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NT1a Maknig Weird Nosie When i Touch It What's Wrong?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by escape4444, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. escape4444

    escape4444 Active Member

    whenever i touch mic it has a weird ringing noise nt1a connected to a fast track solo connected to desktop pc. my mic has issues whats wrong with it. could be my setup not the mic? goes into a avid fast track solo. Happens with speakers and tv turned of still. I had a CAD M179 a few weeks ago and it wasnt doing this. I was messing with all the pickup patterns on the mic and no ringing. even if i slightly touch pop filter ring or shock mount it does it so its not the actual wiggling of the mic. im guessing its something electrical. idk what to do.

    video of problem here
     
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    It's seem like a ground problem. Could be in the mic itself, the cable the pre or if you have a faulty groud in your walls..
    Did you try another cable ? If you can test it at a friend's place or in a store (pretend you want to test preamps if you didn't buy it there)
    You need to go by elimination...
     
  3. escape4444

    escape4444 Active Member

    i had a at2020 before a cad m179 and i think it had this ringing as well but wasnt as noticeable just noticed it while testing the at2020 and there would be a small amount of ringing after some of my words. i thought it was maybe damaged during shipping. i remember shaking it a bit and hearing the ringing. its very similar to this now that i think about it. cdad m179 didnt have this prob but at2020 had a similar prob now thta i think about it.
     
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    First off, let me say that you did do a great job in presenting the problem using a video. I wish more people who had questions would present their issues in the way that you did. ;)

    I have to be honest and say that I've never heard a sound quite like this before. My hunch is that this is some kind of wizzly ground issue, because the ringing only presents itself when you make contact with the mic. Do you hear this same ringing sound if you touch the metal casing on mic cable connector where the cable meets the mic? Does this problem occur if you touch any metal anywhere? Like on the Fast Track...

    But I can't say for sure that this is the problem.

    If you've noticed this problem using different mics - even if one mic might not present the problem quite as audibly as the other, then it's not the mic.

    While the both the CAD and the AT2020 are considered to be entry-level ( cheap) condenser mics, you still shouldn't be having this problem, and the fact that you've mentioned having the problem - even to a lesser degree - with another mic, then this points to other potential issues. It could be the Avid Pre/I-O you are using, it might be in your computer's sound devices configuration, it may be that you need to update the drivers for it... as Marco mentioned it could be a grounding issue. Have you tried different mic cables? Different connection cables? Different power outlets?

    The best thing you can do - and yes it can be tedious but it's really the only thing that will narrow down the source - is to use a process of elimination.

    Try everything; different mic cables, different power outlets, update the drivers for the avid ( if Avid also has also updated their firmware for the device, then do that too), make sure you don't have two different audio devices running at the same time on your computer, etc.

    So:

    1. Different mics, same cable... and, if you can, try different microphone types as well; try connecting a dynamic mic, which doesn't require phantom power to operate; something like a Shure SM57 or 58.
    Turn the phantom power on the Avid off, and see if the problem is still there. The reason for this is to see if the issue may be in the 48v phantom power that all modern preamps implement for using condenser microphones ( like the AT202 or the CAD M179), where this power is needed for the mic to operate.

    2. Different cables, same mic

    3. Check with Avid for most recent driver/software/firmware updates : http://www.avid.com/US/products/FastTrack-Solo/Support#Downloads

    4. Check your computer's Device Manager to make sure you don't have two active sound/audio devices running at the same time. If you see something other than the Avid as being active, disable it.

    5. Use different power outlets, or, take your rig to a friend's place and try it there.

    Keep us updated on what you find out...

    Hopefully, others will weigh in here as well, and maybe make suggestions that I haven't thought of.

    d.
     
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    This sounds like a fault with one of the capsules or its suspension in the NT1-A microphone. However, your (excellent) video illustrates two effects: (a) the high-pitched bell-like sound and (b) a lower-pitched sound due to cable movement. The second effect is more likely to be due to microphony in the cable, but it may also be another facet of the capsule mounting problem.

    How long have you had the microphone? Rode are very good about honouring their 10-year warranty provided the fault is due to a manufacturing defect.
     
    pcrecord likes this.
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    As always, Bos gives excellent advice.... But didn't he mention that he was having this same problem with another mic as well, though?
     
