Help please I'm going to cry!

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
umbrellasky
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Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by umbrellasky » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:50 pm

Sooooo it seems everything time I try something new technically there are problems...I fix one, buy another piece of equipment and have to fix that...

So...my latest problem is this:

I have a Focusrite Scarlet Solo Interface, I have plugged it in, downloaded drivers, plugged in my Sennheiser HD 280 headphones, plugged in my microphone as Shure SM58 and I'm getting static. I have Asio driver set up, there's no latency, all that seems to be fine, just can't get rid of this damn static.

Before I used this microphone I briefly had an Avantone CV12 which I borrowed and had no problems with it. Just cannot figure it out and yes I think I'm going to cry from all the stress of technology problems!!

Thank you so much to anyone who can help!

edit: just to add that I have just tried it on another computer and still having same issues. :(

sana48
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by sana48 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:00 pm

Can you try another microphone and cable?

Also, is your phantom power on? Check your gain levels...

Angstrom
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by Angstrom » Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:51 pm

"Static" is usually a shitty cable. There's a break in it, and as the electrons make the jump you get crackle noises. Like a capacitor discharging. Static.

Mic cables can be obtained for very little.

In the olden days when something broke the maxim was always "check the leads, then check the sockets". It was always that. Now that everything is digital it is still that 50% of the time.

umbrellasky
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by umbrellasky » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:01 pm

sana48 wrote:Can you try another microphone and cable?

Also, is your phantom power on? Check your gain levels...
Thank you for your reply. No Phantom power isn't on, tried it with it on and off. Tried adjusting the gain levels, have to turn the knob on full or almost full to hear anything from the mic so maybe this could be the problem? Even when I turn my headphone volume right up and the gain down I still get the static. The static isn't really loud, but loud enough to be annoying.

Hmm haven't tried another cable as I haven't got one, but perhaps I should buy one and give it a try. The cable I am using is brand new and so is the mic and audio interface.

Thanks for your suggestions I really appreciate it.

umbrellasky
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by umbrellasky » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:02 pm

Angstrom wrote:"Static" is usually a shitty cable. There's a break in it, and as the electrons make the jump you get crackle noises. Like a capacitor discharging. Static.

Mic cables can be obtained for very little.

In the olden days when something broke the maxim was always "check the leads, then check the sockets". It was always that. Now that everything is digital it is still that 50% of the time.
Thanks, I will try that, can't think what else it could be, very strange as it's a brand new cable.

Angstrom
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by Angstrom » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:20 pm

That sort of persistent fluttering sound can also be component death in an amplifier. So that wouldnt be good.

The technique to check leads and sockets is
Try a different lead in the suspicious socket. Result OK = socket is OK
try the suspicious lead in a different socket. Result OK = lead is OK
Try no leads in any sockets. Result = fluttering? Check connection from device to computer. Check speaker cables. Check input routings in ableton. Cry.

umbrellasky
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by umbrellasky » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:31 pm

Angstrom wrote:That sort of persistent fluttering sound can also be component death in an amplifier. So that wouldnt be good.

The technique to check leads and sockets is
Try a different lead in the suspicious socket. Result OK = socket is OK
try the suspicious lead in a different socket. Result OK = lead is OK
Try no leads in any sockets. Result = fluttering? Check connection from device to computer. Check speaker cables. Check input routings in ableton. Cry.
Thank you, I have no other devices to check the cable, so going to try getting a replacement and see if that works.

You mentioned try no leads in any sockets, if I disconnect the microphone cable and still keep the microphone gain high I can still hear static through the headphones only louder, is this normal?

Angstrom
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by Angstrom » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:54 pm

Hmm, that's not brilliant. It should be quiet, or with a noise floor down around -80db. Like ... Quiet. If its louder than that. Like - the live meters or other input meters on the computer show something above -50db theres a problem, (does it have a focusrite software mixer?)

Then you want to take a good look at the connection from the focusrite to the computer. Waggle that lead around, bump the sockets. Does the noise change? Stop, get louder, make noises? If it does then it's the cable or one of the sockets.

If the noise doesnt really change that much as you waggle the cable then thats bad.
Theres still a slim chance tou've made a software error in routing, or driver selection, something.
But the odds start to grow that an opamp is failing, the device itself has a hardware fault. If it makes noise on its own and theres no dry joints on the sockets and all the cables are good. It starts to look bad for the device.

