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Author Topic: Clicks in audio path?!!  (Read 4699 times)

rdolmat

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Clicks in audio path?!!
« on: December 21, 2005, 11:16:01 am »

Hi folks...

Well, I've been trying to deal with this problem ever since it started getting colder and people are turning on their portable heaters ...(at least I THINK that's the prob).

I have an RME Multiface hooked up to my computer (P4 3.1G) and I would ALWAYS get random click (about every 7 min) into my audio signal. I can even hear the clicks through my Tascam M3500 mains/headphones...

I did a test and recorded all 8 analog ins from my RME, and I would get random clicks on random tracks for each recording...but not clicks when recording through ADAT ins...

I also got the same problem when recording through my MOTU 828MKII.

The clicks even happen when in stop mode (no playback or recording into computer). I've even unpluged my Tascam M3500 fully and still get the odd click recorded into the signal.

So, do you think it's an AC thing? I've been in the building for over 8 months and only started getting this problem in the last month or so. I'm assuming it's because of the weather getting colder and more offices on my floor are using space heaters and hot water kettles. I have two line conditioners on both my racks and the computer is also going through a UPS and line conditioner.

Any tips? Should I pay to rewire the breaker panel so I get my own AC source? (instead of sharing it with the 2nd floor bathroom and hallway outlets and who-knows-what-else?

thanks a million!
rich
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rich

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spoon

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2005, 11:34:48 am »

rdolmat wrote on Wed, 21 December 2005 10:16

Hi folks...

I did a test and recorded all 8 analog ins from my RME, and I would get random clicks on random tracks for each recording...but not clicks when recording through ADAT ins...

Any tips?

rich


Unless the AD/DA device is horrible, record thru the ADAT i/o and call it a solution.

Regards,
spoon



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archtop

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2005, 11:41:19 am »

I get little clicks here, from anything with a thermostat clicking on/off.

Stove, dryer, etc.
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Richard Williams

Ronny

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2005, 01:05:13 pm »


You can't possibly be getting a better signal through optical, because Hawksford says it's mediocre.

Or you can go by 12 years of experience with ADAT and 15 years experience with SPdif optical and know that it's a very clean medium, as long as you don't exceed the length requirements.

You probably aren't going to get separate AC because the whole building is likely running from the same transformer and it all comes from the same grid. The key may be isolated grounds, at least in one case that I had, where I was getting interferrence from a large band saw when they'd operate it at the mill shop next door. Took 6 months to figure out that one. My building and their's, the breaker panels were grounded to the water pipes, I was getting interference coming through his water pipes, into the water main and up to my building via my water pipes. I bought a new breaker box and ran all of the gear to it, instead of grounding to the pipes, I sunk an 8 foot grounding rod outside and it immediately cured the bleed problem from the mill shop. I'm quite certain that it was a shared ground issue and if you are sharing the same ground as the other folks, than I would suspect that you'll get clicks when their ac and fridge compressors come on, maybe heater fans and microwave ovens which are notorius for introducing hum. Microwaves that use power up down settings to regulate heat are notorius for not only adding hum, but clicks when the power settings shift and an increase in hum level when they are on the higher setting.  
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rdolmat

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2005, 09:21:04 am »

Thanks folks...

some good solutions to try out there. I've never had this problem in other buildings, so it's a little frustrating. The grouding rod seems like a good solution too...

I guess I'll end up trying them all... Confused
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dcollins

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2005, 12:51:55 am »

rdolmat wrote on Thu, 22 December 2005 06:21



some good solutions to try out there. I've never had this problem in other buildings, so it's a little frustrating. The grouding rod seems like a good solution too...

I guess I'll end up trying them all... Confused


First, you have to be sure that it's not clocking that make the clicks.

Can you correlate the clicks to anything that is cycling on and off?  That's the first place to start.  Are you in proximity to any new neighbors?  With arc welders?

Forget the ground rod for now.  Do you  have any power conditioning/filtering?

