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Author Topic: Mic Distortion  (Read 1180 times)

Eddie Eagle

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Mic Distortion
« on: June 06, 2020, 06:17:53 PM »

Check out the file and tell me what you think. After about 20-30 minutes of recording my Langevin CR3A starts making a sizzling/distortion sound.
I use the very same setup of cables and preamp and the other mic (MKH415) doesn't sizzle. Is it the mic or maybe something else?

https://youtu.be/YbGXgQxCWGM

Chain: Mic>Portico 5032>Focusrite Forte Interface>Sound Forge or Audition 3.0
Gratitude for listening.
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RadarDoug2

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Re: Mic Distortion
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2020, 05:39:56 AM »

Your sample is full of clipping. Back the gain off, use a pop filter, get off mike a bit.
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Eddie Eagle

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Re: Mic Distortion
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2020, 10:27:28 AM »

Thanks for the suggestion I've already done that and the clipping persists. The other mic, under the same conditions, does not clip at all.
This started happening a month or so ago. My levels and setup never changed and the mic started clipping. I checked connections and cables but no help.

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klaus

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Re: Mic Distortion
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2020, 02:27:38 PM »

It may be easiest to send the mic to Manley, which, as I understand, imported and marketed it in the 1990s. But if that is not an option, you may want some one to replace the FET and its source capacitor and rebias the input stage.
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Klaus Heyne
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Eddie Eagle

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Re: Mic Distortion
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2020, 02:35:57 PM »

Thanks for that suggestion. This particular mic is actually serial number #002 that they made the circuit board and assembled in Chino when they discoed the Chinese company due to quality issues. I found that out 4 years ago when I first bought the mic. I did reach out to Gamma at Manley on Friday. Just waiting to hear back from him.
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Eddie Eagle

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Re: Mic Distortion
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2020, 02:47:59 PM »

To add to that I decided to pull out my old Rode NTK and it has a background hiss that doesn't seem like it should be there. I just bought a new mic cable for it and the hiss persists. Boy if it ain't 1 thing it's another. The 415 seems to be an indestructable beast that works no matter what.

Here's the background hiss from the NTK.
https://youtu.be/LeVeznpUzqI

I sent an email to Rode USA and await a reply.

I love the sound I get from the Langevin so I hope it's an easy fix.
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klaus

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Re: Mic Distortion
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2020, 02:57:07 PM »

As every microphone has a more or less audible noise level, i.e. its noise floor is relative, it is a prudent first step to compare the noise level of the mic under suspicion with that of another mic of the same model.
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Eddie Eagle

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Re: Mic Distortion
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2020, 03:15:42 PM »

I would do that but I only have 1 NTK. I haven't used it in probably 8-10 years. I let it warm up for 45 minutes but the hiss seems a bit excessive from what its noise floor was before when I used it regularly. The 415 is a much quieter mic...but then again it is a shotgun mic that has a narrow pattern that will cancel out noise on its own. I can actually hear the hiss under my voice when recording with the NTK in its current state. Is that normal? I thought about using Noise Reduction in my software when editing but I don't like to do much to my audio files. Only a light compression. That hiss file has no processing. I never use Noise Reduction on that mic in the past. Maybe EQ might clean it out?
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klaus

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Re: Mic Distortion
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2020, 04:43:02 PM »

Your Youtube sample of noise is not conclusive without reference to a signal.

Your comment about the noise-canceling properties of your shotgun microphone is not applicable here, as we are talking about the mic's SELF noise, not what external noise it may pick up or cancel.
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Klaus Heyne
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Eddie Eagle

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Re: Mic Distortion
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2020, 05:24:49 PM »



Your comment about the noise-canceling properties of your shotgun microphone is not applicable here

True
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Kai

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Re: Mic Distortion
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2020, 08:04:34 PM »

... the hiss seems a bit excessive from what its noise floor was before when I used it regularly. ... I can actually hear the hiss under my voice when recording with the NTK in its current state. ...  I thought about using Noise Reduction in my software when editing ... Maybe EQ might clean it out?
Rode NTK's specs I found sound almost too good to be true.

If they are true, there should be no audible hiss from the mic or the preamp:
Self noise:12dBA, sensitivity: 25mV@94dBSPL, equals low noise, high output.
Something is broken, maybe the tube has reached end of life, maybe something else.

I had to change tubes on my Rode NTV's quite often, have to admit I have 6 and they got a lot of use.
I even had one with a broken capsule, replaced it with an original Gefell M7, side-upgrade.
But broken capsules don't produce permanent hiss, more crackle-like sounds.

Noise reduction or EQ as post processing will lead you nowhere except to bad sound.
Fix it or get it fixed, the tube does not seem to be expensive.



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Eddie Eagle

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Re: Mic Distortion
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2020, 08:55:22 PM »

Thanks Kai. Yeah, when i used it regularly many years ago it was very quiet and sounded great on recordings. I did a lot of commercials and tv shows with it. When I fired it back up it just didn't sound the same so I thought I'd ask about it. I have a support request from RODE USA I'm waiting on. I've heard a number of people have modded their NTKs.

I tried some NR and gate but it doesn't cut the cake! I guess I could get a new tube and try that and then send it in if it doesn't fix the problem. Not a lot of $$ spent to check it out.
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Eddie Eagle

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Re: Mic Distortion
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2020, 12:15:04 PM »

So the verdict on the Rode NTK is that the tube needed to be replaced. The good folks at Rode USA replaced it free of charge and it's enroute back to my studio now. That kind of service is so appreciated as I've had this mic since 2003.

Still waiting on the CR3A results and my Neve Portico that I also sent in to make sure it was not a source. Checking all the options here. I've been recording straight into my Focusrite Forte with my MKH415 with no issues in the meantime.
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