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Static interference during playback

I apologize in advance if this turns out not to be the right forum for this question. I'm essentially a noob when it comes to recording. You may see in my profile but I put together a fairly simple setup with an Audio-Technica AT-2020 connected to the art MP studio V3 preamp with its phantom power supplying the condenser mic. I have a cable adapter XLR to a USB-C so that I can connect it to my tablet. I'm shooting video with sound so that's where the tablet comes in. the tablet is shooting the video and I'm getting the audio from the mic and preamp. The problem that I'm having is that after I record a piece and playback I'm getting a large amount of static/interference/feedback throughout the entire audio track. I've asked a lot of people and no one seems to have an idea as to where that could be coming from. I have my input and output gains turned way down I've even tested it where they're so low you can barely hear the audio but the interference is still there. I know it's not my tablet because I tried the same thing connecting to my smartphone and have the same interference. I have my 20db gain turned off and just the 40-volt phantom power turned on and I can't figure out whether it's the mic the cables or the preamp that's causing this interference. I'm wondering if it's possible that I could have accidentally damaged the microphone as a couple days ago I connected it directly to the USB-C port on my tablet bypassing the preamp altogether thinking that maybe the tablet could power the microphone. what I got back from the recording was an incredibly loud amount of static and interference I'm wondering if I possibly damaged something in the mic by doing that. Sorry for the long question but anybody that has any kind of ideas or suggestions it would be greatly appreciated thanks in advance. For what it's worth I'm not using a DAW. I'm using the video camera on my tablet for the video, I didn't think I could set up a daw at the same time since it's be recording from the camera.

Comments

bouldersound Sat, 12/19/2020 - 18:57
A good way to troubleshoot would be to use another mic, especially if you could use a dynamic mic straight into the USB adapter and into the preamp for comparison. Another thing you should do is to plug the output of the preamp into some other device. Finally, if you can find some other device with XLR input and phantom power, test the mic with that.

Those XLR-USB adapters tend to be kind of on the cheap end of things. It wouldn't surprise me if that's the source of your problem. I think some of the newer USB recording interfaces are compatible with tablets, though I'm not sure how they would do having to provide 48V to a mic powered off a tablet USB. Mine seems to do fine running off a laptop. Another option is to use a separate audio recorder, like a Zoom H4n, then merge the audio with the video in post.

But the first step is to troubleshoot what you have.

paulears Sun, 12/20/2020 - 13:46
Cable adaptor XLR to USBs are expecting to work with mic level, The output is +22dB from the jack, +28dB from the XLR, so feeding that into the XLR to USB device is going to be a rather big overload, requiring the preamp output to be turned down - a thoroughly compromised connection, noise and quality wise. You really need a proper interface if you want remotely hear the subtleties of a tube preamp of this kind. A mismatch of gear I suspect. Does the USB-XLR have phantom power? If it does, then it will probably drive the AT, I've got one and they're pleasant enough mics, albeit a bit bright. You won't have hurt the mic. My guess is the USB device doesn't have phantom. You won't make much progress with the kit you have. Personally, I'd have bought a sensible interface and not bothered with the Tube preamp, leaving such gizmos for later on when you really have hang of this recording lark.

Holtonhj Sun, 12/20/2020 - 14:12
bouldersound, post: 466350, member: 38959 wrote: A good way to troubleshoot would be to use another mic, especially if you could use a dynamic mic straight into the USB adapter and into the preamp for comparison. Another thing you should do is to plug the output of the preamp into some other device. Finally, if you can find some other device with XLR input and phantom power, test the mic with that.

Those XLR-USB adapters tend to be kind of on the cheap end of things. It wouldn't surprise me if that's the source of your problem. I think some of the newer USB recording interfaces are compatible with tablets, though I'm not sure how they would do having to provide 48V to a mic powered off a tablet USB. Mine seems to do fine running off a laptop. Another option is to use a separate audio recorder, like a Zoom H4n, then merge the audio with the video in post.

