Sennheiser ME66 Popping During Takes
So I recently ran into a serious issue while on a location shoot.
I've never had any signal issues with any of my mics before, but for some reason, I've been getting a strange, periodic popping sound on my ME66. I have it plugged into channel one of my Tascam DR-680 and the other channels are usually taken up by my Sennheiser G3s.
When I first noticed it happening, I switched out the XLR cable thinking that was the problem. When it persisted, I switched out my boom pole from internally cabled to external, switched out the mic for another ME66 and even borrowed another DR-680 to no avail. I've tried unplugging all other inputs, switching my power supply from an external Li-on battery to AAs and even taking out all of my outputs.
I'm really at the end of my rope here. The only things I haven't tried replacing are my headphones and the sd cards that I cycle through. Does anyone have any ideas? I thought I might be getting RF interference, but changing locations doesn't help and all my cables are shielded. I've considered that maybe both my right angle xlr's went at once, but that doesn't seem likely and none of the connections have shorted.
I should mention that I can't replicate the sound by jiggling connections. It seems to come and go as it pleases. Any advice is much appreciated as this has baffled me for several days now.
I've used similar models through the years and had similar scenarios to yours. In my time at NBC-TV, what I discovered, was a twofold issue. If you have a battery in the microphone and you are using phantom? If that battery isn't fresh? This can happen.
Conversely, if ya leave the battery out and just screw the shotgun section to the amplifier section, using only phantom, without the battery, the plastic with the contact can bend slightly causing interruption of service to the capsule/shotgun section. The likes of which is truly intermittent with the popping. And not from jiggling anything. It just happens, intermittently, randomly.
The shotgun contact side along with the microphone contact side, is also sensitive to surface deposited airborne particulate pollution. Requiring a little cleaning once in a while.
So we always make sure to have fresh batteries in the microphone, when using phantom power. And it didn't help to over torque the shotgun section to the amplifier section. So don't do that.
Sometimes it was also the dual position low-frequency cutoff switch going intermittent. Sometimes it was just an indicator, time to replace the microphone.
These modular microphone systems certainly have their wide ranging applications. But along with those numerous selectable variations comes a much greater chance of these intermittent problems. Which is why the Sennheiser MKH 414 and 814, dedicated short and long shotgun microphones were so much more reliable. I even remembered those particular part numbers correctly? The silver shotguns that were only shotguns.
That's the long and short of it.
Mx. Remy Ann David