You need a dude to look at it. Its hard to diagnose online.

umbrellasky
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by umbrellasky » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:44 pm

Angstrom wrote:Hmm, that's not brilliant. It should be quiet, or with a noise floor down around -80db. Like ... Quiet. If its louder than that. Like - the live meters or other input meters on the computer show something above -50db theres a problem, (does it have a focusrite software mixer?)

Then you want to take a good look at the connection from the focusrite to the computer. Waggle that lead around, bump the sockets. Does the noise change? Stop, get louder, make noises? If it does then it's the cable or one of the sockets.

If the noise doesnt really change that much as you waggle the cable then thats bad.
Theres still a slim chance tou've made a software error in routing, or driver selection, something.
But the odds start to grow that an opamp is failing, the device itself has a hardware fault. If it makes noise on its own and theres no dry joints on the sockets and all the cables are good. It starts to look bad for the device.

You need a dude to look at it. Its hard to diagnose online.
Thank you so much for your suggestions I will give those a try. Man it will be so annoying if the interface has died, I've only had it a week!

sana48
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by sana48 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:36 am

Image

sana48
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by sana48 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:39 am

umbrellasky wrote: No Phantom power isn't on, tried it with it on and off. Tried adjusting the gain levels, have to turn the knob on full or almost full to hear anything from the mic so maybe this could be the problem?
definitely sounds like a connection issue.

jestermgee
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by jestermgee » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:29 am

Which input on the interface do you have it connected to?

It sounds like the mic is possibly not running through a pre-amp if you have to crank up the volume all the way to hear it but you get loud static through the cable especially without anything connected at the other end.

Which port is the mic connected to? Is it connected to the XLR input or the Instrument/Line In input?

Image

Not quite familiar with that interface but I assume the mic is supplied with a 6.5mm lead plug which you have connected into the Instrument input. Looking at the interface it wont work well as that is a high impedance input OR Line input not a mic pre-amp. That could be the issue and in that case replace the mic with an XLR ended cable.

umbrellasky
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by umbrellasky » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:28 pm

jestermgee wrote:Which input on the interface do you have it connected to?

It sounds like the mic is possibly not running through a pre-amp if you have to crank up the volume all the way to hear it but you get loud static through the cable especially without anything connected at the other end.

Which port is the mic connected to? Is it connected to the XLR input or the Instrument/Line In input?

Image

Not quite familiar with that interface but I assume the mic is supplied with a 6.5mm lead plug which you have connected into the Instrument input. Looking at the interface it wont work well as that is a high impedance input OR Line input not a mic pre-amp. That could be the issue and in that case replace the mic with an XLR ended cable.
Hi the mic wasn't supplied with a cable so had to buy one. I'm using an XLR cable. I have just had it replaced and still getting static. It's very quiet static which, depending on how I adjust the gain and minotor volumes can be almost inaudible...almost...I record my vocals though and turn up the volume to listen to them and static is being recorded into them.

So...

I've tried replacing the xlr cable
I've tried replacing the USB lead
Only thing I haven't been able to try is another interface.

Any chance it could it be the interface that's the problem?

If quiet static is normal then I could probably put up with it for now...but I don't want to be putting up with it if it's because something needs replacing...

Thanks :)

CheekoStick
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by CheekoStick » Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:13 pm

I am running into the same issue currently with my Scarlett Solo. I've never had a problem until recently connecting to new KRK Monitors. Turning down the DB seems to help a fraction. Reinstalling drivers fixes the issue for a short time.

jestermgee
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Re: Help please I'm going to cry!

Post by jestermgee » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:31 pm

For the interface test you would possibly need another Mic to test with but:

You say when you have the volume way up you hear static. If you disconnect the mic from the line you also still hear static (which would make sense for interference in the cable). What if you can hear the static clear if you pull the cable from the interface. Does static remain or disappear?

If it disappears then it's interference in the cable and it shouldn't be an issue with the interface.

If you have the mic plugged in and are using it with close proximity your gain should be very low on the input. There will always be some background interference which will become more noticable as you crank up the volume so if you are being forced to increase the volume to even hear your voice it could be the Mic.

The only 2 tests I can think of would be:

- Try another mic using the same cable if possible
- Try the mic on another interface.

Do you happen to have a mixer with an XLR input or anything? If not do you have a friend or even a music shop you can take it to just to plug it in and test it? If it sounds clean and loud on another system then rule of thumb suggests an interface issue.

Hope you manage to get it sorted. Audio chain issues can be a pain to figure out sometimes.

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