But the first step is to troubleshoot what you have.
thanks so much for your reply and suggestions. To be honest I'm actually doing a lot of that already I didn't think about a dynamic mic but I did order a brand new condenser mic to compare in case somehow mine got damaged. I also ordered a new audio interface that has a preamp built in and has its own USB-C connector the Sarasonic irig ii UC. So I can taste a totally different piece of hardware instead of the preamp that I have and also test the LXR to USB adapter with perhaps a more professional one that comes with the Sarah Sonic. I had totally forgotten that I do have an old tascam recorder it's probably good 10 years old and I have to go find it but that would be a possibility I was just hoping not to have to do any mixing or combining post-production work. I know that's sounds very lazy of me but the stuff that I'm doing is something that I'm hoping won't take a lot of time out of my schedule.

Holtonhj Sun, 12/20/2020 - 14:16
paulears, post: 466362, member: 47782 wrote: Cable adaptor XLR to USBs are expecting to work with mic level, The output is +22dB from the jack, +28dB from the XLR, so feeding that into the XLR to USB device is going to be a rather big overload, requiring the preamp output to be turned down - a thoroughly compromised connection, noise and quality wise. You really need a proper interface if you want remotely hear the subtleties of a tube preamp of this kind. A mismatch of gear I suspect. Does the USB-XLR have phantom power? If it does, then it will probably drive the AT, I've got one and they're pleasant enough mics, albeit a bit bright. You won't have hurt the mic. My guess is the USB device doesn't have phantom. You won't make much progress with the kit you have. Personally, I'd have bought a sensible interface and not bothered with the Tube preamp, leaving such gizmos for later on when you really have hang of this recording lark.
Thanks so much for your reply and suggestions. This is actually a decision that I was coming to myself. Yes the preamp does have phantom power for the mic so it is powering the mic but I think you're right in the problem is from the XLR to USB adapter cable into my device. I need an audio interface that either has a preamp built in like a lot of them or just one by itself that I can use the preamp to plug into You're right I think they sit the the rig that I've got right now is just not going to work. With that in mind I went ahead and and ordered a saramonic irig II UC that has a built-in USB-C connector. From what I've read they're supposed to work really well with Android tablets which is exactly what I have along with what I assume is having a preamp as part of the device. If it doesn't I can run my mic to the preamp and then the preamp to my audio interface and then use the audio interface USB-C connector to go into my tablet I'll find out from saramonic weather it has its own preamp.

paulears Sun, 12/20/2020 - 14:18
Please don't take this the wrong way - why are you buying such unusual and restrictive equipment on a whim. You have forum advice and advice from sources such as Sound on Sound and why not just start out with something modest but importantly, popular. Please - for getting started, just buy a simple, two channel interface for your system - one that can be connected to input and output devices. Even the basic ones are fine to get going with.

I guess if you need to use tablets it's a device that can do it, but it's really not the best way to get started with recording if you want to grow.

Holtonhj Sun, 12/20/2020 - 14:25
Btw, what you mentioned about overload because of decibel differences is exactly what I think is happening I have to turn the gain almost off practically on my preamp to get a decent vocal sound where I'm not distorted or way too loud which as you mentioned totally defeats the purpose of having a nice tube preamp in the first place.

paulears Sun, 12/20/2020 - 23:31
My feeling is that we have a preamp intended to add nuances and something a bit special connected to a podcast style a to d. These are also usually less useful with facilities such as gain adjustment no mic or line mixing and the clever preamp is designed to connect to the line input of a system for maximising signal to noise. Slapping it into anything with attenuators to get matching is a negative from the noise figure front.

Boswell Mon, 12/21/2020 - 02:47
paulears, post: 466370, member: 47782 wrote: Slapping it into anything with attenuators to get matching is a negative from the noise figure front.
The noise from this arrangement would be predominantly from the XLR-USB adaptor. All that is added is the additional thermal (Johnson) noise from the parallel combination of resistors in the U-pad attenuator, since an attenuator in the output lead of the pre-amp reduces the signal and noise in the same ratio. The attenuator output resistance would have to be in the high tens or hundreds of KOhm to add anything audible to the noise of the input stage of the USB adaptor, so in noise terms, a sensible attenuator would look like a short-circuit at its input.

paulears Mon, 12/21/2020 - 02:56
Totally agree, but cascaded preamps are always a bad idea the we're chasing minimal degradation. The best preamps noise component being added to by the second one. amplifying something then amplifying again because you used a pad to drop the level is never good practice. In those circumstances where there are two excellent devices the additional noise is minimal and perhaps hopefully inaudible, but the Johnson noise is the least likely to be the issue here With optimum level matching, the benefits are quantifiable, but cheaper preamp stages rarely are noise free bring mic level up to line, and doing it twice, in my humble view is rarely going to be a positive experience. I've been unable to find out very much about this Saramonic device.

