circuit (i.e. different circuit breaker) of the power panel, possibly using a long extension cord as a temporary test?  This might help to issolate the problem a little more.  Also, how old is the building?  Are all the branch circuits three-wire (hot, neutral & ground), or are they trying to use the neutral or conduit for the ground?  You could also be getting a ground loop between the Tascam and the computer, try lifting the ground on the Tascam as a test.

Joe



Hi Joe.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not really sure how the buildings wired up. It's about 30 years old (mid-70s). I bet they're just doing the cold water pipe grounding technique.

Could a ground loop be something other than the 60Hz hum-style ground loop? I thought that was the only type of ground loop (the one with the noise).

A little scared to lift the ground on the mixer...I don't trust the wiring in this building at all...


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Joe Crawford

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2006, 10:12:08 am »

Rich,

It’s usually pretty easy to check the AC wiring.  Turn the circuit breaker off at the breaker panel to be on the safe side.  Then remove the cover plate on the outlets for the frig and computer and take a look inside the boxs with a flashlight.  There should be one or two cables (some times up to four) coming into the box.  Each cable should have three wires: one black (usually the hot), one white (usually the neutral), and one bare copper (or sometimes green) ground.  Make sure the ground disappears into the cable and is not just connected to a screw on the outlet box itself (making it a conduit ground).  If each cable coming into the outlet box is three-wire, at least they’re not using the neutral for ground in the branch circuits.  They could still be using the neutral or water pipes for the master ground at the circuit break panel though.  You would have to go back to the breaker panel, remove the cover and follow the ground wiring to see whether they’re using the water pipes, etc. for the building ground.

You should also verify that the outlet plugs are wired correctly, either visually or, alternatively, you could buy/borrow one of those three-prong outlet testers.  Electric motors are notoriously noisy.  I’ve seen things such as vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, and even hand power tools cause major noise problems when the hot and neutrals were swapped at and outlet, or the ground not connected.  Many years ago, we were installing about 30 remote computer consoles.  Every time a contractor started up his jig saw the main-frame computers crashed.  Several of outlets were wired backwards.  We wound up buying the jig saw from the contractor to test other sites.

Joe
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rdolmat

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2006, 03:04:56 pm »

Well...

got my mixer psu completely over-hauled and had an electrician come in and add a separate circuit to a single AC outlet in the studio for my gear. Fridge is on another ciruit.

Ground is running to the water pipe. The building owners aren't letting me run a new ground rod.

But the clicks are STILL there (when the fridge turns on). I have absolutely no clue...

I'm thinking now, it's an RF EMI thing...what else could it be? I'm running a double-conversion online UPS into two rack mount RF filters and AC conditioners...

apart from getting on a stationary bike and generating my own power for the studio, I'm almost certain it's an airborne RF / EMI thing?!!

Confused
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Teddy G.

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2006, 05:47:18 pm »

I suspect it's your gear, or some piece of your gear(We all have noisy fridges), which is broken, improperly designed, improperly shielded, or even with "wrong" cabling acting as an antenna or "receiver"(Try "subbing" or eliminating, where you can).

"True" RF noise? A friend of mine found his computer's router was causing horrible noise(With his battery-powered, AM radio, tuned to an unused frequency, used like a "geiger counter"!). Replaced the router. All was well. Others have "followed" the RF trail to a "bad"(Arcing) connector on a power company pole, blocks away(Call your power company)!

If YOUR electrician determines YOUR ground rod(Or AC ground system) to be "bad", YOUR landlord should agree to a repair - and PAY FOR IT - AND your cost for the electrician! Or move. Water pipes often, these days, have plastic somewhere in the system, like at the water meter, sometimes with little, thin "jumper wires" - NOT GOOD! An electrician can check for "actual" ground at your rod, water pipe - and your entire ground system. Of course, having TWO grounds - building rod AND pipe is NOT GOOD(More than one ground tends to cause ground loops or even act as an "antenna" for RF)! One good AC ground, with well-shielded gear, is all that's needed.

Point is: If you have a "good" ground system and we all have similar noise sources which don't cause problems, it's your gear or the installation of same...

TG

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mr jason

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2006, 09:17:17 pm »

I opened my studio very recently, and when we were testing everything out we found an intermittent hum problem on the master section of my Soundtracs MRX mixer. We traced it to a heater that was plugged into a socket on a partition wall, in a different room. We plugged this heater into a plug socket on a different wall, and the problem dissapeared. It wasn't THAT simple, cos it took a while to trace the problem to THAT particular heater, but it's fine now.
We do get a click when using the kettle or microwave in the lounge, so we stop recording when we're making a brew or heating food, hehe.
Sorry, that was no help to you really, apart from that although it seems stupidly simple, it might be worth trying plugging the fridge into a few different plug sockets, using an extension lead, just to see if it makes the blindest bit of difference.
I'm not amazingly technical, hehe, so that's the best I can do.  Rolling Eyes

rdolmat

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2006, 10:00:34 am »

SO an electrician came in and strung another AC lead from a new breaker in the panel, with the ground going to water pipe.

Almost solved the entire problem. The clicks (due to the fridge) are about 89% quieter (almost insignificant) and other clicks (from heaters, kettles etc) are completely gone.

So I put a switchable AC powerbar between the fridge and the AC socket and just turn it off when recording vocals.

Problem solved!!! (mostly, I really need a completely new AC layout with the orange plugs etc...but that's another time).

Thanks so much everyone, I learned a lot!!
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rich

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