DC

canada

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2005, 01:15:36 am »

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

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2005, 04:51:12 am »

he did specify in his first post that both his racks and the computer are going thru line conditioners, and the computer is on UPS. i'm assuming that means there isnt also an 8 foot console plugged direct into the mains !

i would definitely recommend a ground rod - you can detach your earth from everything/everyone else in the building, and its one more thing you can eliminate if the problem continues - and any problem solving like this is just a case of systematic elimination. its also wont cost the earth (sorry!).
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rdolmat

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2005, 09:33:46 am »

Statick wrote on Fri, 23 December 2005 01:51

he did specify in his first post that both his racks and the computer are going thru line conditioners, and the computer is on UPS. i'm assuming that means there isnt also an 8 foot console plugged direct into the mains !

i would definitely recommend a ground rod - you can detach your earth from everything/everyone else in the building, and its one more thing you can eliminate if the problem continues - and any problem solving like this is just a case of systematic elimination. its also wont cost the earth (sorry!).



Correct! But I do have a 32 ch Tascam M3500 going through one of the line conditioners too (the same one as the computer).

I was back in the studio last night again and didn't hear one single click (because the rest of the offices were closed). But I bet you today when I return, there will be clicks throughout the day.

I'll see about the grounding thing too...have to ask the building management.

What a hassle!

thanks folks.

cheers
rich
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bobkatz

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2005, 10:20:49 am »

dcollins wrote on Fri, 23 December 2005 00:51




Forget the ground rod for now.  Do you  have any power conditioning/filtering?

DC


Good suggestion. I have no use whatsoever for power "regulators" that use a switched relay tap autotransformer, like one Tripplite model. They have been known to put clicks into sensitive Preamplifiers whenever they cycle between high and low voltages.

BK
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rdolmat

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2006, 10:03:40 am »

bobkatz wrote on Fri, 23 December 2005 07:20

dcollins wrote on Fri, 23 December 2005 00:51




Forget the ground rod for now.  Do you  have any power conditioning/filtering?

DC


Good suggestion. I have no use whatsoever for power "regulators" that use a switched relay tap autotransformer, like one Tripplite model. They have been known to put clicks into sensitive Preamplifiers whenever they cycle between high and low voltages.

BK


Hi Bob.

Which Tripp-lite model? They seem to be the cheapest (starting at only $500) and pretty much what I can afford now. Is there any other model you can recommend?

thanks!
rich
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Joe Crawford

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2006, 11:27:56 am »

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.

Joe
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bobkatz

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2006, 01:28:25 pm »

rdolmat wrote on Mon, 16 January 2006 10:03

bobkatz wrote on Fri, 23 December 2005 07:20

dcollins wrote on Fri, 23 December 2005 00:51




Forget the ground rod for now.  Do you  have any power conditioning/filtering?

DC


Good suggestion. I have no use whatsoever for power "regulators" that use a switched relay tap autotransformer, like one Tripplite model. They have been known to put clicks into sensitive Preamplifiers whenever they cycle between high and low voltages.

BK


Hi Bob.

Which Tripp-lite model? They seem to be the cheapest (starting at only $500) and pretty much what I can afford now. Is there any other model you can recommend?

thanks!
rich



All the Tripp-lites use switched relays. They're dangerous! A Sola or Topaz constant voltage transformer is much more expensive but it does work. There are other methods, much more expensive even than the CV transformer. Try surplus. Warning: CV transformers vibrate like crazy and should not be used in the studio because of the noise. And there is controversy over whether the 3% or so THD they add to the line hurts audio reproduction. We don't have any voltage fluctuations here (just total dropouts) so I haven't had the need and I haven't done the listening test critically. Who has done the test? Is a Sola good for audio?

BK
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rdolmat

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2006, 06:12:46 pm »

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.

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...

Is there anyway to get rid of the clicks from the fridge? Is this an RF interference issue (when the fridge compressor motor kicks in?) The fridge in about 10 feet away from my Tascam M 3500 mixer, and the only inputs to the computer that click are the Tascam DIs, but not my Behringer V-Amp or my ART tube preamp (even though they're on the same circuit).

Is this maybe a Tascam M3500 mixer issue? A Tascam Power Supply issue? Studio grouding?

Do I have a crap mixer then?

I've been fighting these clicks for months, coming up with a multitude of excuses for the clients...

PLEASE help....

thanks in advance!

cheers
rich
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rdolmat

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Re: Clicks in audio path?!!
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2006, 06:17:05 pm »

Joe Crawford wrote on Mon, 16 January 2006 08:27

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.

Joe


Joe...

I'm doing that now...but I think you may have something about the ground line...

I wonder how I can fix a grounding issue. This is a commercial space (leased), so I would have to bring it up with management.
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