Holtonhj Mon, 12/21/2020 - 08:32
Boswell, post: 466376, member: 29034 wrote: In saying "saramonic irig II UC", it looks as though the OP has confused the Saramonic Smartrig UC with the IK Multimedia iRig device. They are similar but with crucial differences. Before going further, we need to know that it is definitely the Sarmonic model that has been purchased.
Yes, I did indeed mention the wrong thing. I meant the saramonic smartrig II with xlr and 6.3mm. it was useless. I've ordered but have not recurved the saramonic 2-channel audio interface. SmartRig + UC.

pcrecord Mon, 12/21/2020 - 09:31
Holtonhj, post: 466348, member: 52150 wrote: I have a cable adapter XLR to a USB-C so that I can connect it to my tablet.
Holtonhj, post: 466377, member: 52150 wrote: I've ordered but have not recurved the saramonic 2-channel audio interface. SmartRig + UC.
Going from the Xlr Adapter to the SmartRig isn't a bit upgrade.. Hope it will work for you.
Looking at it, I think the only unit that inspires me is the Focusrite 2i2 3rd gen.. It's suppose to work on a tablet.. but will also work on a computer.
Big part of the quality is in the preamps the 2i2 have compared to cheaper units..

Holtonhj Mon, 12/21/2020 - 16:45
pcrecord, post: 466378, member: 46460 wrote: Going from the Xlr Adapter to the SmartRig isn't a bit upgrade.. Hope it will work for you.
Looking at it, I think the only unit that inspires me is the Focusrite 2i2 3rd gen.. It's suppose to work on a tablet.. but will also work on a computer.
Big part of the quality is in the preamps the 2i2 have compared to cheaper units..
I've actually been looking at that s well. I know the software that it comes with will not work with Android, but that's not why I'd be getting it anyway. I could easily return the smart rig as well as the art MP studio V3 and get the scarlet 2 i2. My only apprehension was its bus powered so I was concerned that it would be draining power from my tablet but I also understand that you can get a hub a USB hub that's powered that will power the scarlet and then run another USB-C to the tablet. of course then I have a concern of possible electrical interference with all those various cables.

paulears Tue, 12/22/2020 - 00:10
What I don’t get is why tablets are used to record. Sure they can record decent quality audio, but they seem so limited, when pc based software has evolved into such workable products where brand differences are now really ways of working, not better or worse. One of my studio monitors is a touch screen. I never use it because the accuracy and feel is so poorly matched. Editing for me is often tricky with mouse accuracy, with finger tip bluntness it’s impossible. My iPad works well as a remote but for me, that’s it!

what I struggle with in this topic is the product choice for a newbie. An analogue tube mic preamp and a rather uncommon converter bought after the original xlr to usb was revealed as a bad buy - as they always are. Holtonhj bought some very odd products for a newbie, that he’s unhappy with. Most newbies don’t buy tube anything! The usual path is an interface to use as the studio hub. You plug mics and guitars/keys into it AND your amp/speakers or powered speakers. You get comfy with recording and editing, then you normally want a better mic, or different one. Then a few people get the urge to experiment with nice distortion. I’m stupid enough to have bought loads of microphones for different things in the 40+ years I have been recording, and have no tube equipment whatsoever. Nothing still, drives me to want them in my studio. Where does the reasoning come from for buying such things?

I’m thinking of buying a Range Rover. I’ve wanted one for ever, but they’re a stupid car to buy. Now I can afford one, I’m faced with a huge choice of engines, but that brings more problems, the internet shouts. Will I really benefit from a certain engine that is maybe the car version of a tube preamp? I’m a noob at buying a Range Rover. My very first. I’m going to do what my age suggests is best. Buy one that has nice comfy seats, probably heated, electrically adjustable ones, with a good sound system and a nice colour. Gear change paddles, rejigged computers, special exhausts wont be on my list. Like tubes, I don’t see the point.