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Process of elimination is the best approach ;)
     
  8. escape4444

    escape4444 Active Member

    I now believe its the fast track audio interface. I recently got back into xlr mics so over the past month i bought the fast track and tried 3 mics on it. the at2020, m179, and now the nt1a. again i noticed similar issues with the at2020. however the thing that now makes me believe its the audio interface for sure is that with all three mics i found myself drastically having to change the EQ settings I was using. sometimes the mic would sound horrible like the mic was just a little off sounding. sometimes id be using extreme amounts of eq while others hardly any. i just did a recording back to back with spoken word and one recording sounded super thin and distorted a bit while the other didnt. ^#$% this i give up. i believe it to be the interface. all three mics i found myself drastically changing the eq all the time i thought i was going crazy. somethings not right with this $*^t its most likely not the mic.
     
    pcrecord likes this.
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Well, different mics will have different tonal characteristics; but if you're saying that the "takes" you are recording are sounding dramatically different while using the same mic, and that this ringing is still evident even when using different mics, then yeah, I'd get my money back on that FastTrack, if that's possible. If not, and the return period or warranty time has elapsed, then that is indeed unfortunate... but either way, it's time to get a new preamp - I/O.

    The good news is that the FastTrack didn't cost you $800, and you're only out $100 or so. Yeah, it still sucks... but it could have been a lot worse. ;)

    If you are going to buy another preamp-I/O, and have questions on particular models, please don't hesitate to ask us. ;)

    d.
     
  10. escape4444

    escape4444 Active Member

    the eq thing i was wrong about i guess its just the nature of condensers if you move them around some and play with the gain and compressor a tiny bit it can really affect the way you sound in a bad way so the eq thing i found out was just paranoia. i may just keep the nt1a and deal with not being able to touch the audio setup while recording. its not that big of a deal just putting some towels under everything to prevent vibration and setting the ringing off again. i got the interface for like 60 bucks new on ebay or maybe it was 50 something. they like low balling the price then shooting the price up by 30 or so dollars after they get a few sales to try to convince other people to buy the rest of their stock. i thought i was getting a good deal but ugh. im considering getting a sm58 mic cause im getting sick of this condenser crap but im sure the dynamic will piss me off too. i like mics but i also hate them so damn much.
     
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    @escape4444 ...

    You're blaming the wrong things here, and trying to make due with a rig that isn't working right.

    Both condensers and dynamics are great mics, ribbons too... depending on the models of course, but thousands and thousands of hits have been recorded using all of those types of mics... the difference is that the studios weren't connecting those mics to cheap and/or faulty gear.

    Your Rode NT mic, while perhaps not the quality of a U87 or 414, is still a perfectly useable mic for recording. The problem isn't in the types of mics you are using. The problem lies within your gain chain, specifically the Fast Track, and until you upgrade to a better preamp/I-O, you're going to continue to be frustrated. Even if you do what you say, and avoid making contact to avoid the ringing, if it's got that problem, what's to say that it also doesn't have other issues that may also be effecting your quality?

    $60 bucks for a pre is nothing. It's a drop in the drop of water in the ocean of what it costs to get good recordings, and, you generally get a quality commensurate for what you spend... $60? I have more money than that tied up in just two Mogami instrument cables. It's all relative to how much (or how little) quality you want to achieve.

    The types of mics you are using isn't the source of your problem. ;)
     
  12. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Donny and I have often had different views on preamps, but he's really on the ball here - you have a defective one. Here we'd simply describe it as buggered. Back in WWII we would call it U/S, (unserviceable), but that term dropped out of use quickly when the US came to our aid ............

    You say
    They are tools. They all do different things and some are very much one trick ponies, while others, like the SM58 you mention, are OK (just OK) on loads. The Rode can be a very useful mic - a decent enough workhorse, but the fault seems to have you near the edge. I have too many microphones to count, and when I lose them (or misplace them) it can be weeks before I notice, or suddenly find a lost one. The most expensive one I have is an AKG 414, and I wish I had a pair, but I haven't - so I use the same ones for the same things. I stick up for a vocalist in the studio, mic A, and if it's good, I don't waste time trying others. If I don't like the sound on the person, I will select from another two, depending on what part of their voice isn't working. For drums, I look at the kit and pick. Sometimes I run out of the 'right' one. Then it's a juggling act. I don't have any mics I hate, and I don't really have any I drool over.

    Here in the UK, we can buy anything mail order/internet and if we don't like it, send it back. At worst, we lose the postage, but this is law. Do you have something similar? Donny convinced me preamps do sound different, something I really hadn't believed, thinking it was mic, mic, mic.
     
    DonnyThompson likes this.
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I am sooo gonna steal that word... ;)
     

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