Old 06-18-2024, 03:30 PM   #1
croquant
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Default Mystery wind-like rumble on condenser mic

I've been a Reaper user since 2016, and this is the first time having a problem like this. I was just about to start recording some vocals for my shoegaze project after not having used my mic for a while (basic Rode NT1 w/ Scarlett 2i2 1st gen combo).

As soon as I turned on the phantom, there was this loud low-end (<90Hz) rumble with some quieter high noise going up to 1k. It sounds like wind hitting an unshielded mic, but there's obviously no wind in my room. Any sound in the room during recording gets picked up by the mic as well, so the mic, cable and preamp are working despite the noise.

Sample here: https://on.soundcloud.com/cCUytFh2a37rkdM88
(SC account is my synthwave project)

It doesn't sound anything like RF interference or a ground loop, but I did the usual troubleshooting anyway: turning off the internet on my phone, turning off the phone entirely, turning off the monitor speakers, turning off the computer monitor, making sure all electronics are plugged to the same cord extension, isolating the XLR cable, moving the mic away from my computer, and making sure no lights are on nearby.

There's no construction work or other external sound source around either. The sound is not my laptop cooling fans since that noise does come through during the brief time that the rumble goes away, and it's more akin to white noise.

Here's the real mystery: the rumble went away spontaneously for 10 seconds or so while I was going through Reaper preferences (changing no settings), and then came back again. That's why I don't think it's caused by the mic, the cable or the preamps (I tried both preamps).

Does anyone have experience with this kind of sound and could help identify what is causing it?
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Old 06-20-2024, 09:25 AM   #2
Stella645
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If you just pulled it out of storage it may have got moist and need to dry out somewhere warm and dry or sealed in a bag with a few silica gel packets.
Note that silica gel will stop working and need drying out itself as well so don't assume any packet it came with years ago is doing anything.
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Old 06-24-2024, 02:12 PM   #3
croquant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stella645 View Post
If you just pulled it out of storage it may have got moist and need to dry out somewhere warm and dry or sealed in a bag with a few silica gel packets.
Thanks for the tip! Does moisture produce low rumble like that on a mic normally?

I'm beginning to think the mic is just fried for an unknown reason.
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Old 06-25-2024, 11:37 AM   #4
croquant
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In case anyone has a similar problem, it seems the rumble in this case is caused by a dirty capsule, not moisture, since the mic has been in (very dry) storage for years.

A high noise floor that sounds like the wind or rain is most often caused by either moisture or dirt on the capsule. Some links:

https://www.manley.com/news/2019/8/2...-a-bad-capsule

https://gearspace.com/board/so-much-...c-capsule.html

You can disassemble the mic and clean the capsule with isopropyl alcohol and a Qtip if you're brave enough or have experience. The other option is to send it for repairs to the manufacturer, but with a low-end mic like this, I doubt it's worth the expense and wait.
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