Holtonhj Tue, 12/22/2020 - 05:57
paulears, post: 466387, member: 47782 wrote: What I don’t get is why tablets are used to record. Sure they can record decent quality audio, but they seem so limited, when pc based software has evolved into such workable products where brand differences are now really ways of working, not better or worse. One of my studio monitors is a touch screen. I never use it because the accuracy and feel is so poorly matched. Editing for me is often tricky with mouse accuracy, with finger tip bluntness it’s impossible. My iPad works well as a remote but for me, that’s it!

what I struggle with in this topic is the product choice for a newbie. An analogue tube mic preamp and a rather uncommon converter bought after the original xlr to usb was revealed as a bad buy - as they always are. Holtonhj bought some very odd products for a newbie, that he’s unhappy with. Most newbies don’t buy tube anything! The usual path is an interface to use as the studio hub. You plug mics and guitars/keys into it AND your amp/speakers or powered speakers. You get comfy with recording and editing, then you normally want a better mic, or different one. Then a few people get the urge to experiment with nice distortion. I’m stupid enough to have bought loads of microphones for different things in the 40+ years I have been recording, and have no tube equipment whatsoever. Nothing still, drives me to want them in my studio. Where does the reasoning come from for buying such things?

I’m thinking of buying a Range Rover. I’ve wanted one for ever, but they’re a stupid car to buy. Now I can afford one, I’m faced with a huge choice of engines, but that brings more problems, the internet shouts. Will I really benefit from a certain engine that is maybe the car version of a tube preamp? I’m a noob at buying a Range Rover. My very first. I’m going to do what my age suggests is best. Buy one that has nice comfy seats, probably heated, electrically adjustable ones, with a good sound system and a nice colour. Gear change paddles, rejigged computers, special exhausts wont be on my list. Like tubes, I don’t see the point.
well, I'm a newbie in recording but I'm a musician and have lot's f friends who are in the recording industry. Doing VO work, etc. I was asked to record and video myself singing a few arias. (opera singer) I don't have a windows or mac pc, (linux) but I do have an android tablet, so that's where the tablet came from. If this was just strictly audio recording, it would be one thing but the problem I was having is adding the video component. I decided I wanted to record video through my tablet but upgrade the audio. I did what a lot of people do and do a lot of researching and reading (obviously not enough) about what's best or suggested. I can across this tube pre and thought it looked good. Unfortunately the newbie part came in when I didn't also purchase an audio interface. I got a good but inexpensive at2020 but obviously I was missing something when it came to putting everything together, hence reaching out to you guys.
So the bottom line is I ended up returning everything, decided just to video myself using the tablet for now and then when I have more time, go back to the idea of a more professional layout, strictly audio, as this video was more of a one off. I've since learned a lot just by listening to you guys.

audiokid Thu, 12/31/2020 - 15:33
Holtonhj, post: 466348, member: 52150 wrote:
I apologize in advance if this turns out not to be the right forum for this question. I'm essentially a noob when it comes to recording. You may see in my profile but I put together a fairly simple setup with an audio-technica AT-2020 connected to the art MP studio V3 preamp with its phantom power supplying the condenser mic. I have a cable adapter XLR to a USB-C so that I can connect it to my tablet. I'm shooting video with sound so that's where the tablet comes in. the tablet is shooting the video and I'm getting the audio from the mic and preamp. The problem that I'm having is that after I record a piece and playback I'm getting a large amount of static/interference/feedback throughout the entire audio track. I've asked a lot of people and no one seems to have an idea as to where that could be coming from. I have my input and output gains turned way down I've even tested it where they're so low you can barely hear the audio but the interference is still there. I know it's not my tablet because I tried the same thing connecting to my smartphone and have the same interference. I have my 20db gain turned off and just the 40-volt phantom power turned on and I can't figure out whether it's the mic the cables or the preamp that's causing this interference. I'm wondering if it's possible that I could have accidentally damaged the microphone as a couple days ago I connected it directly to the USB-C port on my tablet bypassing the preamp altogether thinking that maybe the tablet could power the microphone. what I got back from the recording was an incredibly loud amount of static and interference I'm wondering if I possibly damaged something in the mic by doing that. Sorry for the long question but anybody that has any kind of ideas or suggestions it would be greatly appreciated thanks in advance. For what it's worth I'm not using a DAW. I'm using the video camera on my tablet for the video, I didn't think I could set up a daw at the same time since it's be recording from the camera.
quickly browsing through the site today, not sure this been considered or mentioned in the thread but the a buffer setting will create a playback static on laptops struggling with the buffer setting.
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