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Studio ground loop problems- A given?

I am reconfiguring an extremely modest studio (A DAW with Cubase LE4, respectable monitoring, a few mics, and a couple of rack units like compressor, preamps etc).

I understand that it is desirable to have everything powered from one outlet to avoid ground loops, but sometimes that is impractical.

Are ground loop problems a certainty if one uses two wall outlets? Could I get away with having all audio recording gear (rack units, guitar amps etc.) on one outlet, and monitoring (Power amp and preamp) on another? They will of course be interconnected via my DI PreSonus Firebox.

Or, should I just pile on the power bars on one outlet?


Boswell Thu, 10/16/2008 - 22:14

Put the guitar amps on the other wall outlet if you are miking their loudspeakers and not taking a DI from them.

Otherwise, try it and see. Next candidate to move to the other outlet would be the monitor power amp. Try to keep the recording gear all supplied from the same outlet, but ground loop hum is pervasive and can cause problems anywhere in the system.

jm2 Fri, 10/17/2008 - 13:42

"...but ground loop hum is pervasive and can cause problems anywhere in the system."

I was just pondering the issue, and it seems that the ground wire runs to each piece of equipment separately, and there must be potential for ground loops there too. I decided to run everything from one outlet after all, but now I am wondering if bundling AC wires together as much as possible might be of some benefit.